What is a Pictogram

“Pictogram” is the combination of the terms “picture” and “program”, it literally means “decorated letter” in Japanese. It refers to a simple visual symbol that is displayed in order to convey some information. It is simple enough such that language is not necessary to understand the meaning, accessible to people of any age or cultural background. “Forest Therapy Pictograms” are applied to ensure a safe Forest Therapy experience for even the first time visitor to a “Forest Therapy Base” or “Forest Therapy Road”. In addition, “Forest Therapy Pictograms” are used to help visitors navigate along “Forrest Therapy Roads” and to locate “Forest Therapy Bases”.

For instance, “Forest Therapy Pictograms” are also useful to help guide visitors in suggesting in choosing a “Forest Therapy Road” to suit their needs, while at the same time guiding users how to help the benefit the most from the experience with some suggestions such as: “Why not take a slow deep breath?” when in a location rich in phytoncides or “Why not lend your ear to the surroundings?” in a location where there are sounds of bubbling streams, windy breezes or twittering birds.

Histoy of the Pictogram in Japan

The pictogram system was first introduced at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 and used to help guide visitors to navigate around competitions. When Osaka hosted the World Expo in 1970, a pictogram for a restroom was introduced and since then, the sign is recognized by everyone.

The most common pictograms are office, station, public space and “Emergency Exit”. It is said that “Emergency Exit” pictograms were developed after a fire disaster at a shopping center. The characteristics of a pictogram are: a simple visual representation of some information. Pictograms exist as if they were air; invisible in when not needed but easily spotted when required.

Usage of the Pictogram

Pictograms are used to fulfill all kinds of rolls, from fulfilling simple announcements to universally understood communications that can be understood by everyone regardless of age, cultural backgrounds and language barriers. For instance, pictograms are now being used to indicate proper medicine dosage from children to elders, or else for commonly visited websites or else used in various machine manuals.

Forest Therapy Pictogram

At a “Forest Therapy Base” or “Forest Therapy Road”, pictograms are displayed to ensure that even first time visitors can experience “Forest Therapy” safely. Forest Therapy pictograms assist visitors so they can enjoy natural forest scenery and appreciate the unique natural atmosphere as time ticks by slowly.

The pictograms are a self-explanatory system, harmonized with nature without disturbing the scenery and atmosphere. At “Forest Therapy Bases” or “Forest Therapy Roads”, by installing signs that indicate the scientific effects of surrounding local forest using various pictograms, a safe and comfortable environment is nurtured. Forest Therapy Pictograms interpret and point out the invisible benefits of a forest. Through Forest Therapy Pictograms, visitors can feel as though the forest is communicating directly to them.

Experience Nature through the Five Senses
The pictograms assist visitors experience nature through their five senses. The Fragrances of the forest and refreshing scenery have a relaxing effect on the human brain. As an example, Forest Therapy Pictograms are used to indicate areas where birds are known to congregate so that you can stop and listen to them sing but that one could easily pass by.

Experience the Grace of Forest
There are many invisible yet refreshing substances floating in the air that visitors are exposed to when they are enjoying “Forest Therapy”. The pictograms indicate areas where visitors can feel the grace of the forest through their five senses by soaking hands and feet in a murmuring stream and move their body at ease.