Celebrating 50 Years of the Byodo-In Temple

The Byodo-In Temple is one of our most spectacular attractions. The non-practicing Buddhist temple is a smaller-scale replica of the Byodo-In Temple in Uji, Japan, which is more than 950 years old and has been designated a United Nations World Heritage Site.  

Hundreds of people visit the temple each year to celebrate the Japanese festival of Obon, but this year, there’s a double celebration. Established on June 7, 1968, to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the first Japanese immigration to Hawaii, the temple turns 50 this year. It has undergone a major facelift, and to mark the occasion, we are hosting a unique event to celebrate both Obon and the temple itself.  

Obon is an annual Buddhist event, during which it is believed that the spirits of our ancestors return to the world and visit their relatives. To guide these spirits, people hang lanterns on the front of houses. Obon also involves dances, grave visitation, and food offerings. 

During this special one-of-a-kind double celebration, one lucky winner will win a chauffeur-driven day tour of beautiful Oahu for four people. The first 50 people will also receive a free lantern, gift bag and VIP Byodo-In Temple access for our magical lantern-floating ceremony. 

There are also many free activities, including: 

  • Traditional Japanese customs 
  • Delicious food: Bento and Andagi 
  • Taiko drumming 
  • Bon dance 
  • Magical floating lantern ceremony 
  • Time capsule to be prepared and opened on the temple’s 75th anniversary 

The Byodo-In Temple is a place where artists, authors, and musicians are often in residence, showing or signing their work — and the temple is a work of art itself. Come visit in person or call 725-2798 to find out what artists are exhibiting and when, as well as other upcoming events. You can also check the calendar on our News and Events page.

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