Koi fish in Hawaii are like wall art. They’re there, but not everyone notices them. Those that do, take time to enjoy their vibrant colors – even if just for a quick glance. However, this swimming art form must be fed daily, and in Hawaii, there are several opportunities to do so

You’ll have to look for designated feedings because although you’ll see koi fish wandering through manmade ponds at the malls or outside of the Blaisdell Center, doesn’t mean they’re meant to be fed. There’s most likely a caretaker in charge of that.

There are, however, a handful of Hawaii hotels with daily feeding times, so be sure to check with the concierge. On Kauai, the Marriott and Hyatt allow guests to feed the fish as part of their hotel activities. Feedings start around 9 a.m., before which cups of fish food are handed out to guests. The same happens at both the Maui’s Hyatt and Honua Kai Resort and Spa.

Even local businesses cater to fish enthusiasts but usually for a small fee. Dole Plantation on Oahu’s North Shore has a pretty cool pond near the garden area, where the koi practically jump out of the pond for food. Some will even nibble it from the palm of your hand! As a kid, I’ve always liked feeding the koi fish that swim beneath the raised Pagoda Restaurant in Honolulu. They’re not as feisty as the Dole koi but just as beautiful.

There’s something about feeding them that can be so therapeutic. Perhaps it’s watching them as they meander through their tranquil pond homes without a care or perhaps its their shimmering colors. Whatever it may be, one thing’s for sure; kids absolutely love this activity, too. Just be careful not to overfeed the koi! Not many people realize, but koi fish don’t have stomachs, so they should only be fed small portions at a time.

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