LĀWA‘I INTERNATIONAL CENTER is a cultural treasure located in a valley long noted for its spiritual essence. The 32 acres in LĀWA‘I VALLEY (recognized as a healing sanctuary) have been home to a Hawaiian heiau (temple), Taoist temple, Shinto shrine and Buddhist temple.
In 1904, following full days of back-breaking plantation work, fi rst- generation Japanese immigrants took the time to build 88 shrines that replicate the ancient pilgrimage of 88 temples in Shikoku, Japan. Situated on a narrow pathway carved into a steep hillside, these shrines still stand today, and visitors can walk the same path that the plantation workers took so much pride in creating.
Volunteers staff Lāwa‘i International Center, and together, they have worked to clear and restore the shrines.
Tours of the center, which include a short documentary and photo presentation, are held at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. on the second and last Sunday of each month, or by appointment at 808-639-4300 or lm@ hawaii.rr.com.