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Liliʻuokalani Gardens

big island/hilo
Public Recreational/Kids

189 Lihiwai St
Hilo, 96720

Japanese Garden, Tea House

Hours of Operation:

    5:45 AM–7:30 PM
Japanese Garden, Tea House

Liliʻuokalani Gardens

The Big Island's Japanese Garden

Nestled in the heart of historic downtown Hilo, along the picturesque Banyan Drive, lies the enchanting Lili'uokalani Gardens, a true masterpiece and the largest authentic Edo-style ornamental garden outside of Japan. In 1907, Queen Lili'uokalani generously donated an initial five acres of land, intending to create a splendid public park. By November 1917, the Legislative Committee overseeing public lands had expanded the park to a sprawling seventeen acres. This stunning garden, named after Hawaii's last ruling monarch, Queen Lili'uokalani, opened its gates in 1919. It stands as a tribute to the first Japanese immigrants to the Big Island, who played a pivotal role in shaping its agricultural heritage, commencing in 1868.

Lili'uokalani Gardens showcases an array of Japanese imported stone lanterns, sculptures, graceful arched bridges, and serene gazebos, some dating back to 1916. The park's evolution was a labor of love, with contributions from various organizations, most notably the Hilo Japanese Women's Friendship Association and the Hilo Board of Trade.

The garden harmoniously melds Japanese plant species and architectural styles, inspired by traditional Japanese temples and gardens. As you wander through the garden's tranquil spaces, you'll traverse arched red bridges over koi-filled ponds, explore pagodas, and discover the serene Japanese teahouse, Shoroan. The ambiance might make you feel as if you've been transported to the magnificent temples of Kyoto.

Positioned perfectly, Lili'uokalani Gardens offers breathtaking panoramic views of Hilo Bay and Mokuola, known as the "island of life" or Coconut Island. A charming footbridge connects to Coconut Island, providing an ideal spot for a scenic picnic with sweeping vistas of Hilo Bayfront and the historic downtown area. This island once housed a Hawaiian temple dedicated to the healing arts.

The garden is a favorite spot for early morning activities such as jogging, tai chi, and yoga. You can take a leisurely stroll through the lush trails that wind through this serene oasis. The tranquil ponds, elegant bridges, and artful sculptures create idyllic settings for photographs and have become a beloved backdrop for romantic wedding ceremonies.

Liliʻuokalani GardensThe Big Island's Japanese GardenNestled in the heart of historic downtown Hilo ....

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