Daily Photo / Hawaii / Hawaii Sights

Circle Island Tour: Byodo-in Temple

So if you read through my last post that gave you a quick overview of the sights we saw on our Roberts Hawaii Oahu Grand Circle Island tour, you’ll recall this stop at the Byodo-in Temple.

Byodo-in Temple in Kaneohe

Byodo-in Temple in Kaneohe

This stop, is one of my top two favorites of the whole trip.

You get about 45 minutes here to wander the grounds and go inside the temple. On the left side of the temple there’s a large bell that you can ring — and they say it brings you good luck. Of course, it being the New Year, we all took our turns ringing it.

Some people have a hard time because they think they need to push forward, but it’s actually all about pulling back on the string and letting go.

My mom, ringing the bell for good luck.

My mom, ringing the bell for good luck.

Behind the bell, there’s a small bridge that leads to a gazebo with benches. It’s a nice quiet place to look out over the temple and its grounds.

To the right of the temple there’s a small gift shop where you can buy drinks, snacks, and also little souvenirs. There are little buddha statues, miniature tea pots, incense…all kinds of things to look at. Even Japanese wind chimes.

Eventually you’ll want to make your way over to the temple and check out the inside…

My dad, lighting some incense inside the temple.

Inside is dark, with only a large, glittering golden buddha watching over the place. In front of the statue is a desk with flowers and candles, along with a bowl for used incense sticks and a box of unused ones that you can light.

There’s a platform on the outside with an opening that lets you see into the temple without taking your shoes off, but if you want to get as close as my dad is here, in order to pay your respects or light some incense, you’ll need to take your shoes off.

There’s just something about standing in that quiet room that makes you feel so small. Physically and mentally. And it’s like, you know everything’s going to be taken care of.

Jake, me, and my brother in front of the temple.

Jake, me, and my brother in front of the temple.

I’m not a religious person, but I have always been drawn to Buddhism just because of the way they teach their religion. It seems that it’s not as forced a concept as western religions…it’s just about how god has chosen to reveal himself to you that matters.

We were the last group to get back to the bus, so that’s a clue to you how taken I was by this place.

I’ve never even liked incense, but after I lit one inside the temple, it brought me such a soothing calmness. I might have to start doing that at home!

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