FEATURE

Exploring the old town of Hakata with its Legends and Mystical Energy Spots

The old town of Hakata is an old area with a lot of stories and traditions left over from the past, and it was said to have a “mysterious power” residing within it.
And we cannot tell you enough how fun it is to walk around the old city of Hakata’s spiritual spots.
So come and visit the old town of Hakata to watch the people praying, see the Buddha statue, and pray for good luck and good health.

“Hakata Sen Nen Mon”

The “Hakata Sen Nen Mon (Thousand Years Hakata Gate)” is a gate that welcomes all the people to the historical sites around Hakata Area.
The design of “Hakata Sen Nen Mon” was adapted from the Middle-Age Hakata, built from a tree called “Sen Nen Gusu” donated by Dazaifu Tenmangu,

Despite being close to Hakata Station, its calm and quiet atmosphere allow us to forget the fact that we’re in a big and stressful city.
You can feel the power coming from「Jurei Sen Nen」as you pass through the gate and an overwhelming feeling that indicates the beginning of your journey.

Address/Fukuoka-shi, Hakata-ku, Hakata Station 1 Chome, Jotenji Dori
Easy access/A 5 minutes walk from Gion subway station.

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Waka Hachimangu

This cleansing ritual’s Shrine is really famous in Japan, better known as「Yaku Hachiman」. Here is hold an annual Festival for New Year’s Eve and a big number of people wait in line to pray for the beginning of the New Year.
It’s said that the misfortune doesn’t just affects the person himself, but also affect the people around him.
For those who have the time should try a cleansing ritual, so you and the people around you can keep having good health and happiness.

「Wakahachimangu no “Chikara Ishi” (Power Stone)」
In the precincts of this Shrine, you will be able to find the “Power Stone”. The only person able to lift this stone in history was a very strong man called Kimura Kyogoro in the Edo Period.
As is the only “Power Stone” in possession until now, it has a great value and it has become the designated folk tangible cultural asset of Fukuoka city.
Let’s go to take some power of the strong men from the past!

Yakubarai (Cleansing ritual) is performed as a prayer to avoid disasters and have a peaceful and safe life.

Address/Fukuoka-shi, Hakata-ku, Hakata Station 1-29-47
Easy access/From Gion subway station (Exit 4) it just takes 6 minutes by walking.
Reception time/9:30 – 16:30
※The reception for exorcism rituals will be closed from December 16th to December 30th, New Year’s day and Chinese New Year’s day.

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Ogusu-sama (Shakokumei no Haka)

Shakokumei’s Grave played a very important role in the “Nissou Boeki (trade between Japan and China held from the 10th century to the 13th century)”. Under the large Camphor tree lies a stone monument bearing an inscription as evidence of Shakokumei’s grave.
Hakata used to be a cosmopolitan city where foreign merchants came and went regularly, during the thriving period of the “Nissou Boeki”.
It’s believed that Shakokumei was a Sung (Dynasty of China) naturalized person, a wealthy merchant, and boatman.

Shakokumei was an enthusiastic supporter of Shoichikokushi (The High Priest) and thanks to that, he gave up his private property in order to assist in the foundation of Jotenji, so after his death, as the Camphor tree was planted and worshipped, the local people started calling it “Ogusu-sama”.
It is said that when Shakokumei was buried, a Camphor tree was planted across its grave, so the tree started wrapping it up as it grows, and that’s the reason why the people began calling it “Ogusu-sama”.
It is pretty surprising that such a big and magnificent tree could grow in a quiet place like this.

Address/Fukuoka-shi, Hakata-ku, Hakata Station 1 Chome 25
Easy Access/From Gion subway station is a 10 minutes walk.

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「Jotenji

Jotenji temple was built by a merchant from the Song dynasty; Shakokumei. It’s a part of Tofukuji sect of Rinzai School.
Statues of Shaka Sanzon and Zenka Rokuso (both were made in Kamakura period) and the bronze bell (made in Korai period) are all designated as a nationally important cultural property.

It’s said that the origin of Japan’s representative foods made from flour, such as Udon and Soba noodles, Youkan (red beans jelly) and Manju (steamed bun) are all from Jotenji. And it’s also known the origin of Hakata’s traditional textile; Hakata Ori which is also emblematic from Japan. Moreover, Hakata’s major festival; Hakata Gion Yamagasa is also from there.

This place is just perfect to forget about the hustle and bustle of the city. Please visit this graceful and historical temple where you can find the origins of many of the most mblematic things in Japan

Address/Hakata Station 1-29-9, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-shi
Access/A 5 minutes walk from Gion subway station.

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Tochoji

Tochoji was built by Japanese Buddhist monk, Kukai (also known as Kobo-Daishi). It’s the 1st temple he built in Japan. In the temple, there is the 26m height five-storied pagoda, made of cypress. There are some other buildings around the temple, so you can experience both past and present at the same time.

It’s surrounded by trees, and with many things to see around, such as Daibutsuden (the Great Buddha Hall), the main shrine, Rokkaku-do shrine and the five-storied pagoda.

One of the themes of Fukuoka Daibutsu (statue of Buddha)’s pedestal is the journey from hell to heaven, as you go inside you get struck by the images of hell. Then finally, after going through all of the darkness, heaven awaits you and it is simply beautiful and peaceful.

There are many events throughout the year such as New Year ’s Eve day, Setsubun (the day before the beginning of spring) festival, Japanese drum show, and fashion show. Anyone can join these events. It doesn’t matter which time of the year you could visit, there’s always something exciting to do. Also during the Cherry Blossom tree’s season, there’s a lot of people visiting to see them, because it is just amazing.

