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Discovering Hawaii

Updated: Jul 2, 2023

Hawaii John takes us out South King Street


Hawaii John (known to us as HJ) takes us out South King Street. The tour begins as we cross a canal (part of the Nuuanu Stream) and enter Chinatown. At this point, we are riding on North King Street. The name soon changes to South King Street, perhaps when we cross the canal.


We saw the canal in several episodes, beginning with the pilot, when McGarrett drove along the Nimitz Highway, through what he called the River Rat District, crossed a canal, and turned right, onto the west side of the canal.


Back on South King Street, from Chinatown, we enter downtown Honolulu. The change in architectural style is marked. After passing the commercial district, we enter the Capitol District. Here, we find ourselves wishing HJ had used a wide-angle lens. We barely can see Iolani Palace, where the Five-0 offices were said to be located (on the left) and cannot see the Ali’Iolani Hale or King Kamehameha’s statue (on the right).


HJ turns left, onto Likelike Street, which takes us past the state library (barely visible on the right) before he turns left again beside the old state archives building and approaches ‘Iolani Palace. Access to the front of the palace has been blocked to vehicular traffic; so, HJ goes behind the palace and turns right into a parking area.


If memory serves, we only saw the rear entrance twice on Five-0. First, in “Yesterday Died and Tomorrow Won’t Be Born” (Season 1), Emma Trinian (Vivi Janiss) ran up the back steps and into the palace as she tried to stop her ex-husband, Joseph Trinian (John Larch, her real-life husband), from killing the attorney general (Morgan White), who had prosecuted him and sent him to prison. Second, in “Rest in Peace, Somebody” (Season 4), Bill Cameron (Norman Alden) was positioned there, waiting to shoot the governor (Richard Denning), when Danno shot him. He said his final words on the balcony before the rear entrance. If anyone can think of other incidences in which we saw the rear entrance to the palace, please leave a comment, below.


From the parking area, we can see the state capitol building. HJ makes another right turn into another parking area, where we see the banyan trees with their air roots and the new state archives building.


The new state archives building appeared in “Loose Ends Get Hit” (Season 8). A gunman positioned on the roof of the archives hit McGarrett while trying to take down Billy Madrid (Henry Darrow) as they left the state capitol building.


As HJ drives from the palace grounds, we see portions of the Iolani Barracks on the right and the YWCA building straight ahead. It was from a third-floor window of the YWCA that Dylan Hayward (Don Knight) attempted to shoot McGarrett as he sat at his desk in the palace.


Returning to South King Street, HJ takes us across the street, where we see the Territorial Office Building, where Five-0 moved in Season 9, during restoration of the palace. As HJ is about to drive around the Territorial Office Building, we can see the Ali’Iolani Hale and the King Kamehameha statue. The Hale was the palace of the Kingdom of Hawaii before the ‘Iolani Palace was built. Now, it houses the state supreme court.


After driving past other state office buildings on Queen Street, HJ makes his way back to South King Street and continues our tour. We pass the Kawaiahao Church and grounds, where Hawaiian royalty are buried. We fairly zip past the Hawaiian Mission Houses Historical Site and Archives, where missionaries worked during their early years in the Islands.


As we leave the Capitol District, we make our way through a long run of post-war commercial establishments. Many corner buildings have a rounded corner, rather than being squared off. It is a style that was made popular in the late 1940s and early 1950s, although newer buildings allude to it.


Hawaii John. South King Street Driving (see URL, above)


The building housing the carpet store in “Didn’t We Meet at a Murder?” (Season 4) had a rounded overhang, although the building, itself, was flat.


South King Street ends at the Waialae Overpass, which we saw in “The Burning Ice” (Season 4). HJ continues along Harding Avenue and past houses that look somehow familiar, as if we saw McGarrett drive past them in stock footage. Perhaps, we did.

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