How Did Forest Bathing Suddenly Get So Trendy?

Forest Bathing in Kyoto in 2017 (with National Geographic)

Anyone else noticing stories on “forest bathing” or “Shinrin-Yoku” popping up everywhere?

I first experienced forest bathing in Kyoto’s Arashiyama Bamboo Grove on my 2017 National Geographic trip. I thought it was a little hokey and touristy and hadn’t given it much thought since.

Over the last month, however, it’s been on my radar non-stop:
  • Most recently, an email from the Life Is Beautiful Music Festival. In partnership with the Sierra Club, they’re adding a “Forest Bath” art installation for festival-goers. It will be located in the Western Hotel in downtown Vegas and curated by Albie Alexander from 29 Rooms. Forbes Magazine even covered it.
  • It’s the hottest trend in Colorado (forget weed!). This writer from the Daily Beast describes the experience.
  • The Sacred Wilds in Oakland California is offering a Forest Bathing Walk with Hana Lee Golden, a certified forest bathing guide. It’s also available at the Mohonk Mountain House in Upstate NY.
  • Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Therapy) is being touted by health and wellness experts all over the world as a new/old way to heal stress and reprogram our overstimulated minds and bodies. It’s recently been featured in the South China Morning Post, on NPR, and in hundreds of blogs including Better This World and Spirituality Health.
  • There’s even an International Forest Bathing Day (September 7, 2019).
Bottom Line.

Forest Bathing’s popularity appears to be fueled by the mindfulness and eco movements. It’s also being adopted by the spa and wellness industries.

It’s practiced around the world after starting in Japan in the 1980s. But it seems to really be taking off in Colorado and the Western States.

Followers of the movement often talk about it as a detox, an antidote to our stressed-out, always-on, always-connected urban lives.

Scroll down for more photos.

Forest Bathing

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