The Slums of Kahala

The rear of an abandoned and decrepit mansion
Hawaii Aloha Travel > Blog > The Slums of Kahala

It’s hard to believe that the house pictured below is part of an upscale community at the base of Diamond Head Crater. Kahala has been called the Rodeo of the islands, with beautiful multimillion (billion) dollar mansions that line the perfectly-manicured streets and oceanfront views that are seemingly worth a pretty penny.

But this mansion is nowhere near that level of luxury; at least not any more. Since Japanese billionaire Genshiro Kawamoto purchased the property several years ago, it has quickly been downgraded to a shanty, if that, with its boarded up walls and shattered glass-pane windows.

Sadly, the story is the same for more than two dozen other properties in Kahala. Kawamoto went on a shopping frenzy for mansions a while back, making a spectacle in the community when he gave a few of those properties to low-income families. Since then, the only spectacle that remains are the dilapidated mansions plagued by graffiti and squatters.

This particular property, however, happens to be one of the most visible eyesores in the ritzy community. It’s located near the entrance to Hunakai Beach Park, a popular spot for snorkeling and swimming. On our way to the beach, I stopped to take a couple of pictures of the unsightly home. The moss-filled pool and graffitied walls are not exactly images of Hawaii we want visitors to remember us by.

Shame on Kawamoto for all that he’s done (or hasn’t done) to our island community. I don’t understand how it got this far or how he was even able to buy so many properties at once. But sadly, the damage is done and we’re stuck with his mess. Lets hope the city steps in to clean it up soon.


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