Japan is known as one of the safest places on earth but did you know that a notoriously common site for suicide can also be found? A dense forest known as Aokigahara is a popular tourist destination due to its large number of icy caverns. It lies at the northwest base of Mt. Fuji and it is believed to be greatly associated with ghosts known as “yurei” in Japanese mythology. For this reason, you will find on the trail various signs to remind to suicidal visitors of their families and loved ones or to contact a suicide prevention association before heading into the this haunted forest.
Aokigahara is a very dense forest made of volcanic rock which makes it difficult to leave any trails. Because of this, you can immediately get lost in the forest. In order to avoid getting lost, most hikers use a plastic tape or thread spool to mark the path they’ve gone through. The common trail followed leads to some tourist attractions such as the Ice Cave and Wind Cave. So don’t be surprised if you see some tape and rubbish left by hikers along the way. Once the first kilometer achieved, human presence traces will eventually disappear.
Aokigahara is often called “the perfect place to die.” But why? It all started with Japanese businessmen wandering into the forest since 1950 with at least 500 of them who never went out. And year after year, the number has continuously increased. It is the reason why the forest is reportedly known as the suicide forest in Japan. The high rate of suicides has led officials to place a sign at the forest’s entrance urging visitors not to take their own lives or to seek help before doing anything irreversible. This linked the forest with many deaths which most Japanese spiritualists believe to permeate paranormal activity which, in turn, prevents people from leaving the forest.
It is also believed that once the corpse is left in the forest, it would bring bad luck to the suicide victim. Leaving his spirit wandering around and screaming all through the night. For some more goose bumps, it’s also said that sometimes the in-animated body would start to move. So whether you believe in Spiritualism or not, Aokigahara’s forest is still receiving many visitors every year. Imagine shutting yourself off from the world with all the natural sounds of the forest.
If you are an adventurous person, you can reach the forest via the bus route from Kawaguchiko Station.