Why Hokkaido?

Because it is even for the Japanese preserved and traditional. Its vast area filled with spectacular scenery, incredible food and friendly people. There are large swathes of wilderness here with primeval forests, tropical-blue caldera lakes, fields of alpine wildflowers and bubbling hot springs. The island’s stunning natural scenery and the promise of outdoor adventure is clearly something not to be missed.

Why Niseko?

Because it uniquely combines Japanese character and international influences which means you can get by with English language. With rich history, traditional culture, picturesque scenery, bustling environment and action packed activities, Niseko offers more than an unforgettable experience.

The combination of mountains and farmlands makes Niseko excellent for hiking and mountain biking. Hiking is the most rewarding way to see the colourful leaves in the mountains. Many people come to Niseko just for the mountains and hike Mount Yotei and Annupuri every year. 

 

There are also 25 onsens in the area, from luxurious hotel baths to mountain hideaways both in and outdoor.

 

What is Shinrin-Yoku?

 

"taking in the forest atmosphere" or "forest bathing"

 

The idea is simple: if a person simply walks in a relaxed way in nature calming, rejuvenating and restorative benefits can be felt. 

John Muir wrote, “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home. Wilderness is a necessity.”

We have always known this intuitively. But in the past several decades there have been many scientific studies that are demonstrating the mechanisms behind the healing effects of simply being in wild and natural areas. For example, many trees give off organic compounds that support our “NK” (natural killer) cells that are part of our immune system's way of fighting cancer.

The scientifically-proven benefits of Shinrin-yoku include:

  • Boosted immune system functioning, with an increase in the count of the body's Natural Killer (NK) cells.

  • Reduced blood pressure

  • Reduced stress

  • Improved mood

  • Increased ability to focus, even in children with ADHD

  • Accelerated recovery from surgery or illness

  • Increased energy level

  • Improved sleep

 

Just as impressive are the results that we are experiencing as we make this part of our regular practice:

  • Deeper and clearer intuition

  • Increased flow of energy

  • Increased capacity to communicate with the land and its species

  • Increased flow of prana/life force

  • Deepening of friendships

  • Overall increase in sense of happiness

 

Forest bathing combines leisurely walks on gentle paths under forest canopy with guided activities to help you open your senses, hone your intuition and experience the forest as you never have before. We draw upon mindfulness meditation practices and the techniques of deep nature connection. We will also have group discussions at certain points along the walk, which helps participants to learn from, and teach others as we discuss what we are experiencing. 

In autumn when days are getting shorter a hearty lunch in the country is one of life’s great pleasures.

Sometimes the most memorable food experiences are as much about the journey as the meal. Everything tastes better after a walk in the country especially when the produce was grown by a farmer up the road.

 

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