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Japan Life!
Chapter: 10 Lesson: 0 - Aokigahara – Suicide Forest – Mount Fuji Japan
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Lesson added on: January 1, 1970 12:00am
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Aokigahara 青木ヶ原 is a beautiful forest found North-West at the base of Mount Fuji. It is filled with beautiful trees, and caves making it a popular tourist attraction. When this forest is seen from the mountain, it resembles like a green sea or rather a sea of forest, which earned its nickname Jukai 樹海. However, there’s another nickname given to this forest: Suicide Forest. Be warned that the content on this page may seem graphic for younger readers, discretion is advised.

There is an epidemic in the forest of Aokigahara, suicide. Yes, every year there are as much as 100 suicides committed in this forest by people who grew tired of living, making it the most popular suicide destination in all of Japan (second only to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco) hence its catchphrase “Aokigahara is the perfect place to die”.

These numbers are only documented cases and the Government is of no help with better numbers. It is speculated that there are a lot more people than the government lets us believe.Traditionally, suicide was reserved to protect family honor in Japan during the days of the Samurai. It was also a method used by poor families whom would bring their elders to the mountains to die in order to protect their family from starvation and other reasons.

This act was known as Ubasute 姥捨て and it is unknown whether or not this actually happened but is seen as a legend and generally a story about sacrifice. Today in modern Japan, suicide has become an epidemic of combined stress and hatred towards oneself and society rather than honor and sacrifice. There is an overwhelming amount of stress at work, school, and from family members which often drive both teenagers and adults to end their life.

Whatever their reason may be, many of them will find themselves in Aokigahara making what may very well be their final decision.At the entrance of Aokigahara there is a sign that warns potential victims to think carefully about what they are about to do because their life is a gift given by their parents. It is also written to please think about their family and to talk to others about what troubles them and to contact the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 055-22-0110.


Tourists may enter the trails as they please however some trails are off-limits. These forbidden trails are pretty obvious even to foreigners to not enter, but what is beyond these points? Most likely you would encounter corpses, trailing tape leading to empty tents & more corpses, suicide notes and lots of forest to get lost into. Unless you’re a survival expert with permission, it’s probably best to avoid these trails.

This editorial was written during October for our Spooky Japan event. It wouldn’t be spooky without the mention of Yokai and Ghosts (yurei 幽霊) which have been seen throughout the Aokigahara forest. Locals do not enter the forest as children are warned of the dangers which are both physical and paranormal. Legend has it that a compass does not work in certain parts of Aokigahara (likely due to underground concentrates of iron) therefore anyone straying away from the trails may find themselves lost forever.

Many have claimed to have seen ghosts whom may be lingering in purgatory at night. Some others have claimed to have seen Yokai or have been guided back home by them.Aokigahara is considered to be the most haunted location in Japan and often times, the last place people go to.

It remains to be a popular tourist attraction and many believe it to be worth exploring. Do you dare to visit this haunted forest?
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