The beautiful Byodo-In Temple is a favorite of ours, a must-see every time we’re on O’ahu.
Located at the foothills of the Ko’olau Mountains in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park, the grounds are incredibly breathtaking, with beautiful niches for visitors to meditate and little waterfalls and ponds that create a peaceful ambience. Walking throughout the grounds brought us such a sense of tranquility and calm.
In addition to its beautiful grounds, the Byodo-In is home to Amida, the largest carved Buddha statue outside of Japan. Prior to entering the majestic temple, visitors must remove their shoes as a sign of respect. Everything about Amida is intricate and beautiful, such a sight to behold.
I could’ve spent the whole day, meditating and praying, but the kids were ready to move on after about five minutes. I can’t say that I blame them. There’s fun to be had for the kids as well.
If you were to ask the kids, the highlight of their visit to Byodo-In would be feeding the koi fish and little birds. They’d feed them all day long if I let them. Pro tip: You’ll want to stop by the gift shop to pick up a few bags of feed. You know you want to feed the koi fish too.
As for me, the highlight of my visit to the Byodo-In Temple is always the bon sho, or sacred bell. It’s customary to ring the bon sho prior to entering the temple, but I always save it for last. It’s a great way to end our visit.
To ring the bon sho pull the shu moku, or soft wooden log, and let go. As it gently swings into the bon sho, it creates a peaceful and tranquil sound that resonates throughout the grounds. It’s said that ringing the sacred bell will bring you happiness, blessings and a long life. One can hope.
It’s your turn to head on over to the Byodo-In Temple located at 47-200 Kahekili Drive in Kaneohe on the island of O’ahu.