Valley of the Temples Byodo-In Temple is a beautiful Buddhist temple on the Windward side of Oahu. This iconic site is nestled below the Ko’olau mountains and is a beautiful symbol of the Japanese influence in Hawai’i.
The Byodo-In Temple is part of the Valley of the Temples memorial park near Kaneohe. It opened in 1968 as a tribute to the 100th anniversary of Japanese in Hawai’i. It is a replica of the over 900-years-old Byodo-In Temple in Uji, Japan. Admission to the temple is $5 (when we visited you had to have cash). The temple and grounds are open 8:30 am to 5 pm daily.
Visit the huge sacred bell first. It weighs 3 tons! Ring this before entering the temple. The sound and feeling are amazing. The meditation pavilion is in the garden on the hill above the temple.
Take off your shoes and be respectful when entering the temple to visit the Buddha. It is more than 9 feet tall and covered with gold lacquer and gold leaf. So beautiful!
A koi pond meanders like a stream around the gardens. You will see little pockets of plants, trees, and statuary. I especially enjoyed trying to get a good picture of the black swans!
Trees include breadfruit and hala.
I first fell in love with the Byodo-In Temple in its appearances in Magnum P.I. from the 1980s (episodes 2.7, 3.2, 3.14, and 7.7).
The Valley of Temples is near Kaneohe along the Kahekili Highway, Route 83. Our favorite way to drive from Waikiki is take the H1 west to 61 Pali Highway north. After going over the Pali, take a left on 83. Go left on 63, then right on 83. The entrance to the Valley of the Temples will be on your left. You can also take The Bus from Waikiki: take number 2, 13, 19, or 20 to Alakea and transfer to 65.
Grabbing a bite
Kailua and Kaneohe both have a wide variety of places to eat. For breakfast, try Cinnamon’s or Moke’s Bread & Breakfast. For lunch or dinner, try Dean’s Drive Inn or Mike’s Huli Huli Chicken. For a great evening experience, try Haleiwa Joe’s at Haiku Gardens.
Resource links for Byodo-In Temple
- Japan’s influence in Hawaii from Japan Times
- Byodo-In Temple Hawaii
- The Bus Waikiki visitor guide
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