Shinrin yoku forest bathing: What is it and what are its benefits?
Sustainable Activity

Shinrin Yoku Forest Bathing:
What is it and What are its Benefits?

What started as an old tradition in Japan has slowly made its way around the world and can be enjoyed in more places than ever. The art of Shinrin yoku might not be something you’d heard of previously, but you’ll be glad to know what it is now. It’s a fantastic way to utilise your time outside to increase your mood and health. In simple terms Shinrin yoku is the Japanese name for forest bathing, but what exactly does that mean?

What is Forest Bathing?

You might be surprised to learn that there is no physical bath involved in forest bathing. It is term that was coined in the 1980s as a way for people to embrace the forest atmosphere and relax while taking advantage of the forests health benefits. It can be enjoyed anywhere outdoors that is surrounded by nature and generally away from city life. It’s also known by another name, “forest therapy”. Not to mention that spending time outside in nature has been proven to improve ones mood and wellbeing, so it really is a form of therapy.

The benefits of bathing in the woods

Being outside in nature has proven time and time again to be beneficial for people’s mental and physical health, so it’s of no surprise that forest bathing using the shinrin yoku method is beneficial too. When you spend time bathing in the woods you can lower your heart rate and blood pressure, relieve stress as well as increase the feeling of happiness with serotonin. As you can see, there are multiple ways this old Japanese tradition of shinrin yoku can be worthwhile.

Best places to experience forest bathing around the world 

So now you know some of the ways in which shinrin yoku is good for you, but where can you enjoy this tradition yourself? Here are some recommendations below.

Yakushima National Park, Japan

This destination has been listed as a natural heritage site since 1993 and it’s clear to see why. The park includes two islands, one is covered with a tropical rainforest with thousands of cedar trees. The other is filled with hot water springs and volcanoes. 

Todoroki Valley, Japan

Located only 20 minutes outside of Tokyo, this is a quiet and peaceful natural landscape that city-dwellers come to to enjoy shinrin yoku when they need some relaxation. With stunning waterfalls and great places to enjoy the cherry blossoms in spring, you will be surrounded by nature without travelling too far from the city.

Banff National Park, Canada

Surrounded by huge Rocky Mountains, thick evergreen forests and cascading waterfalls, Canada’s best-known national park is a prime location to be one with nature. You can find glacier lakes and peaceful wildflower fields with no other people in sight. 

Although we have only listed 3 top recommendations for a forest bathing experience, they are certainly not the only places to enjoy bathing in the woods. Any forest, national park or outdoor space that allows you to be alone with nature and in a peaceful environment is suitable for this traditional art form. Explore your locality, or seek out green areas in your next destination. Enjoy the peace of the shinrin yoku experience and you’ll appreciate the benefits.

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