Hawai’i is a beautiful melting pot of many different cultures. Hawaii’s Plantation Village is a museum that tells the story of how people lived when they came to the islands to work on the sugar cane plantations.
Hawaii’s Plantation Village is in Waipahu on the Leeward side of Oahu. This area of the island has been home to sugar cane and pineapple fields, and these days you may see groves of coffee trees. The village is tucked into the Waipahu Cultural Garden Park and has buildings representing the many peoples that came to Hawaii to work. Each building or home has been set up to demonstrate a day in family life as chosen by each ethnic historical group. Chinese men were the first group to immigrate in the 1850s. The Chinese Society Building was a place for the men to congregate and keep their culture alive.
Immigrants from Japan arrived in the 1860s. Their example home is set up to represent a Christian family during Bible study time. Portuguese people primarily from Madeira, Azores, and Cape Verde arrived in the 1870s. Puerto Ricans, Okinawans, and Koreans came in the 1900s.
The largest immigration from the Philippines occurred in 1910. Their example home represents a party for a child’s baptism. Many beautiful plants and trees are throughout the property, both native Hawaiian and those brought from the immigrants’ homelands. Look for mango, guava, and mountain apple trees.
Admission to Hawaii’s Plantation Village is $15 for adults. Check the website for other prices. The village is open Monday through Saturday. Guided tours happen every hour from 10 am to 2 pm and take 1 to 2 hours. Be sure to wear sunscreen and bug repellant. This property is inland enough that mosquitoes are a real nuisance. (Make a stop at Longs Drugs, Walgreens, or Walmart to pick up a good repellant – I recommend Sawyer’s Picardian, Repel Lemon Eucalyptus, or Repel Scented Family.)
Oahu map – Hawaii’s Plantation Village
Grabbing a bite
There are lots of local restaurants in Waipahu, serving Korean, Filipino, Japanese, sushi, and more. I suggest Highway Inn for Hawaiian food or Elena’s for Filipino food. Check Yelp, Urbanspoon, or your favorite app for Waipahu.
From Waikiki, take Ala Wai Boulevard and turn right on McCully Street. Follow the signs to get on H1 going west towards Pearl Harbor and the airport. In Waipahu, take exit 5 to go south on 76 towards the Farrington Highway. Turn left onto Waipahu Street. After crossing the stream watch for the street to make a sharp right curve. Look for the Hawaii’s Plantation Village sign at the entrance on the right. If using The Bus, take Bus #42 then #432.
- Hawaii’s Plantation Village
- Immigrants from Hawaiian Roots
- Short Stories from Hawai’i History
- The Bus
- Picture Bride is a 1994 film telling the story of a young Japanese woman who travels to Hawaii to marry a plantation worker in 1918.
Let’s talk story
There are so many stories to learn on a trip to Hawaii. The Hawaiian people and their kingdom, the missionaries from New England, and the many people who came from all over the world to work the sugar cane and pineapple plantations all make up this beautiful place. The village is off the tourist path, but I am so glad we took the time to visit. It helps make the cultures come alive. This post was part of Casa Bouquet’s first birthday celebration! Affiliate links: if you make a purchase using these links, I’ll receive a small compensation towards maintaining this blog, at no extra cost to you.