Hawaii Japanese Center


Hawaii's Japanese immigrant community is sizable and influential, especially in Hilo. Here, learn more about this group through plantation-era artifacts, memorabilia, books and photos, all in mint condition and neatly organized. The gift shop sells vintage dishware, textiles and other gems at reasonable prices.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Hilo attractions

1. Tsunami Memorial Clock

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This tall green clock is permanently stopped at 1:04, marking the morning of May 23, 1960, when a major tsunami demolished the town. A series of seismic…

3. King Kamehameha Statue

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4. Liliʻuokalani Park

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Arguably Hilo's most beautiful spot, these sprawling Japanese gardens are perfect for picnicking. Named for Hawaii's last queen (r 1891–93), the 30-acre…

5. Reeds Bay Beach Park

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6. Mokuola

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7. ʻImiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaiʻi

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ʻImiloa, which means 'exploring new knowledge,' is a $28 million museum and planetarium complex with a twist: it juxtaposes modern astronomy on Mauna Kea…

8. Pacific Tsunami Museum

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You cannot understand Hilo without knowing its history as a two-time tsunami survivor (1946 and 1960). This museum encompasses only a few rooms, but they…