Zenshuji was founded in 1903, one of two Soto Zen temples that was first established in Hawaii. The temple thrived in a very rural sugar plantation community on the west side of the island of Kauai. The current temple in Hanapepe was built in 1978 by its own members who possessed the necessary skills in carpentry, plumbing, electrical wiring, painting, gardening and design. Efforts were made to preserve the traditional structure of the original 1918 temple. However with the demise of the sugar industry and the changing demographics of the island, the temple faces new challenges today.
Zenshuji is also surrounded by the beautiful wilderness of the native Hawaiian plants. Kauai has many unique tourist attractions; they include the Waimea Canyon, which has a name by the locals as “Little Grand Canyon”, a chance to meet an indigenous Hawaiian Monk Seal just around the corner of Zenshuji as you drive towards the beach, and many other Hawaiian spiritual sites and beautiful scenery. Come by to Kauai as a way to get out of your busy lifestyle and enjoy the peacefulness of the nature and make sure you stop by our temple as it is the only Soto Zen temple in Kauai. With a warm aloha, we greet anyone who is interested in the teaching of Buddha.