Escape the hustle and bustle of Central Tokyo and enjoy a forest therapy tour and healthy nature walk in Okutama. This guided tour allows you to experience forest bathing which can help reduce stress, blood pressure, and tension levels.
This forest therapy tour and healthy nature walk in Okutama will help ease your mind as you surround yourself in nature. Forest therapy is a type of activity aimed at healing the mind and improving health through immersion in nature, also known as forest bathing. The healing effects are brought about by phytoncide, the smell of the woods coming from trees, grass, and plants. There have been significant studies and research done on the benefits of forest therapy. Some of these include a decrease in one’s fatigue level, stress hormones, and blood pressure. It can also help improve one’s mood and help alleviate tension. As you step into the forest base in Okutama, the first of its kind in Tokyo, lush greenery and fragrance of the trees welcome you. Feel yourself becoming closer to nature as you smell the aroma of trees and flowers. Usually operated as a private tour, you can walk along your chosen trail at your own pace. An English-speaking Okutama Town Forest Therapy Assistant Certified Guide will accompany you throughout the activity. Your guide will introduce you to different parts of the trail and how each aspect of the forest can help you. You can choose from two different options, one exploring Hikawa Keikoku Valley and Toke Trail Road paired with a local lunchbox and the other walking around Yamano Furusato Village and Okutama Lake together with a soba making activity. Soba is a traditional Japanese noodle dish made from buckwheat flour. The first option brings you to Hikawa Keikoku Valley, famed for its autumn leaves and located just five minutes away from Okutama Station. Walking along the trail, you’ll come across numerous bridges including Hikawa-kobashi and Toke-bashi. After that, you can enjoy an appetizing lunchbox made with local products such as rainbow trout, shiitake mushrooms, and vegetables at an inn. Once replenished, continue your healthy nature walk at Fragrance Road (Toke Trail Road) which is about 1.3 kilometers in length. As Japan’s first forest therapy trail, this is also the most accessible. It is also a road wholly dedicated to forest therapy. Before heading back to Okutama Station, have a break and enjoy an original herbal tea to soothe your nerves. While on break, you can enjoy a siesta in the forest or relax at a mountain hut while sipping your tea. If you want to experience making your own soba for lunch, choose the second option. For this trail, you will head to Yamano Furusato Village, a leisure facility offering different kinds of activities. At the village, you'll also be making your own soba from scratch. The steps are easy and an instructor will guide you throughout the entire process. After lunch, explore part of Ikoi no michi around Okutama Lake and admire the gorgeous landscape surrounded by mountain ridges. Be in awe at the blue-green surface of the lake. Book this activity now and experience a healthy walk surrounded by nature!