Dazaifu Lantern Festival 2019-See the Lights of Ancient Capital in Fukuoka




Dazaifu is a small city that lies 16km south of Fukuoka City.  This city features its famous Daizaifu Tenmangu shrine with an outstanding Dazaifu Lantern Festival. Besides, it is a hometown of Michizane Sugawara. He was a politician and professor who lived in Dazaifu over 1200 years ago and visitors pray to him for success in studies. Visiting this enchanting lantern festival at the end of September in Dazaifu city will definitely make your evening and satisfy your interest in Japanese traditions and history.


About Dazaifu City

The city is home to the Kyushu National Museum, a striking modern construction which the glass façade reflects the surrounding landscape. It’s the first national museum in Japan which is over 100 years old. And its modern exterior boasts new technologies to help you learn about Japan’s history easily. You can notice the modern design elsewhere in the city. As at the Starbucks which has an incredibly intricate wooden cage-like design with over 2000 batons that criss-cross and spike out of the ceiling and walls.

Nearby, you’ll also find the very quaint Dazaifu Amusement Park and Fukuoka International University. Dazaifu city is thriving and offers a lot to visitors.

About the Festival

The city’s gem is of course it’s beautiful Tenmangu shrine, and it holds several events throughout the year.  One of the most popular events takes place at the end of September on 25th – the Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine Festival and lantern festival. Surprisingly, this lantern festival has been running for just over 13 years and takes place over two evenings. However, it is becoming more and more popular every year. In 2019 it will take place for the fourteenth time.  Around 10,000 candles light up the surroundngs of the shrine to create the charming night atmosphere.

A huge number of lanterns are set up along the streets all around the city unifying it in a beautiful glow. Local children make those connecting lanterns and paint them. This ensures that the whole community involves in the festival. The whole Mozen-machi area is illuminated during the festival. It’s a truly magical experience walking around the local sightseeing spots such as Kanzeon-ji, Kaidan-in, Dazaifu Seicho, and Mizuki Ato during the festival.

Every year they have a different theme so that they can showcase the local talent. The theme of 2017 was ‘Pray for Peace’ by team Seichou which featured many illuminated cranes. The whole area uses only natural lights, so you will notice no artificial street lights during the event. This creates a wonderful ambiance and exquisite atmosphere.

Photo Contest and Stamp Rally

There is a photo contest that’s held every year to determine the best picture that encapsulates the essence of the lantern festival. They have two different categories, one is the landscape category and the other is the people category. Those help to show the beauty of the shrines and the beauty of the spectators. The contest also separates professionals with their high-resolution photos from the novices who use their phones to snap away. So, everyone can be a part of the fun!

A popular pastime in Japan is to collect the stamps that are unique to the particular area you visit.  Of course, you can do it at the lantern festival as they have special stations at various locations. So, you can gather a whole collection!

Besides, you can buy a lantern to carry it around and take home for around 1000 Yen. – they’re a great keep-sake and reminder of the festival. Furthermore, if you bring your lantern into some local shops during the festival you might be lucky enough to get an extra discount on your purchase.

The event is incredible and offers a fantastic opportunity to capture some great moments and witness the shrines in the soft glowing light of lanterns and candles. Considering the fact that this festival is free of charge and close to Fukuoka city, you wouldn’t want to miss this unique opportunity.

Details and Access

Dates: September 23rd, 25th, 2019 (estimated). May be canceled in case of bad weather. Please refer to the official website to double check the dates closer to September. Dazaifu Lant5ern festival is usually linked to the Autumn Equinox and Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine Festival on September 25th.


September 23rd: Seicho Ato, Kanzenon Temple, Mizuki Ato area

September 25th: Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, Kyushu National Museum area.

Address: Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, 4 Chome 7-1 Saifu, Dazaifu, Fukuoka Prefecture

Official website (Japanese only):


Dazaifu is easy to reach from Fukuoka city, you can simply take the Nishitetsu train from Tenjin station to Dazaifu via Futsukaichi station – the journey only takes 20 minutes. And costs 600 Yen.

The bus from Hakata bus terminal to Dazaifu takes 50 minutes.

Closing Remarks

Dazaifu is a remarkable provincial Japanese city which must be on your must-see list when you are in Fukuoka. The lantern festival in Dazafu provides you with an outstanding opportunity to see how an old city transfigures at night and allows you to take mesmerizing pictures. So, if you enjoy the sort lantern lights and peaceful atmosphere, this festival will be a perfect celebration to visit.

If you would like to explore this charming festival, Dazafu city, and Fukuoka prefecture with a friendly local guide, please check out the banner below!

Traveling Around Fukuoka? Check out These Outstanding Events and Places!

Fukuoka prefecture is super lively prefecture among all other areas in Kyushu. People, here are very open and friendly. On top of it, the local food tastes incredible! Either you are looking for some exceptional cultural experience through attending festivals and visiting historic sites, or you enjoy chilling in nature, Fukuoka Prefecture has something to offer anyone who decides to visit it. The following article will introduce you to the most popular events and attractions of  Fukuoka Prefecture. Please check the link below!


Discover Fukuoka in Autumn

When planning a trip, not everyone can make it at a certain time. Sometimes, you cannot get a vacation when you want, or some periods are too expensive. In that case, I have a suggestion for you if you come in autumn. If you are in Fukuoka around November, you will definitely enjoy Momijigari – autumn leaves spots hopping. Otherwise, there are plenty of various events in Fukuoka in autumn. Please check the following articles to find out your favorites!



More Lantern Festivals

I hope you enjoyed reading this article and it made you want to visit this great festival. Lantern festivals in Japan are very popular, and you can see it in any season. If you would like to know more about other lantern festivals in Japan, enjoy its mystical atmosphere, and admire a glowing night in Japan, please click on the link below and you will find an article on the best 13 lantern festivals in Japan!


Would You Like to Know How to Enjoy a Japanese Festival Even More?

A lot of people when they get to a Matsuri for the first time feel themselves a bit lost. They confuse about what is happening around. If you are new to Japanese Festivals or want to know an alternative way of how you can enjoy these events, the following article will provide you with a set of helpful tips on how to choose a proper festival and activities you should try there. Please don`t hesitate to take a look at it!


Nobu Tanaka

I am a photographer based in London, originally from Japan. I’m also a part of a company which makes a B2B platform to simplify the content marketing process.

Written on

Other Events You May Like