Go Forest Bathing

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NATURE: Go Forest Bathing

Before the year is out, you, or someone you know, will have adopted the practice of ‘forest bathing’ or shinrin-yoku – the latest east-influenced wellness trend to make its way west. A form of nature therapy originating in Japan, forest bathing promises complete physical and mental rejuvenation with countless Japanese studies recording reduced stress hormones, enhanced brain health and bolstered immune systems.

Though total immersion in nature, participants are encouraged to detach themselves from the stresses of modern living. Lead by ‘forest therapists’ bathers might be seen slowly meandering through the trees, connecting with the sights, sounds and smells of the forest, moment by moment letting go of their high-octane tech-heavy lives.

You can now take part in Shinrin-yoku therapy around the world – from the US to the UK, but what better place to lose yourself amidst the trees than in Japan – the home of forest bathing. We recommend the bamboo forests of Arashiyama, outside Kyoto, or for a less well-trodden route, the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trails of the remote Kii Peninsula.

Images: Yoshinori Mizutani

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