An exploratory discussion of the forest bathing effect in a disruptive environment: inbound tourism and Japanese nature
Authors: Oe, H. and Yamaoka, Y.
Conference: Japanese Society of Travel MedicineAbstract:
Forest bathing, or shinrinyoku, originated in Japan. It is a nature-based approach to well-being that involves a leisurely visit to a forest for relaxation (Li et al., 2018). There is a growing body of research that suggests forest bathing has various health benefits, such as reduced blood pressure, reduced stress, improved mood, increased flow of energy, increased capacity to communicate with the land and its species and an overall increase in sense of happiness (Ochiai & Oe, 2021; Oh et al., 2017). As such, forest bathing is not only a potentially useful therapeutic option but also has important health effects for the general population.
It is also interesting to note that Japan, the country that gave birth to forest bathing, is a sacred land for pop culture. For example, many anime, one of Japan's major cultural genres, use forests and other assets in the natural environment as important plot points. Accordingly, anime fans have been undertaking pilgrimages to visit the ‘sacred’ places that appear in such anime works. The pilgrims who love these animations also come from abroad as inbound tourists. This paper proposes a discussion agenda with key points on the future of forest bathing tourism, bearing in mind the need to improve human health and focusing on the potential of forest bathing as a means of attracting tourists to Japan.
Source: BURO EPrints