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Complete our 20-week online training and decide later if you wish to endorse it to the in-nature experience

The Definitive Guide to Shinrin Yoku Training​

Here is all you need to know about Shinrin Yoku training.

On this page you will find comprehensive information on how to become a certified guide and instructor, how to choose the right institution, the career path of certified Shinrin Yoku guide and instructor, the health benefits of Shinrin Yoku, how to practice Shinrin Yoku by yourself, how to design a Shinrin Yoku trips or retreats, how to create a business around the idea of Shinrin Yoku and more.

What is Shinrin Yoku?

According to Wikipedia, Shinrin Yoku or Forest Bathing is part of Nature Therapy, also known as Ecotherapy. It involves a broad group of techniques or treatments that use an individual’s presence within nature with the intention of improving an individual’s mental or physical health. Forest bathing continues to grow in interest and stature, now truly recognized as the latest wellness trend as a back-to-nature shift is happening. We regard Shinrin Yoku as the new yoga.

The Origin of Shinrin Yoku

Shinrin Yoku (森林浴), which literally means forest bathing, originated in Japan. The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries coined term Shinrin Yoku in 1982, which can be defined as spending time and taking in the atmosphere of the forest. Japan recognized the physiological and psychological dangers of stress of industrialized civilizations. The solution was to design cities in such a way that forest is easily accessible from most residential areas and intertwine nature and trees with urban sprawl. In Japan, forest bathing is integrated into the healthcare system and time spent in nature is prescribed as a preventive medicine and for a better recovery from illnesses.

The Japanese Society of Forest Medicine was established in 2007, with the purpose of promoting research in the field of forest medicine, including the effects of Shinrin Yoku trips and the therapeutic effects of forests on human health. Several field studies on the physiological effects of the natural environment have been carried out. The results of these studies will contribute to support the development of a research field dedicated to forest medicine, which may be used to develop new strategies in preventive medicine. 

How is Shinrin Yoku really done in Japan?

In Japan, Shinrin Yoku becomes a daily habit without much hurdle for many people, Japanese and foreign residents alike. This is easily accessible thanks to the clever city planning that beautifully weaves nature and walkways into the urban landscape. As a result, going for a Shinrin Yoku walk requires little planning, hence incorporating it into the daily life is convenient. Here is how Shinrin Yoku is done in Japan.

How does practicing Shinrin Yoku benefit me physically and mentally?

We intuitively know that spending time in nature in good for us. When we slow down, stop the busywork, and take in beautiful natural surroundings, not only do we feel restored, but our mental performance improves too. Critics often scoff that research about the Shinrin Yoku practice is lacking. However, there is growing scientific evidence that getting outside in a natural setting strengthens mind-body connection and, therefore, is good for health. At the end of the day, we come out in nature not because the science says it does something to us, but because of how it makes us feel. Here is a more in-depth reading on Shinrin Yoku benefits on health.

What does the research say about Shinrin Yoku and the impact of nature on our well-being?

Critics often scoff that research about the Shinrin Yoku practice is lacking. However, there is growing scientific evidence that getting outside in a natural setting is good for mind-body health.

Research is accumulating on the healthful effects of contact with nature — even very brief encounters. Among the findings:

  • As little as 20 minutes in an urban park can boost feelings of emotional well-being, make you happier and stress-free.
  • Walking 15 minutes in a forest improved mood more in 60 adults than when they walked the same time period in a city area, other researchers report. Attention scores were better after the forest walk, too. Andrea Taylor’s research on children with ADHD shows that time spent in nature increases their attention span later.  
  • Forest bathing tends to lower cortisol levels, a marker of stress, better than taking part in other activities, a review of 30 studies found.
  • Research in a growing scientific field called ecotherapy has shown a strong connection between time spent in nature and reduced stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • Forest bathing also is found to boost the activity of natural killer cells, which help fight off infections and cancer.
  • The aromatic substances produced by plants and trees have been linked with lower inflammation and brain protection benefits.
  • Nature helps us cope with pain. Because we are genetically programmed to find trees, water, and other nature elements engrossing, we are absorbed by nature scenes and distracted from our pain and discomfort.

Here is further reading on How Nature Impact Our Wellbeing.

Can I practice Shinrin Yoku or Forest Bathing by myself?

Yes, you definitely can and doing so in solitude is even better! Forest bathing is not exactly hiking. It does not involve bathing nor swimming in the forest either, but it is rather an act of actually spending time in the forest to take it all in through your 5 senses – the sight of greenery, the sound of chirping birds, the aroma of essential oil from the trees and petrichor, the taste of the air and the feelings of the dirt beneath your feet and the tree trunks on your palms.

Having said the above, forest bathing does not always have to be done in the forest. You will still enjoy its wonderful health benefits even if you practice in a local park or in your own backyard. Here is how to forest bathe on your own and enjoy it.

Shinrin Yoku Training: How to become a certified Shinrin Yoku guide?

