Thursday, December 27, 2007

Byodo-In Temple Hawaii

Flower 1Today we spent most of the day in the Kaneohe area on the Eastern side of Oahu.

Our first stop was at Carol & Milton's to feed the cat and do some laundry. Well...Dianne fed the cat and did the laundry while I was outside taking some flower photos. Unfortunately, I don't have a friendly botanist on the trip with me, so all the photos in my Flickr stream are labeled "flower." Some of them were on trees and some were on low plants or bushes.
Flower 2
It was mostly cloudy with some passing rain showers -- sometime pretty hard. The changing light made it hard to get some good shots. But the water on the flowers was nice. We also got caught up on some TV by watching the last episode of The Amazing Race.

Afterwards we grabbed a bite to eat at the Windward Mall and then we went to see the Byodo-In Temple located in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park. The temple was finished in 1968 to commemorate the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii. The temple is a scale replica of a 900 year old temple at Uji, Japan and like the original it is constructed entirely without nails. Although there are many temples in the area, this one is in a nice setting next to the mountains. The photo below is an HDR photo of the front of the temple. In the background you can see the mountains surrounded by the low rain clouds.

Byodo-In

Ringing The BellOutside the temple is a bell house that has a 5 foot high, 3 ton brass bell that was cast in Osaka, Japan. There is a soft wood log used to strike the bell. The photo here is of me pulling the rope attached to the log to ring the bell. It gives off a deep tone that carries for some distance on the grounds. Traditionally the bell is struck before entering the temple.

Inside the temple is a huge Buddha (18 feet high) sitting on a lotus flower. According to our informational brochure, it was carved in Japan, covered with cloth, and painted with 3 coats of gold lacquer. On top of that is gold leaf. It is thought to be the largest Buddha figure carved since ancient times. It's hard to appreciate the immense scale of the statue with this photo.

The ponds around the temple had lots of large koi fish and a couple of black swans. I did get a panoramic photo of the back of the temple. You can see some of the orange koi swimming in the pond. Although the day was very overcast, the high dynamic range images bring out some of the beauty of the temple. I'm glad we stopped for a visit. Click on any image to go to Flickr and see larger versions. I didn't include all the images in this post, so better yet go to this set to see them all. Click on each thumbnail photo to see a larger version.

Byodo-In Panorama

4 comments:

Beth Ellen said...

The temple shot is simply gorgeous. :)

A.J.Reams said...

Gorgeous photographs. I'm still jealous that I'm not hanging out in Hawaii right now.

Love the temple photo.

Earl said...

Thanks for the comments. Even though it's been wet, it passes quickly...and you don't have to shovel it.

edward in dallas said...

the reason that the temple is "constructed entirely without nails" is because, as we were told, it is made entirely from concrete, so as to withstand the pacific winds, rain, and humidity.

regardless, it is a beautiful place. spent about 3 hrs there back in '96 after we returned from 3 wks in thailand.