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Monday, February 16, 2015

Kyushu Spring 2014 九州春季之旅 - Nishitetsu Dazaifu Station 太宰府駅, Dazaifu Starbucks スターバックス太宰府天満宮店



Dazaifu Station, the terminus station on Nishitetsu Dazaifu line.
* JR Kyushu Rail Pass does not cover Nishitetsu operated lines.

Transfer at Futsukaichi Station (二日市駅) to Dazaifu line. Approx 5 mins train ride between both train stations. 

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What's nearby? 

(1) Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, the most prominent landmark & attraction in Dazaifu city.

(2) Kasanoya かさの家 



Red bean mochi cake, otherwise beautifully known as plum tree branch cake (梅枝ヶ餅), is a snack famous in this area.
History: Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine was built in memory of Michizane Sugawara (菅原道真), a famous poet and politician during Heian Period of Japan (794 - 1185). It was said that when Michizane Sugawara was battling with hunger while working in Dazaifu, an old lady handed him a plum tree branch which has a piece of warm red bean cake inserted into it. That was how the name of this red bean cake came about.

There are many shops selling this snack along Omotesando which stretches from the train station to the shrine. Came to Kasanoya and bought one to try just before the shop closed for the day. Simple yet delectable snack - sweet red bean filling and lightly toasted, chewy mochi skin. 

(3) Dazaifu Starbucks スターバックス太宰府天満宮店

Exterior of Starbucks


As you walk along Omotesando, there is one shop that will surely catch your attention. I must say this is most unique and artistically designed Starbucks branch I have seen so far in my life. Designed by renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma ( 研吾), he wanted to create a fusion between traditional and modern culture using natural materials such as wood and bamboo. Numerous wooden sticks intersecting each another in an repetitive fashion created a frame on top of the rustic cemented walls. Unexpectedly, the finished product looked aesethically pleasing. You can't help exclaiming in excitement (internally) as you scan every corner of this piece of artwork, while enjoying your cup of coffee in a totally different ambience. 

Interior of Starbucks.



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Commemorative stamps: 




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