WELLBEINGA Walk in the Woods in Japan

A Walk in the Woods in Japan

“The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician,” Paracelsus wrote in the 16th century CE. A simple walk in the woods can benefit both physical and mental health.  

While chronic illnesses need to be treated properly by a physician, the best preventive medicine is Nature Therapy. In Japan, shinrin-yoku or forest bathing is a popular method of this therapy.

Forest bathing is proven to deliver lasting benefits to one’s physical and mental wellbeing, while also creating a profound connection to nature. The benefits of shinrin-yoku include reducing stress, improving one’s mood, enhancing creativity, boosting one’s immune system, reducing high blood pressure, and accelerating recovery from illness.

In 1982, the head of the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Tomohide Akiyama, officially coined shinrin-yoku to encourage more people to visit the country’s forests.

Forest Bathing / Shinrin-yoku / 森林浴 in Miyazaki Prefecture
Happy Mountain Day! In Japan, Mountain Day in August is also a national holiday. The country mandates a day for people to be “familiar with mountains and appreciate blessings from mountains.” So here’s some mountain love from Kyushu! – Kyushu Japan
Edge Conditions – Sugi Cedar forests separated by a pathway reveal their dense vertical canopy in Kyushu Japan
A Sacred Forest: Kamishikimi Kumanoimasu Shrine is a sacred place deep in the heart of the cypress forest – Takamori, Kumamoto
Shadowy forests & volcanic ravines created this – Manai Falls, Takachiho Gorge, Miyazaki – Takachiho, Miyazaki, Japan
Nabegataki Waterfalls – Nature Veiled: Walking behind the waterfall gives a different experience of the landscape and forests at Nabegataki Falls.
Nabegataki Waterfalls – Water water everywhere: You’ve seen one waterfall, you’ve seen them all. This was what I thought. But this waterfall is really unique because you can appreciate it from different viewpoints and even walk behind it. This has led people to say that Nabegataki Falls is one of the most beautiful in Japan and certainly the most enjoyable to experience – Nabegataki Falls, Kumamoto Prefecture
Japan’s Microseasons: Do you know that in Japan there are 72 seasons in a year? Beyond describing spring, summer, autumn, and winter, there are 72 kō or “micro seasons” throughout the year. From 櫻始開 “sakura hajimete saku” (“The First Cherry Blossoms”) in March to 地始凍 “chi hajimete kōru” (Land Starts to Freeze”) in November, these micro seasons precisely and poetically define the Japanese calendar. – Kamikochi, Nagano
The majestic Nihon Arupusu – Japanese Northern Alps, Kamikochi, Nagano, Japan
A Special Place of Scenic Beauty: The perfectly mirrored reflections of Taisho-ike Pond, Kamikochi, Japan
Outside Looking In: The Japanese tradition of ‘Light-Up’ around temple grounds produces a mysterious and surreal atmosphere with the luminescent foliage. It creates a sense that you are enveloped within the outdoor space.

** Introduction text by Rungsima Kasikranund

Originally from Hong Kong and Canada, Luke Yeung has spent most of his life based in Bangkok, Thailand, capturing the intensity and urban development of Asia and Southeast Asia. Having trained in architecture, he often captures buildings and spaces as main elements in his images as a means to reflect on the people and culture of the place. To see more of Luke’s travel photography see www.instagram.com/luke.outside. To learn more about Luke, visit https://simonostheimer.substack.com/p/bangkoks-new-faces

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