Kevin Y. Kawamoto
Special to the Hawai‘i Herald

My journey to the forest began in the city — at a bus stop at the Ala Moana Shopping Center, to be exact. The No. 5 bus to Mänoa took me farther and farther away from stressed-out Christmas season shoppers and the brisk Saturday morning traffic to the quiet solitude of Mänoa Valley less than 30 minutes away.

The end of the bus line before looping back to the city is near the intersection of Mänoa Road and Kumuone Street. From there, it’s a bit of a hike for about a half-mile, continuing upwards to the entrance of Lyon Arboretum, a 200-acre tropical rain forest managed by the University of Hawai‘i. It’s where certified forest therapy guide Phyllis Look told us to meet her for our “forest bathing” experience on a gorgeous Saturday morning in December, marked by clear skies, cool temperatures and fresh mountain air.

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