The Valley of the Temples Memorial Park is located about 20 minutes north of Kailua, on your way up the north shore of Oahu. It features a 1968 replica of the 11th-century Phoenix Hall of the Byodo-In Buddhist temple complex in Kyoto, Japan.
On our departure from Kailua, we decided to go the long way around to Honolulu and drove up the north shore. We’d heard about the Byodo-In Temple, and it seemed the perfect place to go to be a bit quiet and meditative after a few heady days.
The temple itself is a fair way off the main highway, well within the grounds of the Valley of The Temples. As soon as we arrived, the Temple was instantly recognisable from the times I had seen it on the TV show, Lost.
There have been more than a few Lost sightings on this trip, which has made me very happy.
As a side note, the Byodo-In Temple has also been featured in Hawaii Five-O and Magnum P.I.
The entry fee of $3 each was more than fair, with Clarrie being free (as one would expect for a 6 month old).
We wandered through the grounds for some time before heading to ring the Sacred Bell. Doing just that was a nice way to start the journey through the temple. It had a significance I wouldn’t have thought possible only seconds before ringing it.
Rambling through the grounds is a pretty serene way to spend the morning. After a small wait, we made our way to the Meditation Pavillion, which again was just what we needed.
Clarrie decided that was a pretty good venue for a feed, and seeing as there was no-one waiting behind us, it worked well.
To Enter the temple, you must remove your shoes. Inside is a 9 feet (2.7 m) Amida Buddha statue sitting on a gold lotus leaf.
Wandering through is a lovely experience, and the grounds are well kept. The impressive bamboo thickets (that surely looked familiar from Lost?) were ever present. The enormous Carp in the pond were a sight to see as well.
The Byodo-In Temple, as well as the Valley of the Temples grounds are well worth seeing if you’re in the area.
Admission is $3 per adult, with Senior Citizens being $2, and children $1. Entry is cash only.
Valley of The Temples is located at 47-200 Kahekili Highway, Kaneohe, HI 96744