The Tracks Of Their Tears: Japan Offers Crying Walking Tours

Nina Slawek, Open Jaw

Photo credit: Toa Heftiba

Whoever said laughter is the best medicine? The latest wellness wisdom that is big in Japan is stress reduction, not through laughter, but through tears.

Finding solace in weepy walking tours led by “crying therapists” is gaining popularity with more than 50,000 sad aficionados in the country. Boo-hoos are elicited through discussions and the sharing of sob stories. 

For most of the travel industry, mastering the practice of rui-katsu - which literally translates to “tear seeking” - wouldn’t require much training, especially these days. The next time you find yourself hugging the Kleenex box on the sofa, keep in mind that purposeful weeping is supposed to reduce stress and help us get in touch with our emotions. 

Scientists and mental health experts do think that a good cry can have physical and psychological benefits, especially when it comes to calming us down and releasing tension. 

The walking-and-weeping tours take place near the seaside city of Kamakura just south of Tokyo

Given the town's coastal and woodsy scenery, long military history, and scores of temples, there are ample spots to get misty and melancholy.

Nina Slawek

Nina Slawek President

The visionary co-founder of Open Jaw, Nina handles everything at OJ from the purse-strings to the talented but eccentric staff. She is frequently spotted hobnobbing with industry leaders and making glamorous appearances in the Open Jaw TV Room.

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