Memories of O-bon Past
Hawaii / japan

Memories of O-bon Past

In Japan, and other places where Japanese culture is strong, this is the time of the O-bon festival — the honouring of the spirits of dead ancestors. At this time it is common for Japanese families travel to relatives’ graves, or to set up household altars so that their spirits may visit them instead. O-bon … Continue reading

Byodo-in Temple, O’ahu
Hawaii

Byodo-in Temple, O’ahu

One of the things I loved most about living on O’ahu was the little bits of Japan sprinkled across the island. From the Japanese grocery stores, to O-Bon festivals, mochi balls mixed into shave ice cups and the bilingual signs around Waikiki. The Byodo-in Temple is an exact replica of a 900-year-old temple in Japan … Continue reading

Doris Duke’s Shangri-la
Hawaii

Doris Duke’s Shangri-la

Billionaire philanthropist Doris Duke’s former home, called “Shangri-La,” opened up its Damascus Room to visitors this month. This room had been off limits for visitors for the duration of its several year-long renovation . As such, I never had the opportunity to see it when I visited a couple of years back. The Damascus Room … Continue reading

Hawaii

Kalaupapa

I would have liked the mule ride. As the plane swooped along the coast, I saw the zigzagging trail sloping down the cliff face. It’s a two-hour ride each way but April’s rain had washed away the trail so now the only way in was by plane. Our little four-seater airplane flew over the cliffs … Continue reading

Hawaii

Mu-Ryang-Sa

I am quite lucky to have local friends on O’ahu, because it means I get to go to places I’d never have known about otherwise. Mu-Ryang-Sa Buddhist Temple isn’t in any of the guide books that I’ve looked at and it’s quite hidden away–well as much as a brightly-coloured building around 70-foot high can hide. … Continue reading