A quick look at the official Byodo-In Temple website and you’ll realize that it is a non-practicing Buddhist temple. The site goes on to say that everyone is welcome to meditate, worship, and/or just walk around and enjoy the beauty of the grounds. It is a Hawaii State Landmark.
The temple was established in 1968 to honor and mark the 100th Anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to the Hawaiian Islands.
The Byodo-In Temple in Oahu is actually a small replica of the 950 year old, actual temple in Uji, Japan. The actual temple is a Japanese National Treasure and a United Nations World Heritage site.
The place is really a great way to walk around and lost in the peacefulness. Koi ponds, peacocks, turtles, and gorgeous Black Swans walk around and live on the grounds. I didn’t actually see any peacocks on my trip to the Byodo-In Temple.
Don’t be afraid to ring the bell! There is actually a sign and information that encourages you to do so. It is believed that ringing the bell will bring you blessings, happiness and a long life.
The sacred bell is called the bon-sho. The bell house is called kanetru-ki-do. It’s a big bell. 5 feet and three tons of brass. There are pretty designs and master craftsmanship on the bell, as well.
I guess my favorite thing about the Byodo-In Temple was the Black Swans and the Turtles. The inside of the main hall contains a large Amida Buddha statue that is 9 feet tall.
It doesn’t take long to walk around the grounds and even take pictures. I would say an hour and a half tops, unless you really get comfortable.
Key Facts About Visiting the Byodo-In Temple on Oahu
Although it is a non-practicing Buddhist Temple it is still a place of reverence. Act accordingly. Maintain children and please obey the signs asking that you remove foot wear before entering the main hall.
- Hours: Open Daily (except Christmas) from 9am to 5pm.
- Admission: $3 adults, $2 seniors and $1 for children.
Things to Bring:
- Bug repellent. There are a lot of bugs on the Byodo-In Temple grounds. Almost too many to meditate!
- Probably some sunscreen. You don’t have to be in the sun that long on this trip but if you are then protect yourself.
Directions to Byodo-In Temple Oahu
The Good News: The temple is easy to find and it is only 13 miles from the airport. That’s a long 13 miles, though. It took us about 45 minutes to get there from close by the airport.
Directions Courtesy of the Byodo-In Temple Site:
From the airport, exit onto the freeway and take the H1 Honolulu East. Once on the freeway, get into the far left lane. Follow the sign that says (63) North, Exit 20A Likelike Highway (pronounced leekay leekay, not like like). This exit appears on the right. Stay on this highway. You will pass through the Wilson Tunnel. Once out of the tunnel, there is an astonishing view of the windward side. Take the Kahekili exit (83) on the right. Get into the left lane . You will pass through five stop lights. The temple is on the left side. The Valley of the Temple’s Cemetery is what appears on your left. There is a little hut at the entrance where you may buy flowers if visiting the cemetery. Follow the winding road, and at the end is the parking lot at the entrance to the Temple.
Our Video from Byodo-In Temple created with Magistro
Alternatively, take the Pali Highway over the mountains to Kamehameha Highway using the Kaneohe exit continue to the H-3 past the Likelike Highway. Past Windward community College. Travel another three miles and make a left turn onto Ave of the Temples, Which is the main road through the Valley of the temples Memorial Park. The Byodo-in Temple is at the end of this road. There is ample parking at the entrance to the temple.
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