Within the pages of this book, a twisted tale tells of a woman who has a love affair with a young public prosecutor. They’re rarely seen by visitors, which only contributes to that feeling of nervous isolation. I tried searching again for another suicide prevention hotline, and after two rings a lady answered. In 1961, Seicho Matsumoto published a novel titled Tower of Waves, where a young couple decided to end their lives in Aokigahara forest. Lovers separated despite the strength of their feelings? Fuji—Aokigahara region signifies a beautiful duality that can best be understood through personal experience. [3] Designated trails lead to several tourist attractions such as the Narusawa Ice Cave, Fugaku Wind Cave and Lake Sai Bat Cave which are three larger lava caves near Mount Fuji, the ice cave being frozen year-round. The taste of Going to Aokigahara from Tokyo is relatively easy, but in other ways, it is still a challenge. Aokigahara (青木ヶ原), also known as the Sea of Trees (樹海, Jukai), is a forest on the northwestern flank of Japan's Mount Fuji, thriving on 30 square kilometres (12 sq mi) of hardened lava laid down by the last major eruption of Mount Fuji in 864 CE. It’s a wood that completely messes with all your electronics, except… it doesn’t, exactly.

Do not be troubled alone.” These words speak to the Japanese heritage.

Let’s back up a minute, friends, and acknowledge the fact that I did indeed just say “holding a compass directly to the lava.” If you’ve ever played that classic childhood game, you’ll know that walking on lava is the kind of thing that can ruin your entire morning. Offbeat Japan’s account of the zone makes it quite clear that they aren’t kidding around with that name: “Patrolling the 10 metres inside the forbidden zone are guards with a huge dog at their heels.”. The trouble is, though, you’ve got to be careful about putting the words ‘forests or wooded areas’ and ‘getting lost’ together in a sentence. Many fear to enter the forest, deterred by the stories of supernatural happenings and mysterious presences. They’ve spotted us too, no doubt. Fuji is commonly described as the “holiest place in the world.” Aokigahara, on the other hand, is an ominous place where, with every step, a hiker might stumble across the remains of a decomposing body. As I say, whether you’re one to get caught up in tales of the supernatural or not, it’s just an all-round unpleasant and potentially dangerous place to be. For people who are experiencing serious life issues and need someone to talk to, you can call: 896-7603 (Crisis Line Philippines). Some people camp out at Aokigahara, as suggested by the author of the suicide manual. We humans are a hardy bunch, aren’t we? The floor of the forest in the shadow of Mount Fuji has been nourished by a thick layer of lava over thousands of years. To better understand the complexity of Aokigahara, we must look at Mt.Fuji. Aokigahara is one of those places that has fallen victim to its own anti-hype.

Well, sure, that’s a given. After all, Japan is nicknamed “the Land of the Rising Sun.” In fact, the sunrise from the summit has a special name in Japanese culture, “Goraiko,” which translates to “the coming of the light.” Hot springs, shrines, and purification temples pepper the area. I was walking fast because we only had an hour before dark. Despite the inherent dangers and local censure, the area is frequently rated a top-50 scenic destination in worldwide polls. Bats aside, this stunning tourist attraction and its lava stalactites are a must-see if you’re in the area. Movies such as 47 Ronin and The Sea of Trees have featured Aokigahara and elements of the legend surrounding it, while 2016’s supernatural horror The Forest used the forest as its setting throughout (rather, a forest in Serbia that doubled for it, as the Japanese government forbids filming in Aokigahara). How many could’ve been saved if the numbers were working and someone answered the call? According to the stories, the forest is home not only to spirits of those who have become lost, but some very special spirits at that. It’s an icy, frozen cave. Holy. Perhaps what’s happening in Aokigahara Forest is a postmodern version of an old Japanese cultural standard. [11], Aokigahara is sometimes referred to as the most popular site for suicide in Japan.

Fringe tourists are not the only ones interested in this iconic location. The can drops. Globe and TM subscribers may call the toll-free number 2919. We reach the entrance.

Good luck with that. These days, annual suicide rates are at least 30,000, hovering around 24 suicides per 100,000 people. [1] The western edge of Aokigahara, where there are several caves that fill with ice in winter, is a popular destination for tourists and school trips. Perhaps everyone wants to climb to exhilarating heights and find a quiet and secluded place to visit the spirit world.