Forest Therapy Meets Shinrin-yoku
Kyoto Botanical Garden - Forest Therapy Session

The concept of Shinrin-yoku (“immersion in the forest”) was revived in modern times in the 1980s in Japan. Holiday and tourist locations in the mountains embraced Shinrin-yoku and dozens of “Forest Therapy Bases” sprung up across all prefectures in Japan. Despite several research efforts, especially led by Prof. Dr. Yoshifumi Miyazaki and his team at Chiba University, Shinrin-yoku, unfortunately, did not become an integral part of Japan’s national health system. But it was Professor Miyazaki who realized the potential and coined the English phrase “Forest Therapy”. This allowed for Shinrin-yoku to become more aware outside Japan.

Now, Forest Therapy has returned to Japan – courtesy of INFTA and the Kyoto Botanical Gardens. As a special incentive for the Public celebrating its 100th anniversary, the Kyoto Botanical Garden invited interested participants to join several Forest Therapy sessions, conducted by INFTA during 12-16 June 2024, free-of-charge. All sessions were very well attended and participants from all across Japan enjoyed and learned about the health benefits of these professionally conducted Forest Therapy sessions. As a result, INFTA – together with Professor Miyazaki and his team – will spearhead renewed efforts to professionalize and standardize Forest Therapy for it to become an integral part of Japan’s advanced health system in the near future.