Japan's "Sea of Trees" (樹海 jukai), or "Blue Tree Meadow" (青木ヶ原 aokigahara) as it's also called, is one of Japan's most famous forests situated on the northwestern flank of Mount Fuji. While the caves on the Western edge are popular with tourists, the denser parts of the forest have long been associated with ghosts, making it the topic of more than a few horror films, both in Japan and abroad.

For the past 22 years, Japanese mountaineer and environmental activist 野口健 Ken Noguchi has engaged in trash cleanup acitivites in and around Mount Fuji. He also makes regular trips to Aokigahara.

Of course, you can expect trash to smell bad, but the stench that he has been dealing with in recent years in the forest is the result of a particular offensive problem:

Unbelieveably, plastic bottles containing human urine are being dumped there.

The place where this abhorrent practice occurs is along a national highway that goes through the forest.

On November 19th, 2022, Noguchi reported on his most recent cleanup excursion at the famous forest. Again, there were plastic bottles filled with urine in them, and he revealed, "Today's site was particularly bad."

Aged urine was leaking from deteriorated plastic bottles, and the surrounding area was filled with a foul stench.

Some of the images in the Tweets below may offend your sensitivities. Click on View at your own discretion.

The situation was so bad that even those who were participating in the cleanup activities were shocked.

While surmising that lifestyle changes stemming from the novel coronavirus pandemic may be partly to blame for the increase, he condemns the practice, saying: "People who throw away plastic bottles filled with urine don't stop to consider that there are people who pick them up."

Noguchi's complaint on Twitter elicited numerous responses, such as:

  • "I was saddened when I actually saw a person throwing away a plastic bottle filled with urine. I wondered, "Why do they litter?"
  • "I think it is strange that people litter just because they don't want to take it to the dump."
  • "Recently, I see these plastic bottles being thrown away on the side of the road as well."

Garbage doesn't always return to Nature. Sometimes, it gets picked up by cleanup volunteers like Mr. Noguchi, who then dispose of them in the appropriate places.

Hopefully, Noguchi's Tweets will encourage more people to dispose of their own garbage properly, rather than thinking: "Someone else will take care of it."

By - grape Japan editorial staff.