It’s been a tough few weeks for many of us. Cabin fever and over-exposure to our loved ones can put a strain on the day. In Japan, people try to reduce stress by making their environment simpler, cleaner, and as natural as possible. It’s popular to go on a hike amid beautiful scenery to re-charge the mind. But, escaping the house is not an option for many today. That’s why we’ve decided to bring nature into your home with some of the best travel videos.
Try to block out thoughts of the past and anxieties over the future – and let your mind rest on the following.
CLOUD FORMATIONS AROUND THE INLAND SEA
Some say that, at core, Japan is sea, mountains and clouds. In the Setouchi Islands area you have among the best examples of all three. Its waters are famously calm, glistening under the sun. The region’s tallest point, Mt. Ishizuchi (“Stone Hammer”) on Shikoku, is one of Japan’s seven sacred peaks. And its shape-shifting clouds sweep and swirl across the sky with majestic abandon.
NATURE AROUND SAN’IN
This 3-minute video highlights the splendor and diversity of the San'in region, in the southwestern part of Japan’s mainland. Encompassing parts of Shimane and Tottori Prefectures, the region faces the Sea of Japan with Chugoku Mountains in the background. San’in culture and life are infused with romantic myths that locals say survive to this day.
Among local treasures are the Tottori Sand Dunes, which are part of the San’in Kaigan UNESCO Global Geopark. The color of the dunes is explained in the Myth of the White Rabbit of Inaba.
SUNRISE OVER LAKE BIWA
Situated in the center of Shiga Prefecture, the lake takes its name from its natural shape. It resembles a biwa, a traditional Japanese lute. The country’s biggest lake, it has something for everyone: swimming, pleasure cruises, resorts and water sports.
The view in this one-minute video is from the Karasaki Shrine, the landscape around which was captured in the famous print by Utagawa Hiroshige, “Night Rain at Karasaki.” The peaks in the background are of Mt. Mikami. Though small, its ridge resembles that of Mt. Fuji, which earned it the nickname “Fuji of Omi”. Omi is the name of the area around Lake Biwa, east of Kyoto City.
FOREST-BATHING IN OKU-TATESHINA
The natural world has a therapeutic effect on our minds. Part of the reason may be that when looking at nature, we cease to judge. We accept the environment as natural – hence, the word. That ability to switch off judgement helps us to neutralize emotions. According to Japanese Zen teachings, this is what brings us calm.
This one-minute video captures a stream running through the forest of Oku-Tateshina, a remote spot in the mountains of Nagano Prefecture. Walking among the trees has a great psychological effect. In Japan, this practice is called “forest-bathing,” or shinrin-yoku. The concept, echoed in cultures around the world, is about cleansing our senses with natural atmosphere. The rustle of leaves. The tweeting of birds. The smell of earth. The taste of fresh air.
Take a dive into this fixed-point observation forest scene and tell us how it makes you feel.
ROOTS OF NORTHERN LIVING IN TOHOKU
This 8K HDR movie is a sumptuous portrayal of nature, culture and ancestry in northeast Japan, the area known as Tohoku. From a forest submerged in the waters of Lake Shirakawa to secluded rocky gorges and the northernmost Ama divers of Japan, the region has it all. Which Tohoku would you like to discover?
Or, are you more excited by visuals of the local Nikka Whisky Miyagikyo Distillery? Whatever helps you relax your mind....
Japan is full of beautiful places to rest the mind and the soul. To see more information, check out here.
About the author
Yzman is the pen name of a British writer, who has lived in Japan for long enough to know better, but too long to remember what this refers to. He bows when talking on the phone, makes peace signs in photos, and talks about himself in the third person.