Nestled in the lap of Nature: Byodo-In Temple

Set against the backdrop of towering cliffs of Ko’olau mountains, Byodo-In temple is a Buddhist temple located on the Oahu island of Hawaii – in the Valley of the Temples memorial park. It was dedicated in 1968 to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii.

The temple doesn’t figure in the top 10 attractions of Oahu, but I would say it should have been one of the top 3! What makes it all the more worth visiting is it is a replica of the over 950-year old Buddhist temple at Uji in Japan.

As soon as we parked our car next to the temple, I was astounded by the scenery that greeted us. There is a fee of $5 per adult (to be paid in cash).byodo-in temple oahubuddhish temple in oahujapanese temple in hawaiiThe grounds are (properly landscaped) lush green, with a large reflecting pond, which has hundreds of Japanese koi carp.

Just outside (on the left of the temple) is a seven-ton six-feet high brass peace bell. It was cast in Osaka, Japan, and is separated into four sections depicting the Buddhist concept of heaven. It is advisable to ring this sacred bell using the soft wooden log before entering the temple. The unique tones of this impressive bell is believed to clear the mind of negativity, impart deep peace, and bring happiness, blessings and a long life. Through its resonating sound, the bell reminds us that everything is transitory.buddhist peace bellbell at buddhist temple.jpgYou can walk around the temple and see small waterfalls, sparrows, and wild peacocks. One thing we especially loved in Hawaii was that we were woken up by the sounds of birds every single day!best of oahubuddha statueThe main temple has a two-ton nine-foot seated Amida statue (the Buddha of the Western Paradise). It is covered in gold and lacquer.

The Amida Buddha represents the infinite life and light surrounding all beings.

From my own experience I can say that you would not feel like leaving the temple – it was so blissful. There are a couple of benches in the temple and niche on the grounds where you can meditate for however long you want to – it is no wonder the visitors describe the place as beautiful, peaceful, and restful.

The temple grounds are often used for wedding ceremonies for Hawaiians or visitors from Japan.

22 thoughts on “Nestled in the lap of Nature: Byodo-In Temple

  1. It seems to be a little Japan in Hawaii. This is such a tranquil place. The pictures itself brings so much peace that I can imagine how wonderful it would be there. It is so good to hear that the chirping of birds woke you up every morning. I just can’t wait to plan my visit to Hawaii.

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  2. I am not very fond of visiting temples but your description transported me to this temple, I felt as if I was standing by you and Saru and ringing that bell, listening to all the sounds you have mentioned, soaking in the grandeur of surroundings. Thank you Alok for sharing such a celestial experience! The pictures add greater charm to it.

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  3. It does sound and look like every bit the tranquil place, Alok. No wonder you didn’t want to leave. Really interesting to hear what the sound of the bell means. Everything is transitory, just like how many visitors like you come and go – but always leave with a piece of the place in your mind 😊

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  4. Wow! I am forever fascinated by the bells in the temples and the one here sounds just the bell everyone would love to sound.
    The tranquility and the beauty of the place seems to have been captured within your pictures 🙂

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  5. Not sure if there could be a better title for this post “Nestled in the lap of Nature” ~ your introduction and the blissful photos work their magic well. A peaceful, easy feeling on this Sunday afternoon, thank you.

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  6. Simply breathtaking! At glance thought u were visiting some Asian temple site, but truly wonder to see such elegant temple and architecture surrounded by fabulous mountains and mist.

    Peaceful indeed

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  7. Wow! From your wonderful description of this temple, I wouldn’t want to leave either. With such serenity maybe it is just as well it is not a big tourist attraction. The location is breathtaking and the photos wonderfully atmospheric.

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  8. The temple does look quite exotic and yet serene. I love those pointed spires and sloping roofs that these temples have. Something about them is so lovely. Well captured through your lens.

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