Serene, scenic and seaside, the free Liliuokalani Park is a snapshot of Japan.
The 20-acre park has a definite Asian vibe, with its torii gates, pagodas, stone lanterns, fishponds, rock gardens, curved moon bridge and Shoroan Tea House.
Hawaii’s last reigning monarch, Queen Liliuokalani, dedicated the gardens in 1917 to honor the first Japanese immigrants who came to work on sugar plantations.The park is home to the fall Queen Liliuokalani Festival, on the first Saturday of September, with Hawaiian and Japanese cultural activities, craft booths and tea ceremonies.
Tucked away on the Waiakea Peninsula near Downtown Hilo, the site is located adjacent to historic Banyan Drive, where giant trees with descending roots are marked by plaques naming the many celebrities who planted them. Nearby is Coconut Island (Moku Ola), which is accessible via a footbridge.
The peaceful grounds offer shade and inviting grassy expanses for a picnic, plus a paved pathway for easy strolling.
Open daily during daylight hours.
The Urasenke Hilo Association uses the teahouse for ongoing tea ceremony classes in English and Japanese, 808-981-2777.