Honolulu Airport Cultural Gardens


About Honolulu Airport Cultural Gardens


Have some down time while waiting for your flight at Honolulu International Airport? Head over to the Honolulu Airport Cultural Gardens for much-needed R&R as your vacation winds down. The gardens reflect Hawaiian, Chinese, and Japanese heritage in the islands. Ponds intertwine as waterways connect the three gardens, symbolizing the melting pot culture of Hawaii.

At the Chinese Gardens, a red pavilion with golden tiled roof invites travelers to take a break and enjoy coffee from a nearby Starbucks. The arched bridge symbolizes hope of world peace across oceans, surrounded by strategically placed Chinese Juniper, Fish Pole Bamboo, and Chinese Rice Flower trees.

Tropical plants and vibrant flowers fill the Hawaiian garden, where visitors will discover koi fish swimming beneath waterfalls. Look for coconut, banana, and kukui trees among the tall, skinny palms while youre here. Be sure to snap photos of the gorgeous white ginger and red ginger flowers, too.

Serenity soothes tired travelers at the Japanese Gardens, where zigzag bridges keep evil spirits from entering the grounds. Take a moment to rest on the stone benches under a wood-shingled roof and enjoy a moment of peace and relaxation before heading to the gate for your flight home.


The three distinct gardens at the Honolulu International Airport were designed during the construction of the airport in 1962 by landscape architect Richard C. Tongg. The Japanese garden features a commemorative pagoda, donated by Hawaiis Japanese community to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants arriving in Hawaii. On the 25th anniversary of John Rodgers Terminal being built, a kukui nut tree along with a commemorative plague were dedicated on October 15, 1987 in the Hawaiian garden. Hawaii Chinese community donated a statue of Dr. Sun Yat Sen, founder of the Republic of China to the garden.

Facts & Trivia

  • Island: Oahu
  • Amenities: Benches, sheltered rest areas. Airline lounges and conference rooms line the exterior of the gardens.
  • Insider Tip: Grab lunch at a nearby caf and enjoy a quiet lunch in the gardens--few people actually visit the gardens, maybe because they don't realize it's free and open to the public.