Byodo-In Temple Oahu Hawaii + Family Guide

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The Byodo-In Temple in Oahu, Hawaii. Complete family guide to touring this beautiful temple and how to get there.

The Byodo-In Temple located in Kaneohe, Hawaii, was one of our favorite places to visit while living on the Island of Oahu. Nestled at the foot of the Ko’olau mountains and located in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park, this peaceful temple welcomes people from all religious backgrounds.

Friends and family of every age will love visiting this hidden gem with it’s lush green gardens and beauty around every corner.

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When you think of Hawaii you most likely picture white sand beaches and turquoise colored water. But the second thing that comes to mind is most likely beautiful, lush, green mountains.

As you tour around the island you can’t help but want to get closer to this part of nature that is outstanding and picturesque.

The red bridge leading over to the Byodo-In Temple.

BYODO-IN TEMPLE OAHU HAWAII

The Byodo-In Temple is located on the Windward side of the island and is a replica of the 950 year old Byodo-In Temple in the city Uji in Prefecture of Japan.

This stunning replica was established June 7, 1968 and was dedicated in August 1968 to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of Japanese immigrants in Hawaii.

This is a non practicing Buddhist temple that welcomes people of all religious beliefs to come visit. And in Japanese, Byodo-In means temple of equality.

Byodo-In Temple the a reflecting pond in front.

BON-SHO (Sacred Bell)

Once in the parking lot you’ll hear a gong from time to time. It’s a beautiful, low, vibrating sound that will draw you in once you cross the bridge into the garden area.

Located on the left you’ll see the bell house with a 5 foot high bell that weights 3 tons and was cast in Japan and made from bronze and tin. Everyone is welcome to ring the bell using a soft wooden log. It is said that ringing the bell will bring you happiness, blessings, and a long life.

Little girl in a yellow dress ringing the sacred bell.

MEDITATION PAVILION

As you continue along the path you’ll cross over a small stream with vibrant colored koi fish before taking a few steps up the moss lined stairs to the meditation pavilion.

Family feeding the koi fish in the pond.
Moss covered stones lining the stone steps to the meditation pavilion.

The stone steps will lead up under a canopy of trees to the meditation pavilion where inside you’ll find seating area in the center.

Meditation pavilion under an umbrella of trees.

The meditation pavilion is tucked under a canopy of trees and is a quiet, secluded place to take a moment or two to reflect, meditate, or enjoy the peace and nature surrounding you.

ENTERING THE TEMPLE

Before entering the temple sanctuary, you will need to remove your shoes. Inside you’ll find an 9 foot statue of Amida Buddha carved by Japanese sculptor, Masuzo Inui.

Architectural details in the roof of the Byodo-In Temple.
Amida Buddha inside the sanctuary.

WILDLIFE

As you tour around the temple grounds you’ll find black swans, turtles, birds peacocks and koi fish in the pond. These koi fish can live up to be 100 years old and you’re able to feed the koi fish with food purchased at the gift shop on site.

The peacocks are wild and roam around the area, so they may not be present at the time of your visit.

Black swan and brightly colored koi fish in the pond.
Rooster with a bad hair day outside the gift shop.

HOW TO GET THERE

The Byodo-In Temple is located on the Windward side of Oahu and only 13 miles from the airport. I say only 13 miles but really, let’s remember traffic can make 13 miles feel like 50. So be sure you account for rush hour and which direction everyone is traveling.

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From Honolulu you’ll be making your way up the highway and into the mountains. The best part about this drive is going through the Wilson Tunnel and out the other side. The tunnel opens up and time slows to a crawl as your eyes take in everything on this side of the island. The mountains around you and the gorgeous blue ocean in front of you.

Byodo-In Temple with reflecting pond with lush green mountains behind the building.

This temple is located in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park, which is a cemetery on the left hand side. It is easy to miss since you won’t actually see the temple from the road.

Turning into the cemetery you’ll pass a hut where loved ones can purchase flowers if visiting the cemetery. Continue to follow the road and it will bring you right to the parking lot of the Byodo-In Temple.

Statue in front of the reflecting pond.

ADMISSION AND HOURS

The temple grounds are open from 8:30am-4:30pm daily, with the last entrance sold at 4:15pm. They are no longer accepting cash so be prepared with a debit or credit card. Plan to spend 45 minutes or more exploring the grounds.

  • General admission- $5.00
  • Seniors 65 and up- $4.00
  • Children ages 2-12 – $2.00

Be sure to check their website for the most up to date and holiday information. -View hours and admission here-

Coming over the red bridge into the grounds of the Byodo-In Temple with families touring the area.

THINGS TO DO IN THE AREA

After visiting the temple, you may want to stay on this side of the island and enjoy some other things in the area. Of course there are many great places to explore and these are just a few of them.

Tropical Farms- Our favorite place to go after visiting the temple was a trip to Tropical Farms located just up the road. There you can shop local jewelry, coffee, lotions and macadamia nuts! It is a must visit destination while in the area. Be sure to leave with your favorite flavor of macadamia nut and spicy hot sauce.

Kualoa Ranch- If you’re wanting more of an adventure, check out Kualoa Ranch where they offer ATV tours, ziplining, horseback riding and more.

View of the mountains from the store, Tropical Farms.

Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens- Just a short drive from the temple is the Ho’omaluhia Botanica Gardens. Admission is free but as you drive through there is a person at the gate counting how many visitors come through.

Upon entering the road is lined with palm trees with the mountains directly in front of you. I’d recommend driving to the very end and then coming back to the visitors center. Stop inside the visitors center to get a better feel for the area and then make your way down the path behind the visitors center, to the pond.

Note- Our personal stance on food trucks. If there is a line, it’s good.

BEACHES

  • Kailua Beach
  • Lanikai Beach

No matter where you go on the island, beauty is surrounding you. So be sure to slow down and take a moment to soak in the Aloha.

We’ll see you on our next adventure.

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