It sounds almost stupid, but saying “Well, Japan and Hawaii are both relatively small islands in the Pacific, so they probably have a lot in common!” is not actually THAT far off the mark. Hawaii is essentially in the middle of the ocean, with nothing around it for hundreds of miles, and Japan is one of the closer land masses to it if you look at a map. The Hawaiian islands are essentially the midpoint between California and Japan, making Hawaii an important refueling point during the WWII, and also a destination for Asian tourists (and residents) including many Japanese. It is for this reason that this authentic Japanese temple is located not in Japan, but on the island of O’ahu, tucked away in the mountains. This is actually another thing that Hawaii and Japan have in common; both are mountainous and feature volcanoes, with the most famous on Japan being Mt. Fuji. We had some time to kill on our way back to the airport and decided to stop off and see this even though it was raining and I’m quite glad we did. They had a huge old bell out front (not in the picture unfortunately) and you could swing a huge log-hammer back and let it go, causing a huge booming ring to echo throughout the mountains. A truly picturesque scene that showcases once more Hawaii’s ability to make you really have to try hard to convince yourself you’re in the United States.
Islands in the Pacific
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