Surrounded by lush grounds, Oahu’s Byodo-In Temple is tucked away in the Kahaluʻu Valley at the foot of the Koʻolau mountain range. A replica of a temple in Japan’s Kyoto Prefecture, the landmark is a testament to the island’s strong Japanese community.
When you first arrive, there is a large bell you can ring to have a long and happy life. Once entering the temple, you see a large gold Buddha statue and may be offered to burn incense inside. There are beautiful koi fish in the ponds surrounding the temple that are fun to feed as well.
It’s also a popular spot as the TV series Hawaii Five-O and Magnum, P.I. featured several episodes where the temple is incorporated into the plot. The temple and its gardens also appeared in an episode of the ABC series Lost, “House of the Rising Sun” in season one as the home of Sun’s father.
To give a little history on this site, it was established on June 7, 1968, to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii. The Byodo-In Temple in O’ahu is a smaller-scale replica of the over 950-year-old Byodo-in Temple, a United Nations World Heritage Site in Uji, Japan. The Byodo-In Temple is a non-practicing Buddhist temple which welcomes people of all faiths to worship, meditate or simply appreciate its beauty.