Japanese Friendship Garden Announces New Wellness Program

Forest Bathing at a Hidden Gem in the Heart of the Urban Desert!


Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix announces a workshop on April 7, 2019 from 10am – 12pm to introduce its new wellness program, Stroll for Well-Being. This self-directed, evidence-based wellness program teaches self-care and self-compassion as participants regain hopefulness and perspective to effectively navigate life’s greatest challenges.

Stroll for Well-Being is informed by 30 years of research with Japan’s Forest Ministry in shinrin-yoku, which literally translates, “forest bathing”. In 2010, research at the Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens in Palm Beach County, Florida demonstrated the increased benefits of hopefulness, personal growth, and quality of lifeof thisreflective garden walking program has on adults with increased levels of psychological stress.

A Morikami participant reflects, “I am very happy to have made the commitment to start this program. When I am deeply stressed it helps me to calm myself down. I sit and listen to the waterfalls and know I can watch my troubles flow down the stream of rushing water after it flows over the rocks. The water keeps going, and so can I. –B.G.”

Participants will learn to unplug and manage their anxiety and stress with reflective walking and “bathing” in the serenity of this traditional stroll garden. With Japanese garden elements that inspire mystery and surprise of sights unseen but sounds heard, life’s toughest challenges seem to unravel and find new perspective as participants stroll the meandering paths and pause for reflection and journaling along the way.

Kathleen Bartolomei will share a personal story how Stroll for Well-Being pulled her out of an opioid-induced depression following neurosurgery and accelerated her recuperation. She now champions this wellness program so others may regain hopefulness and perspective to handle life’s downward spirals.


For caregivers and care providers, Kathleen will talk about last spring’s visit with Lama Barry Kerzin MD, the personal physician to His Holiness the 14thDalai Lama. During his tour of American universities and medical institutes, Dr. Kerzin shared the Dalai Lama’s timely message about compassion and taught health providers how to develop a personal practice of self-compassion and self-care: "If we are not feeling good about ourselves and we are not feeling secure and safe and happy and free of anxiety and fear, then it is very hard to go out and practice compassion to others.”


Workshop participants will be led on a reflective garden walk, with ample time to stroll alone and experience the fullness of “Strolling the Possibilities”, one of the 12-themed walks this 6-week program will feature after the garden reopens Fall 2019 for the 2019 -2020 season.


Dates: Stroll for Well-Being


Workshop by Kathleen Bartolomei

Sunday, April 7

10am to 12pm



Members: $20

General: $25

(General Admission Included)







Stroll for Well-Being - Shinrin-yoku

  • All classes that do not meet minimum enrollment one week prior to the start date may be canceled at Japanese Friendship Garden's discretion. Japanese Friendship Garden will contact students in affected class and offer refunds or placement in an alternate class.



    Clients who register for a class or program that is canceled for any reason by Japanese Friendship Garden will receive a full refund.

    Clients who withdraw from a class/program at least 10 business days prior the scheduled class/program start date may receive a full refund on their registration. (A “business day” is defined as M-F.)


    Refunds will not be given to any student who withdraws from a class after the first class has been held.


    Missed Classes

    There are no discounts or refunds for missed classes.