Green Spaces Around the World Perfect for Forest Bathing

21 April 2017

Humans are inextricably linked to Mother Nature – if we look after her, she’ll look after us. One of the many ways to experience this effect is through the Japanese practice of shinrin yoku, or ‘forest bathing’.

Developed in Japan in the 1980s, forest bathing simply means being in a natural space and experiencing its calming and rejuvenating effects. Shinrin yoku is said to boost the body’s immune system, reduce stress, increase energy and reduce blood pressure, among many more benefits.

As we approach Earth Day tomorrow, let’s take a look at some beautiful forests around the world that would be perfect for forest bathing.

1. Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Japan

Kyoto's Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is one of the city's most photographed sights. Image: Getty

2. Valley of Flowers National Park, India

A bright green forest in the Valley of Flowers National Park, Uttarakhand, India Himalayan beauty in India's Valley of Flowers National Park in Uttarakhand.

3. Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Costa Rica

A treetop walkway through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve in Costa Rica. Wander through the treetops of Costa Rica's Cloud Forest. Image: Getty

4. Amazon Rainforest, Peru

A woman rides in the bow of a traditional boat along the Peruvian Amazon. Feel the serenity as you float along through Peruvian Amazon. Image: Getty

5. Daintree Rainforest, Australia

Bright green plants in Queensland's Daintree Rainforest. The Daintree is part of the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Site. Image: Getty

6. The Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland's Dark Hedges, an avenue of 18th-century beech trees. The picturesque Dark Hedges is an avenue of beech trees planted in the 18th century. Image: Getty

7. Crooked Forest, Poland

Pine trees bend and curve sharply upwards in Poland's Crooked Forest. Pine trees have built-in seating in Poland's mysterious Crooked Forest. Image: Getty

8. Hallerbos, Belgium

Bluebells form a carpet beneath tall trees in Hallerbos, Belgium. Bluebells adorn this Belgian forest for a few weeks each spring. Image: Getty

9. Black Forest, Germany

Sunlight splits tall trees in Germany's Black Forest. Storybook scenes abound in Germany's Black Forest. Image: Getty

10. Redwood National Park, USA

Looking up at towering redwoods in California's Redwood National Park. Giant redwoods stand tall in the old-growth temperate rainforest of California. Image: Getty

11. Otzarreta Forest, Spain

Unusual trees, cloaked in green moss stand on a carpet of autumn leaves in Otzarreta Forest in the Basque Country of Spain. Even in autumn, moss provides a vivid green accent in this Basque Country forest.

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Renae Spinks

Travel for me is about conversations and connections. There’s nothing like setting foot in a new land and meeting people a world apart. From talking to North Sea fishermen in Norway’s Lofoten Islands to breakfast chat at a B&B in my own back yard, there’s always a story to share and a tale to tell.