I spent the Summer in beautiful Hawaii Nei. It's always good to be home; surrounded by my close friends/family, playing tourist while going on little adventures around the island, & most importantly enjoying every single bite of 'local kine grindz'.
Here are some of my highlights from my recent visit back home:
The Byodo-In Temple is located in Kaneohe at the Valley of the Temples. If you're heading towards the windward side of the island, this hidden gem is a must-see! The Byodo-In temple is a replica of of a 900-year-old Buddhist Temple at Uji in Kyoto prefecture of Japan. The Temple is open to the public and welcomes people of all faiths to participate in its traditions. Before you enter the temple, the Bon-Sho (Sacred bell) should be rung to purify the mind of evil spirits & temptation. Ringing the bell will also bring you happiness, blessings & a longevity. The entire temple grounds is absolutely breathtaking. The temple is surrounded by a large koi pond filled with koi fishes & gorgeous black swans. Behind the temple you can see the Ko'olau Mountains. This makes for a perfect photo op.
Shirokiya Japan Village Walk
I originally expected the opening to be at the end of May, so I was a bit bummed to find out it wasn't ready when I landed in Honolulu. Shirokiya eventually opened for business at the end of June (exactly 1 week before it was time for me to travel back to SF) I was so happy & lucky enough to be home for the grand opening. As expected, the first few days of the grand opening was packed! The line to get in almost reached the entrance to the Bloomingdale's. I really did not want to miss my opportunity while I was home, so I went during dinner, when the crowd died down. I was one of the few lucky 12,000 people to receive a charm chain from the Guardian Spirit Sanctuary for attending the grand opening.
Unfortunately, I didn't get to take as much photos once I got in. I was too excited & overwhelmed at the same time. I had no idea where to start. There's over 40 food vendors to choose from and an awesome beer garden, $1 beers!! Definitely a great place to hang out with your friends for Happy Hour. We picked a few random places to try & ended up with a few musubi's, bentos, poke bowl & ramen. For dessert we got Kulu Kulu & Marion Crepes. I definitely recommend the strawberry chocolate cheesecake cream crepe from Marion's. I've had Japanese crepes for the first time when I took a trip to Japan in 2005 & it was just as I remember, Oiishi Desu.
The Biggest Little Airshow
My son & I had so much fun at this event located at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor on Ford Island. This was the 9th annual airshow that featured open cockpits, hangar tours, restored World War II Aircraft + different types of aircrafts, Jelly Belly candy bombing & remote control flying.
I haven't been to the Bishop Museum since I was probably in High School (that was a loooong time ago!) It was awesome to take my son to a museum I frequented when I was a kid. If it's your first time here, the Hawaiian Hall is a must. It'll take you on a journey through the different realms of Hawaii. The Science Adventure Center was pretty cool too, you get to learn about volcanoes. The featured exhibit during our visit was, Sweet: A Tasty Journey. Every child's dream come true - Candy Land! My son really enjoyed this one!
Koko Head Crater Trail
So.. I decided to do this hike at 6 AM. I was literally hanging on 4 hours of sleep, no caffeine in my system yet & 100% not prepared for this 1,000+ stairs/steps adventure. I went with my 3 younger brothers, who of course, are athletes. It was my first time doing this hike & let me just say, this particular hike is not for beginners. And if you are a beginner, expect to complete it in a few hours (you will probably want to take a few breaks).
After the first 300 steps, I started to slow down. After about 500 or so steps, I realized I had to cross a bridge. *If you're afraid of heights, you might want to reconsider doing this hike!* I took 1 step over the bridge & immediately said to myself, "hell no!" I was scared AF and my legs were shaking. There was nothing I could hold on to, the tracks/"steps" did not feel safe & if I fell between one of those steps, it would've been about a 10-20 ft drop down. I should've done more research prior to doing this hike because I didn't expect to come across a bridge. That was probably the scariest part of it.
I would definitely do this hike again and take the alternate bridge route.
The views are absolutely stunning!
- Arrive early, preferably before sunrise! This hike has no shade so it can get extremely hot.
- Drink lots of water & stay hydrated.
- This is a pretty narrow one way up/one way down hike, be aware of other hikers.
- Wear shoes that have a nice grip.
Hope you enjoyed some of my adventures! If you're traveling to Honolulu & need some tips/suggestions please feel free to leave me a message. Mahalo! Xo.
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