You are wondering, what this place is right? Well, it is actually called the Valley of the temples or the Byodo-In temple. This Buddhist temples is actually a direct replica of a temple in Kyoto, Japan. One word that comes to mind when I think of this place is "SPECTACULAR". It's not "just" because the temple was built without nails, or the fact that it was built to mark the 100th year anniversary of Japanese immigrants in Hawaii, but the feeling you get when you are actually in the surroundings of the temple. You truly feel calm and tranquil, without a worry in the world........... some pictures for you...
Walking on this path was really surreal! There were lakes on both sides, SWANS, ducks, and even peacoks running around..... where on earth do you actually see swans and peacocks nowadays? Amazing!
The temple itself...majestic
Ben trying to feed the swans
These animals are sooo tame, and an interesting thing I saw was the fact that all the birds, swans, and peacocks get fed right from your hands and they are not aggressive at all......and according to the minister, they are wild??!!??? I seriously think it is the tranquility and sereneness of the place that can even tame wild animals.....:)
I love this temple and it's surroundings so much that I will be going there soon again!!! I can basically be selfish and not tell anyone about it :P , my "lil secret" to keep it pristine and tourist free BUUTTT the temple needs donations to maintain it and I want to share this gem of a place with the rest of you!! So, go visit the temple if you have not been there before and you are from Hawaii. For those planning to come here, remember the Valley of the temples!!!
I finished the day with dinner at a Japanese restaurant in Waikiki (Doraku).....the food was good and priced reasnably too.......Untill now, I cannot believe what luck I have that I am in Hawaii because this state is possibly the only state that has Japanese cuisine all over and they are most likely authentic coupled with the fact for my LOVE for Japanese food!!!!!!!
Here are a few dishes which I recommend:
New Doraku styled role..to die for!
Miso yakki butter fish
Our surroundings was pretty zen and if you sit on the balcony or at the side, you face out to the beautiful scenery of Waikiki
Topping on top of a very beautiful, "Japanese experience" day, was eating Baskin Robbins at the Sheraton! You can buy Baskin Robbins and sit on the couches overlooking the pool.........lovely:)
Well guys, if you are headed for the U.S., remember to drop by Hawaii because you can experience a part of Japan when you are here. Killing two birds with one stone to put it aptly because you get to see American and also Japanese culture together.....awesome right? and super money saving...hehehe