Set on 32 acres in lush, tranquil Lawai Valley, the Lawai International Center is a non-denominational sanctuary intended to provide hope, comfort, healing and spiritual renewal for people from all over the world, from all walks of life.
It was established and continues to be maintained by volunteers — a community-based project driven by aloha.
At its heart are 88 three-foot-tall shrines lining a narrow, winding path up a steep hill.
Built in 1904 by young Japanese immigrants who worked on sugar plantations in nearby Koloa, they represent 88 Shingon temples on a thousand-mile route around the island of Shikoku in Japan.
Also of note is the Hall of Compassion, which, built primarily of interlocking pieces of notched yellow cedar, mirrors a traditional 13th-century hand-carved Japanese building.
Guided 90-minute tours of the center are available by advance reservation on the second and last Sundays of every month and by appointment on other days.
In addition, the annual Pilgrimage of Compassion in August offers taiko performances; cooking demonstrations; bonsai, ikebana and mochi-pounding demonstrations; and other cultural experiences.