Nestled in tropical O’ahu, the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park provides a slice of authentic Buddhist serenity for locals and visitors alike.
The park is set in a breathtaking valley, and the centerpiece is undoubtedly the 1960s replica of an 11th-century Japanese Buddhist phoenix temple. Inside the temple, visitors will find an enormous gold-plated Buddha statue surrounded by offerings of fresh flowers and incense. The atmosphere in the temple is reverent and serene, and though it is often host to numerous visitors at once, it is blissfully quiet.
For cemetery lovers, the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park houses a gorgeous, traditional cemetery nestled into the steep hills adjacent to the temple. Buried in the cemetery are Buddhist, Shinto, Protestant, and Catholic former residents of the island. Hiking around the burial grounds, you are likely to find offerings and remnants from visiting families among the gravestones.
The ornate temple and natural beauty of the park is so iconic that the location was used famously in the television show Lost to portray actual Asian locations. The park charges a nominal admission fee, but its well worth the few dollars to experience the quietude of this Asian garden in the heart of Hawai’i.