Located in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu, the Byodo-In Temple stands as a beautiful symbol of the Asian presence in Hawaii.
The temple was first established in 1968 as a way to commemorate 100 years of Japanese immigrants living in Hawaii. Lush gardens immediately surround the Temple, while a huge Asian-American cemetery further extends beyond the Temple grounds. Wherever you find yourself in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park, you will not be disappointed by the view!
Entrance to the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park is free. Upon entering the park, signs for the Byodo-In Temple will guide you through the park, towards the Ko’olau Mountains. You’ll know when you reach the temple by the car-filled parking lot (unless you’re incredibly fortunate and have the opportunity to explore the Byodo-In Temple without fellow tourists).
The Byodo-In Temple is open from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm daily.
There is (small) fee for entrance, which is 100% worth it (but make sure you have cash!):
Remember… cash only!
Once you pay your entrance fee, you will cross a beautiful bridge, and will immediately have the best view of the entire temple. Don’t forget to read the informational signs along the way! The temple and the Buddhist traditions are fascinating.
Following the path to the left, you will first come across a bell house, or kanetru-ki-do. The structure houses a five foot bon-sho (sacred bell) cast in Osaka, Japan. Don’t forget to try to ring the bell! It is traditional to ring the bell before entering the Temple, and is said to bring blessings, happiness, and a long life.
As you walk through the garden, you will have the opportunity to see hundreds, no thousands of koi fish swimming in the lakes and streams. You will also encounter cats wandering around the grounds, as well as peacocks, black swans, and turtles!
Don’t miss the opportunity to walk up to the Meditation Pavilion.
Half-way through your tour, walk through the Temple itself. Remember, the Temple is a quiet, relaxing retreat, and needs to be treated with the utmost respect. You will remove your shoes before entering the temple, and will need to remain quiet while walking through.
After exiting the Temple sits a small gift shop, surrounded by even more beautiful gardens. Take your time to walk through, feed the koi (fish food can be purchased in the gift shop) and snap pictures of the birds hanging around.
When we first moved to Hawaii and I was creating my Hawaii Bucket List, I spent a great deal of time researching what to do on Oahu, and I knew that I wanted to visit the Byodo-In Temple as soon as I saw it! The Temple truly is as beautiful and serene as the pictures make it seem. The Byodo-In Temple, and the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park, is a hidden gem that I would highly recommend!
Widget not in any sidebars