Valley of the Temples & Byōdō-In

sights / Religious

Lonely Planet review

So peaceful and parklike, it might take you a minute to realize Valley of the Temples is an interdenominational cemetery. Up at the base of the Koʻolau mountain’s verdant fluted cliffs sits Byōdō-In, a replica of a 900-year-old temple in Uji, Japan. The symmetry is a classic example of Japanese Heian architecture, with rich vermillion walls. The first rays of morning sunlight catch the 9ft, gold-leafed Lotus Buddha. Outside, wild peacocks roam beside a carp pond. Nearby, a 3-ton brass bell is said to bring peace and good fortune to anyone who rings it. Bus 65 stops near the cemetery on Kahekili Hwy, but from there it’s a winding 0.7-mile hike up to the temple.