C California Style

Forest bathing includes connecting with nature through sensory-opening activities.
Smelling flowers is part of the process.
GAIGE HOUSE + RYOKAN’s off-site experience at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park.
Members of the FOREST BATHING CLUB gather at Lands End in San Francisco.

Into the Woods

by C California Style

The Japanese practice of forest bathing is reuniting people with nature all over again

Tree hugging was an affectionate Californian cliche in the ’60s. Fast-forward 50 years, and the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku (also known as forest bathing) is reuniting people with nature all over again. Made popular in the ’80s, forest bathing is all about utilizing your senses to become one with the outdoors. Gaige House + Ryokan, a Japanese-inspired inn in Glen Ellen, offers it as an off-site activity at nearby Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. thegaigehouse.com. In San Francisco, the Forest Bathing Club organizes guided nature walks and forest bathing events in Mill Valley and Ojai, among other locations. forestbathing.club. The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden presents sessions with certified forest therapy guide Ben Page, who encourages participants to smell, listen and touch their surrounds. arboretum.org. • –Looking for even more inspiration? Founded by Page, Shinrin Yoku L.A. lists forest bathing experiences in places such as Monrovia Canyon and Angeles National Forest that can be booked through Airbnb. shinrinyokula.com.