Aokigahara (青木ヶ原), also known as Sea of Trees (樹海 - Jukai), is a 35km² forest located at the northwest base of Mount Fuji, Japan. The forest is made up of thousands of trees, rocks and ice caves, and has many popular tourist spots.
Aokigahara is known for being strangely silent, the density of the trees, which block the wind, makes wildlife difficult. Many legends are told about this forest. