The magnificent Amida Buddha statue reflects light as it appears to hover over golden lotus leaves. The hand position (mudra) indicates that the Buddha rests in the highest of the nine paradises, further emphasized by the nine-foot height of the sculpture. The replica was first designed in miniature by the renowned Japanese sculptor Masuzo Inui, after which the full-size, two-ton piece was carved by Jokei Sagawa. The immense seated figure was then covered with Urushi Japanese lacquer and finished with gold leaf before being enshrined in Phoenix Hall. Smaller delicate sculptures representing enlightenment beings (Bodhisattvas) demonstrate reverence for Amida and the promise of Pure Land filled with music and dance.
Phoenix hall or Hoo-do was built with the sole purpose of housing the Amida Buddha statue and columbarium. The structure is designed in the shape of the mythical bird of ancient legend. The central room is backed by a ‘tail’ hallway and flanked by twin wing corridors ‘spread in flight’. There are a pair of phoenixes on the rooftop seemingly ready to take flight into the surrounding paradise.
Bon Sho (Sacred Bell)
The Bell House, called kanetsuki-do, contains a five-foot high, three ton brass bell, called bon-sho (sacred bell), cast in Osaka, Japan, from a mixture of bronze and tin, by permission of the government of Japan. It closely resembles the bell hanging in an identical Bell House at the Uji Byodo-In. The original is said to be more than 900 years old and to have come from India. It is revered for its distinctive shape, and the tone of the bell sounds a message of deep calm and peace, cleansing the mind of evil and temptation.
The resonant sound of the bon-sho creates an atmosphere of tranquility for meditation that travels for some distance. A soft wooden log called the “shu-moku” is used to strike the bell.
The bell is customarily rung before one enters the temple to spread the eternal teachings of Buddha. Ringing the bell will purify the mind of evil spirits and temptation. It is said that ringing this bell will bring you happiness, blessings, and a long life. It is customarily rung before entering the temple.
Nestled on a hill behind the Temple is the meditation pavilion. The structure was in accordance with the traditional garden concepts as the noble family’s fishing pavilion. The serene location is a great place to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the Temple away from crowds.
Capture the beauty of remembrance like never before. Adorned with the finest craftsmanship, this pristine resting place becomes a sacred haven, preserving cherished mementos and treasured photos for generations to come. Embrace the chance to reveal an everlasting legacy that will eternally inspire. Take the first step and seize this remarkable opportunity!
Open 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Daily
Restrooms are available behind the gift shop.
The Gift Shop is located northwest of the temple and was originally a Japanese tea house. We sell fish and bird food, a variety of unique gifts, such as custom Byodo-In Hawaii souvenirs, omikuji (Japanese paper fortune), omamori (Japanese amulet), goshuin stamp, Buddha statues, various lucky charms, and so much more.