I am of Asian heritage so I am partial to visiting landmarks with ties to Asian history. The Valley of the Temples Memorial Park is not only where you can find the Byodo-In Temple, but it also boasts some very stunning views. If you ask me, Hawaii is one big awesome view, but there is something special about this place.
When you drive into the Valley, you will come to the the mausoleum and the cemetery. There is a sense of tranquility when one witnesses this vantage of the temple. This is one of the cemeteries that I actually think is quite beautiful.
Once you come around the bend, you will see a jaw-dropping view of the Byodo-In Temple.
This temple is the replica of the Byodo-In Temple found in the fringes of Kyoto, Japan. The original Japanese structure is about 950 years old. This particular structure has been around since the late 1960s. It sits beautifully in the middle of a rainforest at the base of the Ko’oalu Mountains located in the windward side of Oahu, HI. Once you come to the front of the structure, you feel welcomed by a winding bridge, which makes you feel like you should stay a while.
I personally have seen this structure about 3 times. I am from the midwest and don’t make it to Hawaii very often. However, every single time I’ve been to this Park and see this landmark, I feel like I’m seeing it for the first time. It is really just that stunning. Winding to the right of the structure, you will find peaceful ponds and other tranquil bridges. You will also see gorgeous black swans and Koi.
This place was erected with the intent that it would be a place for all different faiths to gather and find a sense of calm. The beauty of the surroundings make it quite easy to feel serene. As I walked around the grounds, I felt more and more at ease.
The structure boasts intricate architecture. The main attraction of the interior is the Amida Buddha statue that is around 9 feet tall. It is also known as the Buddha of Immeasurable Light and Life.
Once you pass this statue and come out of the other end of the structure, you will see the Bon-Sho. Originally made in Osaka, Japan, it is a bell that weighs around 7 tons.
You can also ring it, if you wish.
These photos were taken prior to the coronavirus outbreak. Please make sure that you consult your local government if it is safe enough to travel and please visit the website below for further covid 19 updates in Hawaii.
Until we can all be together again and able to visit wonderful places such as these, please be mindful of others and be safe!