Lawai International Center

sights / Historic

Lawai International Center information

Location
Koloa , USA
Address
3381 Wawae Rd
Telephone
+1 639 4300
More information
www.lawaicenter.org
Prices
admission by donation
Opening hours
2nd & last Sun of the month, tours depart at 10am, noon & 2pm
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Magical. Enchanting. Stirring. Such words are often used to describe this quiet spiritual site. Originally the site of a Hawaiian heiau, in 1904 Japanese immigrants placed 88 miniature Shingon Buddhist shrines (about 2ft tall) along a steep hillside path to symbolize 88 pilgrimage shrines in Shikoku, Japan. For years, island pilgrims would journey here from as far as Hanalei and Kekaha.

But the site was abandoned by the 1960s, and half of the shrines lay scattered in shards. In the late 1980s, a hearty crew of volunteers, led by Lynn Muramoto, formed a nonprofit group, acquired the 32-acre property and embarked on a backbreaking project to repair or rebuild the shrines. Today, all 88 are beautifully restored, and there is a wonderful wooden temple, the Hall of Compassion, being constructed on the property as of this writing. You are welcome to take a self-guided pilgrimage on the trail past all 88 Buddhist shrines as the center is a non-denominational sanctuary for all cultures. Among the luminaries who have found this property to be a source of comfort and healing is the famed baseball player and manager, Dusty Baker. Visits are allowed only on Sundays, twice-monthly.