Soto Mission of Hawaii

Welcome to Soto Mission of Hawaii

Learn about our history, our ministers, and the directions on how to visit us.


Soto Mission of Hawaii is Zen Buddhist Temple located in Honolulu Hawaii.We welcome anyone who is interested in learning about the spiritual practice of Soto Zen to philosophical studies of Buddhism.We are a Non-Profit Organization, A registered 501(c)3 organization.  

History of Soto Mission of Hawaii

The history of this temple began in 1913 on Hall Street, in Honolulu. Ryogo Mitsunaga donated a Buddhist Hall to the Soto Sect and in 1913, Rev. hosen Isobe of Yamaguchi prefecture arrived in Hawaii opening the temple using the hall. In 1919 the temple moved to its second location on the corner of Nuuanu Avenue and School Street. This is when the temple for the first time got its structure as a temple as the first temple located on Hall Street was more of using a hall instead of a structural temple building. The temple was completed in 1920 and dedicated in 1921.

In 1932, a Japanese language school for elementary and intermediate students was established and named Nuuanu Wakei Gakuen.In 1933, a large Eleven-faced Kannon statue, which is one of the temple's main Buddha, was created by Soun Onodera and donated by Kiyoshi Shikata of Honolulu.

On December 7, war with Japan broke out. Those considered as leaders of the Japanese community, including many Buddhist priests, were detained on Oahu or sent to internment camps on the mainland. Bishop Zenkyo Komagata was relocated to Honouliuli Detention Camp and Shunan Fujisawa, the resident priest, was interned at Crystal City Camp, Texas. All Buddhist propagations were halted. Temple business was continued by You Komagata, wife of Bishop Zenkyo Komagata and Ryukai Muroga, resident priest (nun). On August 14, 1945, the war ended. After a four-year absence, Bishop Zenkyo Komagata returned to continue his religious work.In 1952, the temple once again moved, this time to the current location and dedicated in 1953. In September 1990, the temple ventured into another phase of education. Soto Academy, an English day school for boys and girls from kindergarten to sixth grade opened.

Commemorating the Centennial celebration, Hoko Jizo (Six Jizo Bodhisattva) was enshrined in the Japanese garden on the side of the temple and dedicated at the Centennial Celebration. On November 9 and 10, 2013, the temple celebrated its Centennial Anniversary with guests from Neighbor Islands, Mainland, Japan, France, Brazil and other countries.

Our Bishop and Ministers

From Left to Right  Rev. Hirosato Yoshida, Bishop Shugen Komagata, Rev. Masataka Hoshino

From Left to Right

Rev. Hirosato Yoshida, Bishop Shugen Komagata, Rev. Masataka Hoshino


Aloha and welcome to Soto Mission of Hawaii.

We are the Ministers of the temple.

Please feel free to stop by at any time and we will be more than happy to assist you. (All of us love some coffee break!)

Shakyamuni Buddha is said to have 84,000 different teachings for reaching Enlightenment.

We believe that the true meaning of this is that he listened to each and every one of us to find an answer that best fits our needs.

He knew that everyone is different and we all experience differently. An answer that worked for someone may not work for the next. We keep this as a reminder to help everyone who comes here find an answer that is unique to one's needs.

Directions to the temple

By Car

[From Airport] Take the H-1 Freeway Eastbound. Get off Exit 21A and turn right on to Pali Highway. Turn right on Vineyard Boulevard, which is the first right. Then turn right on Nuuanu Avenue, which is the first right. After about 0.3 mi you will see the temple on your left.

[From Waikiki] Take the H-1 Freeway Westbound. Get off Exit 22A on to Vineyard Boulevard. Turn the 4th light onto Nuuanu Avenue. After about 0.3 mi you will see the temple on your left.

By Bus

[From Downtown] Take the #4 Bus and get off at Bus stop #336.

[From Pali] Take the #4 Bus and get off at Bus stop #386

Contact Us

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us either by phone (808) 537-9409 or use the form below to send us an email.

Name *