Address/2-4, Gokusho-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
Access/Just a minute away from Gion Sunway station.

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Ryugu-ji

This shrine has a myth about a 147m long mermaid that was buried in there. According to the myth, the mermaid was caught in a fisherman’s net in 1222.
It’s not open to the public but it is said that in this shrine they have the bones and a hanging scroll of the mermaid, that was drawn in the Edo period.
A long time ago, during the summer festival, people in the shrine used to put the bones into a tub filled with water and made visitors to drink it for their longevity and good health.

The “Kannon (Goddes of Mercy) Temple” and the treasured mermaid’s hanging scroll are counted as some of the “Hakata 7 Kannon”. In “Kannon Temple” you can feel the “history of romance” that has been transmitted to Hakata.
Under this temple might be a gigantic sleeping mermaid.

Address/4-12 Reisen-cho, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
Access/1-minute walk from the subway Gionmachi Station (exit #2)

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Mitsuyasu Seikaen Chaho

Mitsuyasu Seikaen Chaho was opened in 1716, and it’s Hakata’s emblematic café with 300 years of history.

In there, you can relax and have a pleasant time while enjoying the taste and the fragrance of their delicious traditional tea.
You must definitely try the tea that has been satisfying the thirst of travelers and the people in Hakata for over 300 years.

Address/81- Naka Gofuku machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-city
TEL/092(291)0365
Hour/Mon-Fri 8:30 – 18:30、Sat 8:30-17:30
※The café is open from 10:00 – 17:00
http://www.mitea.jp/

Kaigenji

Kaigenji is located at the entrance of Chusei Hakata; Ishido-guchi. It enshrines Enma Dai-O (Great King Enma) and Kannon Bosatsu (Goddess of Mercy). In Kaigenji, there are 2 temples called Enma-do and Kannon-do, facing each other.

Enma Dai-O is the king of the underworld and hell in Buddhism and Hinduism.
In front of it, sitting on the side of “Sanzu no Kawa (Sanzu River)” it’s the also impressive Datsueba, who snatches clothing from people.
January 16th and August 16th are the days when a pot from hell opens. In those days, the Enma Festival is celebrated and people offer a konjac. Datsueba is known as “Konjac Basan(Granny Konjac)” among Hakata’s people, and it’s said that it heals children’s illness and helps breast milk to come out.

Inside the temple, you will be able to find the rare “Gacha Gacha Machine (Capsule toy machine「¥300」)” with the fortune slips of Enma. Let’s try our luck on this curious Machine.

Kaigenji also offers Yoga lessons.
Practicing this activity in such a historical temple, would bring you calm and serenity.

Address/10-5 Gofuku machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-city
Access/6-minute walk from the subway Gofuku machi Station – Exit #4
By Nishitesu Bus, 3-minute walk from Hasuike bus stop or 5-minute walk from Gofuku machi bus stop

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Nureginu-zuka

The stone of “Nureginu-Zuka (Nureginu Mound)” has its roots in the word “Nureginu” that means “raise false accusations”.
It is said that at the beginning of the 8th century, there was a girl who was falsely accused by her stepmother, so this place was made for her soul. When you visit there, won’t you join your hands and offer a little prayer?.

URL/http://bunkazai.city.fukuoka.lg.jp/cultural_properties/detail/334
Address/3-2-9 Chiyo, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-city (Near Ishido bridge)
Access/Take Nishitetsu Bus #22, 26, 27 or 75, close to Ishido-Ohashi bus stop

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Sumiyoshi Shrine

There are about 2000 Sumiyoshi shrine all over Japan, but it is said that the one located in Fukuoka city in Hakata’s district is the 1st one of all. Where they pray to the gods for good fortune, safe voyage and safeguard ships. It is for good luck, the safety of voyage and guardian of ships and boats. It’s the oldest shrine where 3 different Sumiyoshi gods are worshiped and also, in the past, it used to be facing the ocean.

It’s proclaimed as a national important cultural asset. The bright vermillion main shrine is eye-catching.
It’s a short walking distance from Hakata Station, surrounded by a lot of buildings. However, the abundant nature of the shrine creates a relaxing atmosphere despite being in the city.

As this Shrine is so deeply involved with Sumo wrestling, you can appreciate a statue of the god of Sumo.
Sumiyoshi shrine is also known as god of Sumo wrestling. Because of that, there is a statue of a Sumo wrestler.

Don’t his palm lines look like a letter “力”? It means “power” in Chinese character.
It’s said that you can get a power through his hand and people visit him to receive a power.

If you want to win a lottery, touch “Fukuwake Koban” for your luck!

A person who won at a lottery donated the gold Koban (coin) to share the happiness. It is said that you will receive luck by touching Fukuwake Koban. The rising carp stands for for love and the rising dragon for money.

There is also a statue of smiling Ebisu no Okami.

Depending on what part of the Ebisu statue you will touch you will receive a different kind of luck.

Face: Safety of your family
Stomach: Cures illness
Tai (Red snapper): Good luck, success in business
Arms: Road safety, improving your skill

Besides the Ebisu, there are many other things that make you feel the Japanese culture such as huge trees, a Sumo ring, shrine gates, ponds and a Nogaku theatre.

Address/3-1-51 Sumiyoshi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-city
Access/Nearby Sumiyoshi bus stop (Nishitetsu bus)

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After visiting all these places in the old town of Hakata, you will definitely get energy and in addition to that, you are able to find relaxation.
We think that the energy comes from the tradition, thoughts, and love for the town and that it has been passed down for generations.

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