What are Japanese “forest bathing” and what can we learn from them?

Japanese culture greatly respects and values ​​nature

The goal of shinrin yoku or “forest bathing” is to open the senses, disconnect and relax to improve our mood.

With Nissan, it is possible to explore and get into nature and make the trip part of the experience.

It may sound strange to you, but the Japanese take “forest bathing”. This is what shinrin means, a practice that involves visiting a forest and enjoying it with all five senses, for mental and physical health benefits.

It is not just about walking or hugging a tree, but about listening to the birds, seeing how the sun rays filter through the leaves, breathing the fresh air, feeling the peace and silence… that is, truly immersing yourself in the forest and connect with nature too, according to various studies, improve our mood, cope with stress, anxiety or hypertension.

The Japanese are real experts at it. Not surprisingly, although the practice of shinrin has multiplied exponentially since the 1980s when the term was coined and the Japanese health services began to prescribe it as a therapy, citizens have been doing it for hundreds of years.

The integration of natural life in the life of the Japanese

As Masaki Ishiguro points out in his book “25 Japanese Habits for a Better Life”, the special symbiosis of the Japanese with nature draws directly from Shinto and Buddhist traditions and beliefs and goes far beyond “forest bathing”.

In the East, man’s relationship with nature is given through the understanding that we are all an integral part of the universe and must live in balance and harmony. Thus, the integration of the natural world in the life of the Japanese and their empathy with animals, plants, and other living beings can be felt in their day to day, in the design of their houses and cars, in their effort to recycle or give thanks for food, to name a few examples. Its special sensitivity towards the change of seasons or kisetsu is famous all over the world, which is not only a meteorological concept but also something deeply cultural. For example, HanamiIt is the Japanese tradition of observing the beauty of flowers and is fundamentally associated with spring, the period in which cherry trees or sakura bloom. While in autumn thousands of people contemplate the reddish color of the maples in the Momijigari.

In Japan they have a national holiday of respect for nature, Midori No Hi, as well as another one of respect for the sea, Umi No Hi. In addition, beyond its futuristic neighborhoods and its technology, the business card of cities like Tokyo and Osaka, it is a country covered in forests and is home to countless places where you can discover exuberant and wonderful nature. Many of the festivals held every year in Japan, the famous matsuri, take place in beautiful villages and natural landscapes, precisely because of the love of the Japanese for nature. In addition, the natural world is present in its art, in its ceramics and floral arrangements, in its poetry, and even in cuisine, especially its famous wagashi sweets.

Redefine our relationship with nature

Although in the West we are still far from reaching that Japanese sensitivity towards the natural environment of which we are a part, in recent years the practice of shinrin yoku has spread to various countries such as Germany, Australia, the United States, or Spain. In our country, where approximately 70% of the population lives in the city and we spend most of our time indoors, there are more and more people who are moving away from big cities, disconnecting and relaxing enjoying this experience, either on your own or guided by experts.

Among the Spanish places recognized by experts for the best experience of “forest bathing” are the Muniellos forest (Asturias), the Enchanted Forest Path (Tenerife), the Monte Aloia Natural Park (Galicia), the Fadeo de Ciñera ( León), the Sierra de Collserola Natural Park (Barcelona), the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve (Vizcaya), the Hayedo de Montejo (Madrid), the Alcornocales Natural Park (Cádiz), the Ambroz Valley (Cáceres ), the Garajonay National Park (La Gomera) and the Natural Park of the Hoces del Río Duratón (Segovia), among others.

Fortunately, the list is long and, to explore and discover the secrets that the rich nature of our country offers us, one needs to be able to travel with comfort, freedom, and autonomy. We must not only think about the destination, but the trip itself can become part of the experience, the perfect passport to get out of the routine and get closer to the natural environment that can do us so much good. And the car is the perfect means to achieve it.

disconnect on wheels

Again Japan, more specifically the Nissan firm, they are aware of this and, faithful to its goal of helping people and moving towards a zero-emissions future, they have developed e-POWER technology, capable of driving sensation electricity without the need for plugs. Thanks to the presence in the vehicle of two engines, an electric motor to drive the wheels and a gasoline engine to charge the battery, this revolutionary and exclusive technology make it easier for us to go further, in a more exciting and also more ecological way, smooth and silent .

Currently, there are many cars on the market, but without a doubt, the new Nissan X-Trail, with e-POWER technology, total 4-wheel drive, more than 900 km of autonomy, robust design, and a spacious and comfortable interior with capacity for up to 7 people, is today one of the best options to travel anywhere and enjoy nature without limits. Never before adding kilometers so responsible and satisfying.

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