18 Aug 2016 in Discover Japan
Moss is a plant organism with fascinating properties, but do you know why Japanese people have so much respect for it?
The Japanese admire moss in a way, and seem captivated by its very existence. They are fascinated by this green plant which blankets the roots of trees and covers rocks in the woods. The country’s humid climate provides optimal conditions for it to flourish. You will find that 2,500 of the 12,000 species of moss in the world grow in Japan! They almost believe that without it, nature could not exist in their country, which was born of volcanic activity. In fact, moss contribute to fix, protect or create soils, and organic life. This could be one of the reason why the Japanese love and respect moss.
But this enthusiasm has increased in recent years alongside the growing popularity of mountain hiking and due to some popular publications such as Hisako Fujii’s book, “Mosses, my dear friends,” which sold 40,000 copies. Moss observation workshops were designed after its publication. Small groups, mainly of women, banded together to observe moss. Participants are fascinated by this relaxing vegetal texture – some even wish to plant some on the rooftops of their houses!
This activity is especially present in the Aomori region. Hoshino Resorts Oirase Keiryu Hotel, nestled in the forest of this luxurious region, nearby the Oirase Gorge, offers a moss-themed holiday package. You are immediately plunged into the experience in your bedroom, entirely decorated in shades of green. Every aspect of the decoration is designed to evoke moss: the fabric used for the comforter on the bed, for the cushions, and even the kind of leather used: they all echo the forest plant, Conocephalum conicum, the great scented liverwort that flourishes in humid areas. Even the bath products are moss-coloured – from the soaps, to the bathrobe and towels… Everything is green.
This nature-inspired environment is an invitation to complete relaxation. Once you have rested, explore the nature all around you. In just a few minutes’ walk, you will reach your first landmark, where you can use your kit with your magnifying glass and vaporizer to investigate the moss, or rather the mosses, and to discover aspects of nature you never suspected.
Playfully vaporize dull-looking moss and watch as it springs back to life. This family-friendly activity will capture the interest of both adults and children. You won’t stop talking about the memories you made together!