BBC World News on the topic of Shirin-yoku/Forest bathing

Last Updated:May 27, 2020

BBC made a series of short documentaries designed to highlight aspects of Japanese life to BBC World News and BBC online’s large global audience.
On September 21, 2009, the film team interviewed Dr. Qing Li to make one of the films about Shinrin Yoku and his work in Shirin-yoku studies at Akasawa natural recreation forest, the birthplace of Shinrin Yoku (forest bathing) in Japan.
The Akasawa Natural Recreation Forest is a coniferous forest centered on "Kiso Hinoki (Kiso Cypress)". The main tree species are "Hinoki (Hinoki Cypress)", "Sawara (Sawara Cypress)", "Nezuko (Japanese thuja)", "Asunaro (Thujopsis dolobrata)" and "Kouyamaki (Japanese umbrella-pine)". These five trees are called "Kiso Goboku (five sacred trees of Kiso)" and are carefully protected.
The trees are about 350 to 400 years old and you are able to enjoy a seasonal forest mixed with broadleaf trees.
In 2006, Dr. Qing Li conducted a three-day/two-night forest bathing experiment in the Akasawa Natural Recreation Forest and found that a forest bathing trip increased human natural killer (NK) activity, number of NK cells and levels of intracellular anti-cancer proteins, and reduced stress hormone (adrenaline) and that this effect lasted for 30 days after the forest bathing. These findings were published in 2008 as follows:
Li Q et al. Visiting a forest, but not a city, increases human natural killer activity and expression of anti-cancer proteins. Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2008 Jan-Mar;21(1):117-27. (

Dr. Qing Li was explaining the procedure of Shinrin-yoku and was conducting a test on subject before Shinrin-yoku

Dr. Qing Li was explaining the results of Shinrin-yoku experiment conducted in 2006

Subjects were walking in the forest

Dr. Qing Li was explaining the effects of Shinrin-yoku on human health

The programme started broadcasting on BBC World News at the beginning of the year.
Here is the link of the final programme:

BBC Travel have separately made a short video with my interview and uploaded here:

(Reported by Qing Li)
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