Many people, especially those who are working in the wellness field, are looking for information about forest therapy and opportunities to become Shinrin Yoku guides after reading Dr. Qing Li’s book, Into the Forest: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness. Wellness practitioners are seeking trainings to become more informed about the art and the science of Forest Bathing. They also want to know how to become certified in Shinrin Yoku to start guiding people or incorporating Forest Bathing into their other wellness practices. Even those who are not currently in the wellness fields, but are interested in a career shift, are wondering whether Shinrin Yoku training will be their gateway to a more balanced and meaningful life. Click here to find out how to become a certified Shinrin Yoku guide. At the same time, you may also want to read “What to Consider When Choosing a Shinrin Yoku Institution“.

Shinrin Yoku Training: How to become a certified TMT Shinrin Yoku instructor and what are my career prospects in this field?

After being certified as a Forest Bathing Guide, students can choose to deepen their knowledge by enrolling in TMT Shinrin Yoku Forest Bathing Instructor Certification Training – Level 2. Three training options are available; online instructor training, training in Japan and training in Thailand.

We would like you to see this opportunity from an entrepreneurial perspective, and not from an employee one. It is an active role where you have the possibility of recruiting your own students from whichever channels you have; word of mouth, social media platforms, traditional publications and websites etc. 

Occasionally, we will require your expertise for our Forest Bathing Guide Level 1 training (online), and you will be invited to teach or share your expertise in certain sessions. Likewise, your expertise and presence maybe required for our Forest Bathing Instructor Level 2 training in Japan or Thailand. So here is an exciting opportunity to travel.

For those who are not working in the wellness industry, you may not be aware of a career prospect of a visiting practitioner. A visiting practitioner travels to exotic destinations offering their therapies to hotel guests, and/or providing training to wellness staff. To learn more about becoming a visiting practitioner, visit this page to have a general idea of what it is and how you could create your own programs.

"Nature-based activities such as Forest Bathing at nature-focused destinations and are trending in 2021 and beyond. While hotels around the world are looking for ways to integrate nature into their offerings, this gives rise to the demand for new professions, Forest Bathing Practitioner and Instructor"
Pin Chinnapat
Pin Chinnapat
Forest Bathing training Meraki
Trend: MERAKI Bespoke Wellness Strategies
Nature-focused destination by Meraki
Photo by MERAKI Bespoke Wellness Strategies
"People these days do not need to be convinced that nature plays a fundamental role in our health and well-being. Just spending time in nature has positive physical and emotional benefits."

What to consider when planning a Forest Bathing trip or start a Wellness-related business?

As a certified Forest Bathing practitioner, you will probably plan your own Forest Bathing trip or retreat at some point. Planning a Forest Bathing trip is fun and a well-planned itinerary ensures a safe and unforgettable experience for both you and your clients. Here are the 6 Things to Consider If You Want Your Forest Bathing Trip to be Successful.

If you are setting up your own Wellness or Forest Bathing Business such as a retreat or training center, you will want to read our post on Forest Bathing Business Planning.

Connect. Discover. Grow & Transform.

Here at The Mindful Tourist, we aim to provide a conducive environment for you to go deep into the vast and transforming world of Forest. Connect to yourself, experience the profound healing powers of nature and go on to share your passion with the world.

Join us for Shinrin Yoku Forest Bathing Guide Certification Training Program Level 1 and Level 2 and receive the best education and training from an experienced team of Forest Bathing experts.

Why Choose The Mindful Tourist​

online Shinrin Yoku training The best forest bathing course

Research-Based Content

TMT’s curriculum is founded on solid research about Forest Bathing and its holistic well-being benefits. Designed to
provide broad and varied experiences and activities, it invites you to think deeply about what nature means to you and builds on your prior knowledge and experiences.

Shinrin Yoku training with a group of people sitting and learning in the forest

High Standard of Training

Our client’s well-being is of utmost importance. Our students go through training topics such as ethical guidelines & code of conduct, values and empathy to maintain high standard of client services.

Forest Bathing certificate

Certification Training

Internationally recognized certification with internship opportunities with The Mindful Tourist upon completion. Train in Japan or Thailand. Cultivate mindfulness and connect deeply to nature. Live the Forest Bathing retreat’s life to get inspired to design your own. 

Shinrin Yoku training with two women basking in the forest atmosphere

Vocational Support

Turn your passion into a business, through TMT Connected Community’s business consultations. Whether your ambition is to open a TMT training or retreat centers, achieve synergy with your current ventures or earn from your hobby, we can help you.

What They Say About Us

There are several Forest Bathing institutions that provide a certification training, but I was glad I chose to go with The Mindful Tourist. The training was very well-structured and insightful. Our batch for Level 1 training brought international experiences and I was glad to connect to all of my batchmates. What is incredible is the fact that the Level 2 training is done in Japan. It was great to be able to experience Forest Bathing or Shinrin Yoku in the Japanese forests. On top of that, I learned some essential business skills to embark on my own journey.
I strongly believe in the healing aspects of Shinrin Yoku. In connection with my background and the upcoming resilience therapist license I want to share and show the knowledge of forest bathing. The reason why I chose to train with The Mindful Tourist is because I love Japan, the culture, the nature. It was always one of my big dreams to connect my job or my private life somehow with this beautiful country. I really like the concept of your training and the possibilities to connect with others afterwards and be part of your franchise business model. So, I'm looking forward so much to this course, the trip to Japan and all of the beautiful people I'm going to connect with.