Byodo-In Temple is a beautiful, visitor-friendly Buddhist temple on the island of Oahu near Honolulu. For a small fee, you can visit this temple and walk around the grounds. As with all religious sites, appropriate dress and behavior is required. Signs specifically prohibit “beachwear,” though we were in t-shirts and flip-flops. Bikinis or other scanty swimwear would not be appropriate. In addition, we talked to our children about this being a religious site, and that we should avoid running and loud voices, including laughing and chasing.
The road up to the temple is interesting because it winds through a graveyard past several impressive smaller monuments. There are also a lot of cats on the lawns. On the way out, we counted 70 cats, which our boys really enjoyed.
After parking, there is a small kiosk where you can pay the fee. It is a per person fee, but it was only around $20 for our family of five in 2023. After paying the fee, cross a small bridge and you’ll find yourself in front of the temple. Start the loop clockwise to your left. There is a large bell, and I mean large! Our boys’ favorite part of visiting the temple was ringing this bell to announce our arrival. Of course, we rang the bell respectfully, and didn’t let it become horseplay.
After ringing the bell, walk to the meditation area. Cross another small bridge and take the narrow path to the left. We briefly discussed meditation and set a timer for three minutes. Then we sat quietly and practiced. Though we aren’t big meditators, it was nice to talk about peace and quiet with our kids, and it set the tone as we entered the temple.
If you want to go inside the temple, you’ll need to remove your shoes and place them on the rack. If you just want to look in, you can stroll along the walkway around the front of the temple and see the towering statue of Buddha inside. We went in and paid our respects, then put on our shoes and walked around the front.
As you continue around the loop, you come to a small giftshop. There are little trinkets for sale, and a few snacks, but the shop is small. The grounds are very beautiful. Everything is very green and there are a few ponds with fish and birds. The gift shop has fish food, so you can purchase some food and watch the fish swarm to eat it.
Plan about 30 minutes to walk around Byodo-In Temple on Oahu. We really enjoyed this stop, as it was a pleasant distraction from the hustle-bustle of Honolulu. For more family-friendly ideas on Oahu, use our full list: click here. Check out the Byodo-in Temple site for current hours and pricing.