In Japan, forest-air bathing and walking (shinrin-yoku) has been proposed as a health-facilitating activity in which people spend a short period of time in a forest environment. Initially, we examined the usefulness of salivary amylase activity as an indicator of an individual's stress levels in a forest environment. The circadian rhythm of salivary amylase activity was measured in healthy young male subjects under stress-free conditions. The salivary amylase activity remained relatively constant throughout the day. Salivary amylase activity was then measured before and after walking in both urban and forest environments using a hand-held monitor. Our results indicated that (i) the circadian rhythm fluctuations in salivary amylase activity were much smaller than the stressor-induced variations; (ii) salivary amylase activity was an excellent indicator of the changes in sympathetic nervous activity; and (iii) the forest was a good environment in which people could experience much less environment-derived stress.