Approaching the Shrine
Japanese shrines often have several different access points, but there is always a main approach, marked by one or more torii gates. These gates can be found at all Shinto shrines and mark the entrance to sacred ground. The approach to Dazaifu Tenmangu is along the pedestrian street that leads east from Dazaifu Station. Shops and eateries line the approach, and many of them sell umegaemochi, a traditional sweet with close ties to Dazaifu Tenmangu. After walking a couple of hundred meters and passing under the first few torii gates, you enter the shrine grounds. The path continues past a bronze statue of an ox, an iconic symbol of the shrine, and over three bridges before ending at the romon, a grand two-story gate marking the entrance to the main sanctuary.