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Photo By: Shiso Forest Kingdom Tourism Association
Largest City

Shiso Therapy Roads

Walk along trails in the heart of Hyogo Prefecture that are certified to be mentally and physically healing.

By Bahanur Alisoglu

Shinrinyoku (forest bathing) is a part of Japanese culture and has become a relaxation and stress management activity in Japan. “Therapy Roads” are locations with forests experts have evaluated as physically and mentally beneficial for human health. They can be found all around Japan. They are perfect for hiking, whether you’re an expert or just a beginner.

A city in the mid-western part of Hyogo Prefecture, Shiso was certified as the first forest therapy base in 2015 by the NPO Forest Therapy Society. The low population density makes Shiso a superb shelter for the prefecture’s three distinguished therapy roads.

Akasai Therapy Road

Photo by: Shiso Forest Kingdom Tourism Association The trail for the Akasai Therapy Road.

Based within the Akasai Valley, Akasai Therapy Road flows along the Akasai River. You can park your car or bike outside the trail free of charge. The closest restaurants are only on the main roads, so don’t forget to bring enough food and drinks. The trail is popular hiking and camping spot among locals and a beautiful option for all seasons. the smell of pine trees and the lush scenery will feel good for both body and soul.

Higashiyama Therapy Road

Photo by: Shiso Forest Kingdom Tourism Association The starry night above Higashiyama.

Higashiyama Therapy Road is in Haga Town, north of Shiso City. People of all ages can easily enjoy walking on the well-maintained mountain trails. Forest Station Haga also has lodging facilities where you can pamper yourself after the hike. Walking around the fragrant Higashiyama Therapy Road will refresh your mind and body.

Forest of Kunimi Therapy Road

Photo by: Shiso Forest Kingdom Tourism Association The mini monorail strolls through Akamatsu Forest.

The Kunimi Forest Therapy Road walks along the mountain’s ridgeline, centering on the summit of Mount Kunimi. The trail runs through Akamatsu Forest, known for its foliage and antibacterial phytoncide. While the hike is rewarding and beautiful, the forest also features a cute mini monorail called the Forest Learning Trajectory that takes you to the summit for breathtaking views.

Things To Know

If you travel to Shiso City by public transportation, keep in mind that there are no buses or trains that go to the therapy roads. However, there are rest stops and places to eat just outside the forests.

You will need to walk or bike to your destination after getting off at the closest bus stop. Furthermore, the roads can be tricky and dangerous during the winter, be careful visiting the therapy roads in bad weather. 

There are Asiatic black bears in Hyogo Prefecture. Visitors should stay on the trails and avoid going into the forests. Remember to respect nature and be on your guard. Shiso City nor the Shiso Forest Kingdom Tourism Association will not be responsible for any accidents or damages caused on the trails.

Contact Shiso Forest Kingdom Tourism Association for tourist information and visit their website to learn more about the three therapy roads in Shiso City.  

How To Get There


Hagachohara, Shiso, Hyogo 671-4213, Japan

By train

Travel to Himeji station. From there, take the bus bound for Yamazaki from Himeji’s north exit.

By bus

Akasai Therapy Road

Transfer to the bus bound for Togura and get off at Hara. It’s about a 45-minute walk from Hara to the Akasai Valley.

Higashiyama Therapy Road

Transfer to the bus bound for Minagi and get off at Ueno. You will need to walk over an hour from there to the Forest Station Haga.

Forest of Kunimi Therapy Road

Get off at Yamazaki. You will need to walk about 50 minutes from there to get to The Kunimi Forest.

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