An update on Forest Therapy in Japan

Nov 29, 2010

Last year, we introduced you to the “Forest Therapy” program at the Afan Forest in Nagano, Japan.

Amway organized more projects at Afan year fall, in partnership with C.W. Nicol, a well-known writer and naturalist in Japan who restored the mountain village and made it available for outdoor therapy programs.

Amway also brought children to Kiyosato in Yamanashi Prefecture. Approximately 500 children have participated at both locations this year.

There are two target audiences for Forest Therapy. The first is blind or visually impaired children. For them, the forest is a magical place where they can open their senses to receive input that is not available in the city.

The other group is children from the welfare system in Japan. These children are often recovering from situations of abuse or neglect. The forest is a place for them to find peace and harmony, with mentoring and therapy from counselors who accompany the children.

Following are some photos of their experience. It’s been two years since I visited Afan Forest, but the silent sounds, the cool air, the smell of roasted mushrooms harvested from the forest floor, and the faces that start suspicious and finish beaming … all these will always stay with me.

Afan Forest:

 

Kiyosato:

Thanks to Hisashi Takahashi for contributing to this post.

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