Japan’s Aokigahara Forest is better known as the “Suicide Forrest.” The reasons why it sees so many people take their lives are complicated. Sometimes called “Jukai” by locals, and also called the “Sea of Trees,” Aokigahara is an almost silent place where one can easily wander off the path and get lost. It’s isolated and haunting, a silent place where a heartbroken lover, depressed person, or jobless businessman can go if they want to take their own life. And it’s also beautiful, with ice caves, soaring trees, and a stunning view of Mount Fuji.
Because so many people have died in the Aokigahara, both in modern and ancient times, there are a number of stories, myths, and legends about it. Spooky stories abound of spirits haunting the thick canopy – ghosts called the souls of suicide and murder victims. Those who died by their own hand or in an unnatural way are said to be prevented from joining the spirits of their ancestors because of their manner of demise. So they haunt the trees, the soil, and the mountains – their ghastly moans heard when nothing else can be, driving those currently in the forest crazy.
Here are some of the real facts about Aokigahara Forest. It’s up to you whether you want to explore this quiet, foreboding place one day or if reading about it here is as close as you’ll ever want to get.