Exploring Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine: Blessing for Education

I am just about to start my graduate studies in Japan, but I wanted some travel time while in Fukuoka. So before I went to University I passed by this famous shrine, "Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine".

Prayer area of Dazaifu Shrine.

Garden towards the inner shrine

Cleansing and purification area before entering the shrine.

This place is well-known as a shrine for getting a blessing for education. The place is often visited by students praying for a good result in entrance exams. Some students are even accompanied by their parents and pray together as family. It is a small shrine surrounded by a serene garden and pond.

How to go there: The place is located 20-30 minutes from the center of Fukuoka in Dazaifu city. I took the bus from Hakata bus terminal platform 11 to Dazaifu Station.  You may also take the train from JR Tenjin Station but I just wanted to relax so I took the bus instead. The shrine is 5 a minute walk from the station.

Before reaching the actual shrine you get to pass by shops selling souvenirs, restaurants, and some stalls selling Japanese sweets. Particularly, Umegae Mochi is popular in this area. It is sweet gooey hot mochi filled with red sweet beans. For Filipinos, it is similar to our "hopia" but instead of a flaky dough, it is made with sticky rice cake instead.

Street filled with shops before reaching the shrine

Served hot: Umegae Mochi

You'll even pass by the stylish and one of the unique and iconic starbucks in Japan along the way.

Starbucks Coffee Dazaifu Temmangu Omotesando

Once you've said your prayers you can check your fortune. The shrine has an English version available. You can even buy a good luck charm for education, health, wealth, etc. You can ask the storekeepers for the English "menu" or the list of the charms in English since the tags are all in Japanese.

Draw your future after asking for blessing.

It is in English so if you got the good luck you get to keep it, but if you got the bad luck you get to tie it somewhere in the shrine to get rid of it.
A charm for studying that I bought from the shrine.

So perhaps if you just want a quick get away from the busy city center of Fukuoka and longed for a  walk along serene gardens and a little reflection time try visiting this place. Or if you're up to a good start for your studies either in Japan or in your home country, Dazaifu is a place to unwind, relax, and maybe even reflect on life.

(All photos used are original and are taken from the actual travel to the said area.)

Apple Bernas