Over 2000 years ago, a small group of Japanese men set sail for Honolulu to seek a Tenjiku (“Heavenly Place”) as they were led to believe. Their imaginations grew wild with anticipation at the thought of finding a tropical paradise, warm weather all year around and turquoise waters.

Although they did find this, they also found that their work involved long hours at the sugar cane plantations. With many years passing, there is now a large population of Japanese descendents across the Hawaiian islands.

When exploring Hawaii today, it becomes very apparent that there lies a strong bond between Hawaii and Japan due to this rich history. These close ties between the two cultures allow travellers to experience their own kind of zen in Hawaii.

These are moments from my own travels through Hawaii and how I found my own inner zen…

More info: wandereroftheworld.co.uk

Witnessed kindness at Byodo-In Temple as a lady offered us her bird food for free to “Pass the good Karma on.” Kaneohe, O’ahu.

Experienced love and laughter in the waters of Waikiki Beach as my other half and I played together. Honolulu, O’ahu.

Watched the world go by. Halona Beach Cove, O’ahu.

Fed birds with my free bird food. Byodo-In Temple, Kaneohe, O’ahu.

Watched native geckos scuttle among moss strewn walls. Hilo, The Big Island.

Saw that life can grow anywhere (even within the cracks of an active volcanic crater). Kīlauea, The Big Island.

Waited for rainbows. Rainbow Falls, The Big Island.

Got lost in strange woods. Rainbow Falls, The Big Island.

Found the Ahinahina (Silversword) plant 9000 ft up Mauna Kea mountain. Mauna Kea, The Big Island.

Saw the world from the top of one of the tallest mountains in the world. Mauna Kea, The Big Island.

Watched sunsets 13000 ft up Mauna Kea mountain. Mauna Kea, The Big Island.

Witnessed love in nature as lifelong bird partners frolicked together. Hilo, The Big Island.

Contemplated Buddhism and the art of Karma. Byodo-In Temple, Kaneohe, O’ahu.

Indulged my sweet tooth everywhere I went. Hilo, The Big Island.