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Tuesday, 28th July 2015
In General Japan News,

Moss-viewing excursions are the next big thing in Japan

The majority of people have never looked particularly closely at moss, but those who do have realised that it can actually be quite interesting.

A trend for going on excursions armed with a magnifying glass to get a better look at this specific vegetation has been growing in Japan in recent years.

The idea has been around for a while, but the Kyodo news agency reports that more and more people are going on tours to moss-covered areas.

A moss-viewing excursion is surprisingly hands-on, with the key to getting the most out of the experience being to get on the same level as the plants.

This means lots of crawling around on hands and knees to see the moss up close.

The phenomenal popularity of moss-viewing has been put down to a number of factors, including an increase in hiking among women, who are proving to be the biggest audience for moss-related tours.

Another possible reason is the simplicity of the exercise and the way that looking at small clusters of moss is totally different from the stresses of modern society.

Due to the fact that mosses do not have roots, they can be seen in many unexpected areas and there are around 1,600 different types in Japan.

There are various places throughout Japan that are perfect for viewing moss, with specialist moss gardens having sprung up in some locations.

Among the most prestigious are those surrounding the Saiho-ji Temple in Kyoto, where there are more than 120 different varieties of the plant to be seen.

Alternatively, those keen to take up the hobby can go to other natural settings, such as the lakeside area at the base of Mount Kita-Yatsugatake in Nagano Prefecture, where moss can be found in its natural habitat.