Byodo-In Temple, Hawaii

One of the neat places to go in Oahu is Byodo-In Tempe.  If you need an easy day with no big hikes or difficult swims, this is a relaxing place to go.

Now remember: It’s a Buddhist temple and many of the people who go there are devout Buddhists who are going to make offerings and pray. Therefore, you want to keep your voice down while you are on the temple grounds and be respectful, like you would in any church.

The temple is a replica of an ancient temple in Japan, and it was established on June 7th, 1986. The temple was commissioned to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to come to Hawaii.

It’s $4 to enter, and like many places here on Oahu, you’ll need to bring cash. There are more than a few spots that don’t accept cards.

On the side of the temple you’ll often see vendors who set up and sell all sorts of beautiful works of art. If you need a souvenir for someone back home, this is a great place to get it! The temple shop also sells gorgeous art and Buddhist statues and prayer beads.

However, my favorite thing you can buy there costs $2, and it’s the Koi food. You can feed it to the swans, the koi, or the birds. The temple is a mecca of adorable life, and koi food is perfectly safe for it all.


The pair of black swans were a gift from the country of Australia. I’ve heard there is a peacock, but I’ve never seen it. Both are birds that can be dangerous though, so don’t try to chase or touch them. It’s best to throw the food to them if you want to feed them.

When no one is around and feeding them, I think the koi are fabulous to just sit and watch. They’re very peaceful fish.

Remember to keep your eyes peeled as you are walking around. The first time I was there I almost didn’t notice the turtles sunning themselves in the pond behind the temple, and I missed the frogs entirely.

Also, the flowers are different in every season and all of them are spectacular, so keep an eye out for them. There’s anthurums, hibiscus, irises, ginger, and so much more.

I recommend bringing coins to offer at the various shrines throughout the temple grounds. Even if you’re not Buddhist, it can never hurt to put some good karma into the world.

You may want to bring a few dollars for traditional offerings too like ringing the temple bell to ask the gods favor or making an offering of incense to the statue of Buddha inside the temple.

There are bathrooms behind the gift shop, so if you feed the birds, be sure to wash your hands afterwards. They are wild animals, and wild animals carry all kinds of diseases.

I let the little ones come fly into my hands because I wanted to be snow white, but that’s just me.

Byodo-In Temple in Temple valley is on the rainy side of the island with spectacular mountain views and the occasional rainbow on rainy days. There is very little parking, but in my experience you can find a spot even on a busy day. I’ve been on both a weekend and a week day, and the crowds were about the same.

As always, remember to wear sunscreen when walking around Oahu. It’s not on the equator, but the sun is harsh and you can get burned in only a few minutes.

I went with friends, but it’s definitely a place that I could see myself going alone as well. There plenty of spots to meditate and reflect a little. However if you have kids, maybe don’t bring them. A peaceful Buddhist temple is not a good place for children unless they are well-behaved. Remember: It is a church. You want to be respectful of the people who are there to worship in peace.

Favorite Photos

It’s only six weeks until the move, and I can feel myself getting more and more nervous as we get closer. I am looking through photos of our time here on the island, and feeling more nostalgic than I thought I would.

I think the big takeaway for me is that anywhere can feel like home if you live there long enough.

Anyway, I thought I would put together some of my favorite pictures so you can see what these last four years on Guam have been like. Being away from friend and family like we are, I know that pictures are one of the only things that makes anyone feel connected to us anymore. It’s hard to believe I left my home ten years ago after graduating ASU, and I have been so many places since…

I miss you all.

Larry the turtle
A green sea turtle.
Jenifer DeLemont
The waves washing up on the beach.

 

plumeria
Plumeria flowers on a tree by our house.
stormy day
A storm closing in.
clouds
I loved the clouds over the ocean. I am going to miss the ocean view.
orchids
Ground orchids on Mount Lam Lam.

 

Green Sea Turtle
A green sea turtle in the morning.
sun set
Just another sunset.

 

pond
A pond on a sunny day.
rainbow is epic
The ocean is so beautiful.

 

a bite
Dragon fruit, which is one of the awesome fruits that grow here.
power plant
An abandoned power plant.

 

aweome sunset
The sunset over the ocean, which is always awesome.
Gun Beach
Gun Beach.

 

kitty
A kitten at the animal shelter.
FB_IMG_1490245695342
Under Two Lovers Point looking at Tumon Bay.

 

coconut crab
A coconut crab.
all the pink
Another sunset.

 

cocnuts in a row
Coconut juice being sold.
Ocean
A typhoon offshore made the ocean look churned up.

 

Passion Flower
My favorite flower, a passion flower.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been four years since we moved to Guam for what started as a two-year tour (and then got extended twice.) It feels like such a short time since I was packing up to leave South Korea and stay with my mom in Oregon while Rich went to school in Mississippi.

Somehow, four years flew by, and it’s time for us to move on. As I sort through all our clothes and possessions and get them ready to be packed, I remember all the things we have learned since we moved here.

For example, we hardly knew how to swim when we moved to Guam. Now, we’re both great swimmers.We learned to scuba dive, too. After much study, I think we know the names of all the fish on our reef, and a lot of the coral as well.

I learned about coconut grabs, huntsman spiders, and tropical flowers. I also got to find out a lot about the Chamorro people who are native to Guam. I watched Proa boat races and learned to eat reef fish.

We did some volunteer work painting the local animal shelter. I’m allergic to dogs and cats, but I still care about them. We learned a lot about the unique challenges that islands face when it comes to ecosystems. (We also got to pet lots of animals.)

Guam has been fun. We’re really going to miss it. However, I am sure that Hawaii is going to be great, too! I can’t wait to love it.

Jenifer DeLemont
Just a picture of me.

 

My YouTube Channel

I started a YouTube channel so I had somewhere to put all the videos that I take.

Above, you can see the view from my patio. I know I am going to miss this view so much when we leave in September! It’s so beautiful.

Most of my videos are from my underwater adventures. However, I try to just put everything I see up.

This is the sunrise as seen from my balcony one morning. They are not usually this good, but it’s never a bad day when you watch the sun rise over the ocean.

Like I said, most of the videos are from being underwater.

For example, this is a video of swimming with a sea turtle. It’s the most relaxing five minutes on the internet.

None of the videos are very long because most interactions with sea creatures happen in the span of a minute or two.

For example, this silly animal is called a Parrot Fish, and it’s hilarious to watch them swim, but they are fast so they usually swim away pretty quickly.

Anyway, you should check out my YouTube Channel and maybe subscribe. It would mean a lot to me to have some subscribers, and besides, you could see some of the amazing things I see!

Thanks for reading, and watching, and just being one of the people that follows my life.