Byodo-In Temple

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The Byodo-In Temple is located in Kaneohe, Hawaii at the base of the Ko’olau Mountains.  This replica was established on June 7, 1968 for the 100 year anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii.  This Buddhist temple welcomes everyone to come visit, marvel at its beauty and/or meditate.  There are even peacocks running around and lots of Japanese koi carp!

The day we went was pretty crowded, despite the rain.  Everyone was very respectful and a few took the time to meditate.  It was very serene.  Walking among the temple, gardens, waterfall and pond was very tranquil.  Even our little one was calm for the most part!  The gift shop is very small but it’s still worth a visit.

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Waimea Falls Trail

 

 

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Waimea Falls is located in Haleiwa and 2 miles to the waterfall and back.  This hike is very easy and relaxing.  You will first come to a gift shop and small concession area.  The trail is paved and leads you through a lush tropical jungle and beautiful botanical garden.  Take your time getting to the waterfall.  The plants are all unique and labeled.

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Eucalyptus tree

There are several historical structures as well.  Each structure has an informational plaque that tells the history and what each was used for.  Walking through should only take 20-30 minutes.  There is another concession area and bathroom before you reach the falls.  Take all the time you want when you reach the end.  There are lifeguards on duty and life jackets for those who want to venture to the falls.

 

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Foster Botanical Garden

 

 

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Foster Botanical Garden is located in Honolulu and covers about 14 acres.  This place is absolutely beautiful!  There are tons of tropical plants and amazing trees.  It’s also a wonderful place for kids.  There is a huge open area for the kids to run and play, have picnics, take a stroll or just bask in the sunshine.

As you walk through the garden, you will see an orchid conservatory, a butterfly garden, herb garden, cannonball trees, sculptures and the corpse flower!

The corpse flower smells atrocious!!!  Most people claim it smells of rotting meat or decaying flesh!  The smell and color of the plant attract flesh-eating insects.  The plant also heats up, which I assume aids in its attractiveness.  The bugs think the flower is food, which leads to them flying off with the pollen.  Once the flower has bloomed, it collapses and starts all over.  They can take up to 7 years to bloom and are usually 8-10 feet tall.  Once the flower blooms it only remains open for 12-48 hours!  That may seem like such a short time frame, but I can assure you that that’s long enough!  It really does smell like a 90 day old mixture of roadkill, gross feet and stanky (not stinky, STANKY) butt!

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The corpse plant!

The cannonball trees are pretty cool too.  The fruit resembles, you guessed it, cannonballs!  The fruit takes up to a year to mature and the flowers are gorgeous.  The fruit is usually fed to chickens and pigs.  Not very many people eat the fruit due to its smell.  The fruit can weigh several pounds and can definitely been heard when it hits the ground.  Don’t stand directly under it!

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Spitting Cave

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Spitting Cave is located at Portlock Point in Honolulu at the end of Lumahai Street.  Look for the narrow path that’s near marker 119A.   It gets steep, so be careful.  This is a gorgeous spot to watch the sunset or just spend time looking out over the ocean.

The highest part of the jump is right at 65 feet, I believe.  Yes, people jump from this spot!  I don’t think I ever will though.  There have been quite a few drownings here.  The water pounds this cave!  Be safe and pay attention!

Maunawili Falls

 

 

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A wonderful view of the Ko’olau range

 

 

The trailhead is located in a residential area off Maunawili Road.  Be respectful and park away from the trailhead and driveways.  Try not to be loud and please do not leave trash.

Maunawili Falls trail is about a 3 mile hike and usually muddy.  A good walking stick will help in the rough spots.  Weekends are usually packed with hiking traffic.  Following the trail, you will have to cross a shallow stream and climb uphill.  There will be stairs that seem to go on forever, but I promise they don’t!  When crossing in the streams, just walk in the water.  The rocks can be real slippery and the cool water will feel awesome!

 

The last set of stairs you will come to go straight down.  You can hear the water on the way down.  The waterfall is absolutely beautiful!  There is a decent size pool at the bottom and 3 jumping spots.  Like I said, weekends will be crowded.  It’s a gorgeous hike though and definitely worth it!

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A crowded weekend day at Maunawili!