November 30, 2021
Photos and words courtesy of テラモトヒサシ.
Forest Bathing, mountain hikes and reconnecting with nature in Kyoto, Japan
Meet Hisashi, custodian of @zorali.jp and our #1 fan from Japan. In this journal he shares his love of forest bathing & how rediscovering his passion for the outdoors helped him find his spark again.
Fans of Zorali all over the world, it’s a pleasure to meet all of you. I was born in Japan and I am currently living in a city called Kyoto. Kyoto was established as the capital of Japan 794 and since then for over 1000 years it had been the cultural and political center of Japan. Even nowadays it remains a beautiful historical city with numerous ancient temples and beautiful nature surrounds the city with its trains and lush green.
Since ancient times there exists an ethnic religion called Shinto. In Shinto, nature itself is akin to god. The trees for example, each and every single one, is thought of having its own life force.
This way, with nature being object of belief and reverence, a deep relationship was formed. And there was born the culture of shinrin-yoku, where one enters the forest and, by spending time in it, the body and the mind are naturally healed.
However, all over the world now people tend to live a life of going back and forth from home and their workplace. Free time on weekends spent in the city is increasing. Can heart and mind really rest this way? Is it possible, in this environment, to raise a harmonious family, have an accomplished working life or develop meaningful relationships with friends?
I ask you to turn your smartphone off and make the chance to enter in contact with nature. There’s no need to go all the way to a far away mountain who knows where. No need to load heavy camping equipment on a car. I’m sure there are patches of nature, even if small, close to you all. Parks and rivers are more than fine.
There I invite you to lie against a tree, smell the perfume of the earth and enjoy the sound of a flowing stream. That is more than fine. I’m sure that with just that, your feet will also seem lighter on your way back home. (And together with them your heart too) I want to create this opportunity for you and to have Zorali Japan accompany in this journey.
From here on, it ’s my story.
I had planned to spend 2020, thru-hiking the PCT trail in the U.S., which had been my dream for a long time after I retired from my job, however, I had to give it up because of the COVID - 19.
I was very shocked when I found out that I couldn't go because I was ready to go, and it was embarrassing but I shut myself in my room for a few weeks.
It would be probably the worst experience in my life.
Then, I happened to see the legendary Zorali video on Instagram.
It was a group of people in red and blue rain jackets dancing in the middle of a magnificent nature, just genuinely having fun. (Then I clicked the play button many times.)
I had distanced myself from nature after I got shocked, however, I was beginning to regain my desire to be in touch with nature with the same excitement and nervousness I had when I was aiming for the PCT (it's strange that I hadn't actually seen it with my eyes.)
Then I realized… that I didn't have to go far to find exciting and wonderful nature.
I also really agree with Zorali's philosophy. The belief that outside nurtures us, inside.
Nowadays, people spend a lot of time and money on buying "things". Some people mistakenly believe that this is the meaning of work. I feel as though things are dominating people. We buy things and then get bored with them, in a never-ending cycle.
Zorali has many products that I would like to cherish and use for a long time. Moreover, you concern about environment. However, I don't want people to buy your products in that "cycle" like famous apparel brands that produce a large number of products.I would like to deliver your products to people who will truly cherish and use them for a long time.I would like people to know how wonderful it is to be in touch with the nature around them.
This is a long story, and I thank you for reading this.
Follow more of Hisashi's adventures @zorali.jp