Source: YouTube

Wandering Through Japan’s Suicide Forest, Aokigahara

Set aside Japan's iconic ghost and horror movie culture that is famous worldwide because Aokigahara Forest is the real thing. People around the world have seen Japanese movies like The Ring and Juon with their creepy long haired white-clothed ghosts and the dead silences between scenes. Much like these chilling movies, Aokigahara Forest brings about the same kind of creepy fear and tingle to the back of your neck.

Located at the bottom of Mt.Fuji, the forest with closely-packed trees, lack of wildlife and death-like silence have made it a popular spot for many Japanese people to make it their final resting place. Not only do Japanese people believe that Aokigahara Forest is a famous spot to encounter ghosts (yurei) but it has become an increasingly popular destination for people who want to commit suicide.

As the place gained popularity, the Japanese government stopped reporting exact numbers of people who commit suicide in the forest to prevent more people from coming and more attention being placed on this spot. However, it is believed that hundreds of people each year make the trek to the forest and many never come back out. The locals stay away from the forest and report any visitors who are alone or seem like they might be there to take their life. There are also many warning signs and boards displayed throughout the forest warning people to stay on the path and to think twice before commiting suicide.

Even for tourists visiting just out of curiosity or looking for a thrill, it is recommended not to move off the walking path provided as the terrain is much more uneven and dangerous. As well as the sad fact that heading off the path might lead to discovering remains of people who've decided to take their lives in the forest. And to add to the bleak atmosphere of the forest it is reported that due to the magnetic iron-rich soil sometimes it is difficult to get strong signal or reception for electronic devices and compasses.

Over the years the suicide forest has been portrayed in many anime, manga, documentaries and even Hollywood movies. This Halloween, if you are looking for a dark and chilling experience and do decide to check out Aokigahara Forest be safe and make sure you visit in the day and avoid all the stones and holes in the ground. And most important of all, don't go alone!

Watch Chris's YouTube video about the forest as he walks around hoping not to disturb any spirits and/or catch a glimpse of the forest's victims. It is easy to sense his feelings of uneasiness as he takes his date on this creepy adventure.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.