Dedicated in August of 1968 to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii, the Byodo-In Temple is a non-denominational temple located on the island of O’ahu, Hawaii. The temple, located at the Valley of the Temples is a half-scale replica of a 900-year old Buddhist temple located in Kyoto, Japan.
The Byodo-In Temple is not a temple in the traditional sense in that there are not monks living on the grounds and there is not an active congregation. It is however visited by thousands of worshipers from around the world each year and serves as a place for those of all faiths to participate in its traditions. More than serving as a place of worship, the Byodo-In Temple is a popular site for weddings, gatherings, and meetings.
Inside the Byodo-In Temple is a 18 ft (5.5 m) statue of the Lotus Buddha covered in gold and lacquer. Outside sits a three-ton brass peace bell and a large koi pond perfect for siting near and reflecting on the beauty of the two acre property.
While the original temple in japan was built with wood held together by joints instead of nails, the Byodo-In Temple on O’ahu is mostly constructed of concrete with the façade of its thousand year old inspiration. Between 2001 and 2007, the temple underwent restoration in the spirit of preservation of Japan’s ancient heritage. Because the site is not a historic landmark, it is often used for movies and TV shown when an ancient Japanese temple is needed.