Constructed in 1968 to commemorate the centenary of the first Japanese arrivals, Byodo-In Temple is a popular place for Buddhist communities from both Hawaii and Japan to celebrate together. Although it’s not a practicing temple, visitors are welcome to wander the peaceful grounds. Check out the golden Buddha believed to be the largest of its kind carved outside of Japan, and the brass bell cast in Osaka and reputed to mirror the original bell hanging in the original Japanese temple. Or, stop by the meditation pavilion, or the reflection pond filled with hundreds of koi.
Many circle-island tours include the temple.
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Things to Know Before You Go
Byodo-In Temple is a must for travelers interested in Japanese culture and architecture.
There’s a small entrance fee.
As the temple is a sacred space, be respectful and speak quietly.
Remove your shoes before entering the temple.
How to Get There
Byodo-In Temple is about a 30-minute drive northeast of Honolulu. To get there by public transit, take bus 8 from Waikiki’s Kuhio Avenue to Ala Moana Center, then bus 65 to Kahekili Highway / Hui Iwa Street East. Walk across Kahekili Highway and enter the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park.
When to Get There
The grounds are usually open every day except Christmas. The temple hosts regular events featuring musicians and artisans—see the website for details.
Valley of the Temples
The Byodo-In Temple is situated inside the beautifully landscaped Valley of the Temples. Much of the park is a cemetery honoring people of different faiths, including the heroic Chinese military leader General Chang Hsueh-liang, who died in Honolulu.