Attend the 19th annual Pilgrimage of Compassion on Sunday, August 25, 2019 from 1:00pm to 4:30pm, at Lawai International Center. Hear Grand Master Riley Lee from Australia play Japanese flute, listen to the pulsating drums of Taiko Kauai and the ancient chants from the children of Kawaikini School.
There will also be a bonsai exhibit, ikebana demos, bake sale, silent auction, as well as mochi and taro pounding, cultural and culinary demonstrations. This free event is open to all. Be sure to bring closed toe shoes so you can walk the hillside afterwards and see 88 miniature shrines.
Located a short drive from our Kauai vacation rentals at Poipu Beach, Lawai International Center replicates a thousand year old pilgrimage in Shikoku, Japan. On this 32 acre site the ancient Hawaiians brought their sick and wounded to heal. Where their heiau once stood, Japanese immigrants built 88 miniature shrines over 100 years ago to represent the original ones in Japan.
For many years it was overgrown and forgotten. A group of volunteers, led by Lynn Muramoto, began the restoration back in 1990. More recently, a Hall of Compassion has been built on the site that features 13th century temple architecture.
According to Lynn Muramoto, “This is more than just a place. It is made of deep roots with the pure heart and soul of the people on this island, and it is the place for the future.”
Interesting Fact: This is one of the oldest Buddhist temple sites in the country. There’s no other place like it outside of Japan. Lynn is quick to point out that this is not a religious or Buddhist center. “It’s an inclusive destination where people of diverse interests, ethnicity and cultures can gather.”
Details: The Lawai International Center is open the second and last Sunday of each month for tours. Donations accepted. Click Map for directions to site. On tour days you need to arrive at 10am, 12 noon or 3:00 pm. Bring walking shoes for this hillside walk and an open heart. Expect to spend an hour or so. You will be warmly received with a cup of tea, sweet bean mochi and Aloha.