In Japanese, the phrase shinrin-yoku (森林浴) literally means ‘forest bathing’ – the practice of taking a short, leisurely visit to a forest for health benefits. With that in mind, last weekend I ended up in Todoroki Valley, bathing in the koyo (紅葉) autumn colours. I first discovered Todoroki about four years ago; a place filled with bamboo gardens, secret shrines and trickling waterfalls – yet despite it leaving a lasting impression on me, I hadn’t been back since. My return to Todoroki this time left a different impression – that of standing within a real life oil painting, and a beautiful one at that.
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