Background on Aokigahara Forest
There are places in this world that seem unworldly in their ability to draw you in with the mystique and the beauty that they conjure. One such particular place that is called suicide forest in the fact that it is the second most popular in the world to take one’s life. (Golden Gate Bridge being first).
Also known as Aokigahara Forest, it happens to reside at the base of Mt. Fuji where the vastness of the dense forest can draw in people whose corpses are found in hundreds by volunteers who will annually search areas of the woods. Around 10-30 bodies will be found every month.
Some say because of all of the tortured people that would go in and never come back. In certain areas ropes were found hanging cut where the noose had been. Shoes of every color and style are set out from an array of travelers that either left the forest deciding that life is worth living and they go on.
The ones that decide to stay only add to the paranormal feel of entities calling in the lost that are weak and wander. The seclusion of forest makes it the ‘perfect place’ to commit suicide. Forest workers have it the worst because they take the bodies down and bring them to the police.
Suicide Forest : Officers claim hundreds of bodies yearly
“I’ve seen plenty of bodies that have been really badly decomposed, or been picked at by wild animals… There’s nothing beautiful about dying in there” said one officer.
There are signs posted throughout to try and dissuade potential suicides in the forest. Signs that would remind you of the sanctity of life and to also think about your mother, your family will miss you. Shopkeeper Hideo Watanabe, 64, is known to have saved 160 people over the past 30 years.
People come to either simply enjoy the majestic views of Mt. Fuji or those interested in tales of the macabre and wanting to explore. Documentaries have been made about the lives of survivors and the findings of the ‘watchers of the woods’.
In this documentary, a geologist and forest volunteer Azusa Hayano brings you into Aokigahara Forest and explains the impact and shows leavings of clothing, bottles of water, tents, and even cut ropes gently swaying along the trunk of a tree. Only when you see Aokigahara first hand do you understand just how apt the moniker Suicide Forest really is.
This film can be viewed here:
It really shows the sadness and often overwhelming grief that some can experience, little slices of their life whether it be a notebook, shoe, sometimes a live person. Hayano at one point finds a little tent and calls to the person on the inside and talks him out of the forest.
There are 50 to 100 deaths per year and sweeps are annually made of the forest but because of the denseness cannot be patrolled more frequently.
Clinical depression that could be due to economic crisis in Japan could be linked to the increase in suicide rates over time. Some visitors to the famed suicide forest are just curious, but others enter without any plan to ever leave the dark, creepy forest that looms in the shadows of Mt. Fuji.
Would you be visit Aokigahara forest? Or would you prefer not to tempt fate? Let us know in the comments.