Anyway, I'll start the first of my last three Hawaii posts with our visit to Ho'omaluhia Botanical Garden. This garden is nestled at the base of these gorgeous mountains and sits on 400 acres. This garden is very different from the Hawaii Botanical Garden, which we visited on the big island. First, it's free! Second, it's more spread out and doesn't really have little individual gardens like the Hawaii BG...but it does have a fishing pond, pavilions, and camping. Unfortunately, the day we went was super muggy and warm and we weren't feeling very energetic because of our sunburns, so we didn't stay very long...
The fishing pond
After the Ho'omaluhia Botanical Garden we headed over to the Byodo-In Temple, a Japanese Buddhist temple located in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park. This temple was easily one of my favorite places we went to while in Oahu!
Our main reason for going was because it was in an episode of Lost (where Sun and Jin get married), but also because it looked beautiful! And it did not disappoint!
Built in the 1960s to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii, the Byodo-In temple is a replica, on a smaller scale, of the nearly 1,000 year old temple of the same name in Japan. The temple is not an active Buddhist temple, but instead part of the cemetery and private property, therefore there is an admission fee. But it's totally worth it in my mind!
Before you enter the temple you are supposed to ring this enormous, elaborately decorated bell to help clear your mind of negative energy.
The pond that surrounds the temple is LOADED with koi! I don't think I've ever seen so many koi in one place before, it was insane!
Inside the temple you'll find one of the largest Buddha statues in the US, this 9 foot tall golden Amida Buddha.
The area surrounding the temple was really quite pretty, mossy shaded covered areas, thickets of bamboo, and an assortment of flowers. Oh, there was a black swan and a peacock roaming the property...
He posed for me for a bit...so kind of him.
Then I saw this guy who was also apparently ready for his close-up as well!
We probably stayed for a good hour and a half just walking around the property, admiring the temple and all the animals. And of course, feeding the fish.
On our way back to our airbnb in Kailua, we stopped by the Nuuanu Pali Lookout, located right off the Pali Highway between Kailua and Honolullu. Before we had a chance to walk over to the lookout I spotted a couple feral hens and their chicks! Apparently feral chickens are about as common in Hawaii as feral cats. We probably saw 3 or 4 hens, all with babies, in this parking lot alone.
The lookout is nestled up in the mountains above the highway and offers a view of the Kailua area.
The view is spectacular! But it is super windy up there, so if you ever go make sure all you ladies out there tie your hair back and don't wear a skirt/dress! I was wearing a maxi dress and really wished I hadn't since I had to hold it in place the whole time!
I've got two more Hawaii posts lined up and then we're finally done!! The end is near, my friends...but in a good way!