About Us

Mission Statement

Having been awakened to the Compassion of Amida Buddha's Universal Vow (Namo Amida Butsu) and rejoicing in the assurance of Buddhahood, we gratefully endeavor to live a life of service to others.


Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin is recognized as a non-profit, tax-exempt, charitable subordinate organization to the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii, an ecclesiastical and educational corporation established in Hawaii. Hilo Betsuin’s operations are primarily supported by membership fees, earned service income, rental fees, a charitable contributions from individuals.

The first Buddhist temple ever built in the Hawaiian Islands was erected in Hilo, Hawaii about 130 years ago. That temple, the Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin, originally built on land now known as Mooheau Park, is currently located on about four acres at 398 Kilauea Avenue in Hilo. The temple today is considered a major Hilo landmark and social hub.

Today the temple serves about 500 family members, and has fed thousands of hungry and needy over the years. In addition, Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin contributes thousands of dollars throughout the year to help people recover from natural disasters locally and internationally.

When it was first erected, the temple was a place to practice the Jodo Shinshu religion while filling the Japanese cultural void experienced by the original Japanese immigrants. Throughout history, the temple’s mission and vision has remained: to adore the compassion of Amida Buddha, share the Jodo Shinshu teaching and realize the Sangha (community of the faithful) by gratefully rendering loving service to others.

That service includes the support of critical social outreaches, provision of highly utilized community gathering spaces, sponsorship of community organizations and efforts, provision of cultural education classes, community cultural events, and early education.

Services are held weekly on Sunday with the Family Dharma service beginning at 9:00 a.m. Dharma School classes immediately following the Family Dharma Service.

Ministerial Staff

Rimban Kazunori Takahashi

Rev. Daido Baba

Rev. Joshin Kamuro