The Byodo-In Temple is located at the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park in Kaneohe. It was first established on June 7, 1968 to commemorate the first Japanese Immigrants to Hawaii, Byodo-In translates to “Temple of Equality – not to discriminate” and is home to Amida, a golden Buddha unique to the entire world. The Buddha is thought to be the largest figure carved since ancient times. It’s more than 18 feet tall and is an original work of art carved by the famous japanese sculptor Masuzo Inui. The Byodo-In structure was built entirely without the use of nails, it’s a scale replica of a temple at Uji Japan that was constructed over 900 years ago. The Byodo-In was built to represent the mythical phoenix, it’s wings upheld by pillars of stone. Folklore tells of the phoenix arising from the ashes to reflect the promises of hope and renewal.
The Bell House, called kanetsu-ki-do, contains a five foot high, three ton brass bell, called bon-sho or sacred bell. It’s a mixture of bronze and tin, casted in Osaka Japan by permission of the government of Japan. The original bell is said to be over 900 years old and to have come from India. It’s customary to ring the bell before entering the temple to spread the eternal teachings of Buddha. You can hear the sound of the bell from far away, the sound lingers in the air and creates a calming atmosphere as you enter the temple. The Byodo-In Temple is definitely one of Hawaii’s best kept secrets!