Day 24 of 111. Oahu, Hawaii
We are on an excursion today called the sights and tastes of North Shore. We wanted to get a chance to see some of the sights outside of the city. Our ship is docked near Chinatown next to the Aloha Tower, but this bus trip today will visit some beaches and the Dole Plantation. Our first stop (and probably my favorite) was the Byodo-In Buddhist Temple. It is located above a cemetery and there are several different buildings from various religions located here. The temple itself is beautiful and you can sense the serenity and peacefulness when you enter the grounds. As you make your way around a large circular walk, you first come across a huge bell… probably 12 feet high. There is a log on ropes you can use to ring the bell. It’s deep resonanting sound is soothing rather than jarring.
A short walk farther along the circle brings you to a Koi pond just below a meditation gazebo. Again, I enjoyed the quiet time watching the fish swim and hearing the bell in the background. The main temple was next. Out of respect, we were asked to remove our shoes. Inside there was a large statue of Buddah looking down on the visitors. Some of the other visitors burned incense so the temple had a pleasant smell as well as a quiet and peaceful ambiance. After the temple, I felt a need to rush since we promised to be back on the bus at a certain time. A quick stop in the bathroom and an even quicker look inside the gift shop was followed by a brisk walk back to our little bus. I did stop to take a picture of a yellow hibiscus flower with a red center… the Hawaiian state flower.