Sri Lanka a top wellness tourism destination for over-stressed young Japanese professionals


Ayurveda wellness treatments, yoga and the benefits of Buddhist mindfulness in Sri Lanka are proving attractive holiday benefits for young Japanese professionals.

So much so that DeNA, a top e-commerce video development company linked to Nintendo, is actively promoting Sri Lanka as a destination because of our mind-and-body health benefits.

Says Health Management Advisor Takayuki Hirai: “I have been reading about wellness and mindfulness written by Sri Lankan Buddhist monks, and I’m looking at introducing these practices to our company.”


One of the world’s oldest mind-and-body health treatments, ayurveda uses herbal compounds, special diets, exercise and massage to heal the body and sooth the spirit.

The word ‘ayurveda’ translates as ‘life knowledge’. Its emphasis on universal interconnectedness among people, their health, constitution, and life forces is closely linked to Buddhist mindfulness.

Mindfulness itself focuses on the present moment while developing the self-knowledge and wisdom that lead to enlightenment and freedom from suffering.


Hirai, who is also the president of a government-funded Wellness City Consortium in Tokyo, believes that overstressed Japanese employees can greatly benefit from both ayurveda and Buddhist mindfulness.

And as a regular contributor to Forbes Japan, he says that this popular business magazine might also be persuaded to help promote his Sri Lankan wellness initiative.

DeNA was recently awarded the ‘White 500’ status by the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which lists companies that have the best healthcare practices.


Reports indicate that the Japanese government is actively promoting healthy living and mindfulness among employers to help counter high stress rates among their workers.

A major problem is the difficulty persuading young professionals to take paid leave or engage in healthy lifestyle choices in a country where dedication to the job often outweighs the work-life balance.

Says Hirai: “We asked some of our people why they did not take paid leave. The first reason was that they are too busy, and secondly they don’t have anything to do even if they are given free time.”


For that reason, he also stresses the need for interesting and educational tour itineraries that young Japanese professionals will see as another incentive to visit Sri Lanka.

Hirai says he became personally interested in promoting our health benefits after learning that several DeNA employees had travelled here for ayurveda and mindfulness training.

“So if there are very good tour contents in a location, they may want to go. I may be able to persuade them to visit that location,” he says.


For a first introduction to ayurveda, Jetwing Ayurveda Pavilions is only yards from the beach in Negombo, which is itself just 15 minutes from Bandaranaike International Airport, and thus perfect for those newly arrived in Sri Lanka.

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