Byodo-In Temple

Phone (808) 239-8811
4.5 stars from 11 reviews
Address 47-200 Kahekili Highway, Kaneohe, HI 96744
It's a replica of a building in Japan in an uber peaceful setting.

• General: Cost: Paid • General: Educational
• General: Photo Opportunity • Sightseeing: Great Views
• Cultural & Historical: Heiau / Sacred Site

Full Description
The Byodo-In Temple is a replica of the real thing located in Japan which is over 950 years old. The O'ahu version, located in Kaneohe, isn't nearly as old as it was built in 1968 and celebrating 50 years as of 2018. It's also much smaller. In fact, it's quite small and doesn't really offer much in the way of things to do here. Fun fact: The word "Byodo" means "equal" while "In" means "temple" so Byodo-In means Temple of Equality.

It's a non-practicing temple but you're free to ring the big gong thing they have (they call it Bon-sho which they say means Sacred Bell) and/or enjoy the temple building (pray, meditate, snap a picture with the 9 foot tall Amida Buddha, whatever floats your boat). Well, free will actually cost you $3 per person ($2 for senior citizens, $1 for kids). This is Hawaii people, free is rarely actually free! Of course, if you want truly free things to do then be sure to read Free Things To Do In Hawaii.

While there is very little to actually do here, this in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park and cemetery after all) it's still pretty neat to see and you'll find great photo opportunities throughout the property. They have some cool bridges, a Zen garden, a meditation pavilion, a Shinji-like reflection pond with Japanese koi, and a little gift shop (again, this is Hawaii and we'll add a gift shop in places you couldn't dream of!).

If you'd like to make this area your eternal resting place then you're in luck as you can make that happen at Valley of the Temples Memorial Park.

We've seen people really get into this place but it's probably not super exciting for most. If it looks familiar it's probably because you've see it in the TV shows Lost, Fantasy Island Remake, Karate Kid, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Five-O or (if you're old school) Magnum P.I. For more on that, be sure to read Popular Movies & TV Shows Filmed In Hawaii.

We're not trying to be harsh on this place at all, just trying to set your expectations accordingly. There are a lot of people that really enjoy this place but it's not for everyone and if you have kids they'll enjoy the gong and feeding the fish but will get bored fairly fast after that. It's very good for what it's trying to be, but it's not trying to be some major attraction.

Nicole L
Joined: Aug 2017
Reviews: 30
Likes Received: 0
Very peaceful, tranquil. Amazing how one can walk around the grounds and collect one's thoughts! The cost is $3, cash only. You will have to take your shoes off to enter the temple.
Joined: Jul 2016
Reviews: 29
Likes Received: 8
Very quiet and serene spot for peaceful meditating. Come early to avoid the tour buses. Think of some peaceful prayers to say or write down and leave. Try for peaceful thoughts only for the day. The giant Buddha is certainly worth a picture and so are the ponds. Please do not disturb the wildlife.
Matt A
Joined: Feb 2013
Reviews: 803
Likes Received: 111
Neat place to see an experience. It's oddly peaceful here and fun to just explore the place. Your kids are certain to get bored quick here unless they're young enough to enjoy feeding the koi fish.
Alissa K
Joined: Jul 2016
Reviews: 6
Likes Received: 0
A really neat place to visit and see in person after seeing it in a few television shows over the years. Very peaceful here and a good place to just sort of take it all in.
Lee K
Joined: Jun 2016
Reviews: 7
Likes Received: 0
Fun place to see even if there isn't much to do. Very peaceful and a good place to just sit and calm down.
Raquel M
Joined: Apr 2016
Reviews: 21
Likes Received: 0
This is a beauty. It is absolutely beautiful but I would say it's not worth the entry fee. I love the setting of it with the mountains behind it. Very spiritual sight to see but you can see it from the road if you wanna save money (although it's not much).
Joined: Mar 2016
Reviews: 426
Likes Received: 12
Byodo in Temple was a beautiful place! Amazing so relaxing and beautiful loved the bamboo forest just gorgeous. Not much to do other than walk around and take pictures great photo opportunities.
Would definitely come back and would bring friends and family there very beautiful place. If you go passed make sure you go in and check it out.
Sue K
Joined: Mar 2016
Reviews: 196
Likes Received: 9
I enjoyed my visit to this peaceful temple. We took the bus from downtown Honolulu.The setting is lovely and it was quiet and serene after the hustle and bustle of the city. I spent some time talking to the Buddhist monk and enjoyed wandering the grounds. Worth a visit if you have any interest in Buddhism or if you feel the need for some quiet reflection.
Joined: Sep 2013
Reviews: 168
Likes Received: 4
This temple is not a working temple. There are no monks residing here. My favorite thing to do is to feed the koi fish from the bridge. They used to have an old caretaker who has retired now. He would hold out his hand with a pinch of fish food and call out to the birds. The birds would land on his hand and arms and eat the food.

"Lost" trivia – This temple was the setting of the wedding flashback of the Korean couple Jin-Soo Kwon played by Daniel Dae Kim and Sun-Hwa Kwon played by Yunjin Kim. The main bridge connecting the parking lot to the temple grounds was where Jin-Soo and Yunjin were filmed talking to each other.
Tom T
Joined: Sep 2013
Reviews: 579
Likes Received: 33
Located inside the Valley of the Temple Memorial Park the Byodo-In Temple is replica of an authentic Buddhist Temple in Uji, Japan. The location is very zen and peaceful appearing, but it's filled to the gills with tourists. It's been shown on various TV shows such as LOST (The wedding -remember?) and is written up in most guide books.

It's a beautiful area for photography. There's a huge bell where you walk up to it with reverence - close your eyes, make a wish - then swing a large wooden pole at the bell which creates a solemn -monk like - "Dong" which resonates throughout the Valley.

It's fun feed the fish in the Koi pond - there are hundreds of fish that percolate to the surface to munch on the fish food which you can purchase in the gift shop. Although there are a lot of tourists here, everyone is usually reverent and quiet - it would be poor form to joke around and make a racket here.

It's located at the far end of a memorial cemetery with sections representing the various ethnic groups. There are sections with graves for Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and other groups. Hawaiians are very reverent to their deceased and often have small family gatherings and set up chairs and tents around a loved ones grave. Very heartwarming to see.
More Top Rated Oahu Places