Akasawa Natural Recreational Forest
Located in the beautiful Kiso Valley, the Akasawa Natural Recreational Forest – or more simply referred to as Akasawa Forest – is blessed with numerous ‘hinoki’ (cyress) trees, many of which are over 300 years old. Despite first appearances, it is not an old-growth forest but was planted during the Edo Period (1603-1868) and harvested for timber More recently, the forest attracts visitors from spring to autumn to wander through the lush and cool surrounds.
For many Japanese, ‘shinrin-yoku’ or ‘forest-bathing’ is considered integral to good health and there is no better place to pursue it than Akasawa. Walking paths span-out through the forest with the Otaki Forest Railway, originally built for transporting timber, now a popular sightseeing train running through the forest. While the forest is always accessible, the railway operates daily from 09:00 to 16:00, between late-April and early-November.