Friday, March 1, 2013

The Byodo-In Temple, Oahu, HI

The Byodo-In Temple is a non-practicing Buddhist temple in a Hawaiian cemetery, built in 1968, and commemorates the 100th anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii. It's a smaller-scale replica of a 950-year-old temple in Uji, Japan. And, like the original temple, it is built without a single nail.

The TV series Hawaii Five-O and Magnum, P.I. featured 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. You can even have your wedding here if you wish.


It's home to peacocks and hundreds of hungry koi, which pretty much follow you around the lake hoping you'll have some food. Another great feature of the park is a huge bell that you can ring with the help of a roped log. For some reason, I didn't get a photo of it. Every visitor is encouraged to bang the bell, so you hear the low hum of the bell consistently while you walk around the temple.
One of the first things you come across is this "autograph tree" (Clusia Rosea). I didn't get a close-up of the leaves, but people scratch names of loved ones into the thick hardy leaves. Every leaf had multiple names. I suspect, it was not loved ones being memorialized, but tourists adding their names. Vandals.
Hawaii has these beautiful pine trees with a unique branching structure.
Always intrigued by a paperbark tree.
A grove of MASSIVE bamboo. The noise of them stretching, reaching, and clacking in the wind was ever-present.
And, of course, people had to scratch their names on these too.


They're about the tallest bamboo I've ever seen.

Great example of a Travelers Palm (is not really a palm--it’s related to bananas and  Bird-of-Paradise). The leaves collect water and channel it into the base of the plant -- a thirsty traveler could cut a hole in the soft trunk and get a significant amount of drinkable water—about one liter per branch. And, it tends to grow in an east-west direction,, so it can also serve as a compass.
Inside the temple is an immense golden Buddha.

10 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tour. It's a beautiful temple, but the setting is really breathtaking.

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    1. Pretty much anywhere you look in Hawaii is breathtaking...

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  2. Fascinating place...never thought to engrave a name on a plant. I remember those 2 TV shows at this Temple. Beautiful place.

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    1. I never watched those shows, but may have to look them up. My first inclination is to NOT carve my name into a plant, but others have no problem with it.

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  3. What a fantastic building..Ive never bben to Oahu..but if I do I will check this out!!

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    1. Get to Oahu as fast as you can. We were able to see pretty much everything we wanted to in three days.

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  4. Greetings, Jim!

    I am so tickled to have stumbled across your blog this evening! I have been an avid amateur 'gardener' for over 20 years. I use the term 'gardener' loosely - very loosely - but I know what I like and am not afraid to try growing just about anything in the soil despite the recommended zone. "You can't let a plant intimidate you" has always been my thinking! You just never know. I've had so many delightful surprises! And, just like people, all plants deserve a chance to grow roots wherever they may happen to find themselves.

    Buffalo Garden Walk is on my bucket list and I am going to spend a lot of time poking around your blog for some trip planning ideas and garden inspiration - DOUBLE BONUS! I won't have to buy a gardening mag for quite awhile! BTW, LOVE your writing style - it's so fresh and, well, natural. Your blog is quite an easy and entertaining read.

    Gardens have therapeutic, even healing powers - that's nothing new. It's been touted for a good long while now but I TRULY believe that. I am a breast cancer 'Thrivor' - I've never liked the term 'survivor', but that's just me. And, since my diagnosis, I have been investing my heart and soul into spearheading a FUNdRaiser on my 'rock island' called 'Pink Days In Bloom'! Since the first seed was planted in 2011, when I was still on medical leave from my work recovering from cancer treatments, it has grown from 1 local garden centre to 14 garden centres island-wide this summer - 'the dream' is really coming true - and has even bloomed beyond garden centres to transit, retail and corporate events! Pink Days In Bloom has really gone wild! A true testament to the way in which gardens, and the love of gardening, connect people on so many levels, don't you think?

    I have never been to Buffalo. Truthfully, it has never been on my radar as a travel destination until I learned of all its stunning gardens - grown from labours of love by ordinary folks like me. And, now I cannot wait to get there!!! THANK YOU for all you do in giving your time in promoting this AWESOME initiative. I know awesome is an overused word, but it is one that certainly applies in the case of the Buffalo Garden Walk. What a gift you and your volunteers have given to all who are lucky enough to visit and see the photos in magazines everywhere! I cannot wait to visit in person and experience the JOY of Buffalo Garden Walk!

    Wishing you a beautiful day,
    Linda at Beautiful Ideas

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  5. Your photos of this garden are also enough to make me hop on a plane!
    Linda at Beautiful Ideas

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