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Fitting with Dazaifu Tenmangu
Price: 1020 yen
In Dazaifu, Fukuoka Prefecture, after exiting Dazaifu Station (transfer from Nishitetsu Futsukaichi station) there's a street leading towards Dazaifu Tenmangu, the popular shrine. The street is filled with small shops selling local souvenirs and giving out samples, but on nice days or during the busy seasons, it's super crowded. It wasn't bad when I went during winter (clear of the busy hatsumode season) and stopped into Sakadoya for lunch.
We ordered our dishes and they looked beautiful. This is typical of traditional Japanese foods. Mine was three tastes of soba, with ume (the area is known for plum blossoms in late winter), green tea, and regular soba, for 900yen. It was served with a different topping on each kind and with additional chopped small green onions. Super tasty. When we finished, we decided to get the local specialty for sweets – ume shape stamped roasted mochi (120 yen each). So perfect in winter. These can also be bought outside of the restaurant, as there is a grill on the left side and we can watch them being roasted. (They're sold all over this neighborhood, for basically the same price.)
The restaurant is deep inside, so it has a lot more tables than you would think from the front. It's on the left side of the street while heading towards the shrine, and very close to the entrance. It's right after the unique Starbucks that you can't miss. In the 'backyard' of the restaurant, there's a big window where we can see a mini traditional Japanese garden. It makes the experience really nice, especially staying warm inside while looking out.