The Kyushu National Museum is one of the three national museums in Japan (the other three being in Tokyo, Nara and Kyoto). Exhibits at the museum mainly cover Japanese history. We did not have time to visit the museum but we did visit a small free exhibition gallery where one can play various games and instruments of Asian origin. There, I had the chance to play a real gong with a huge hammer, which was quite impressive.
The Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine is one of the most famous shrines in Kyushu and is located a short walk away from the Dazaifu station. The shrine’s grounds are extensive and include beautiful gardens and a museum which houses the shrine’s treasures. The main walkway leading to the shrine passes over an iconic large bridge and then under an impressive Torii gate before arriving at the main altar. Shinto rituals are performed at the shrine and can be witnessed by visitors.
The street leading from Dazaifu train station to the Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine is lined with gift shops, cafes, ice cream stores and bakeries preparing the Umegae Mochi, which are treats made of sweet azuki bean filling wrapped in a layer of mochi. Some coupons exchangeable for Umegae Mochi were included in our train passes on our day trip to Dazaifu so we got to sample this delicacy which is famous in the region of Dazaifu while walking towards the shrine.