Monday, May 4, 2009

Moanaluna Valley

Moanaluna Gardens is at first glance merely a quiet greenspace near a freeway—except for the legions of shuttle busses that discharge Japanese tourists who by the tens of thousands (yearly) saunter and skitter over to have their pictures taken at the “Hitachi Tree,” the leafy starlet of television commercials for the electronics corporation. Other trees here grow in media obscurity. Even the ginormous monkey pod tree that Ripley’s Believe it or Not called the world’s most beautiful. Even its neighbor, a Buddha tree with historic roots in Ceylon. King Kamehameha V’s summer cottage beside a koi pond and taro field is where many garden-goers will wind up sitting awhile.

The bell-ringer in this neighborhood is the Moanaluna Valley trail, which follows a stream and seven stone-arch bridges that where once part of an estate (see page 67 of Oahu Trailblazer).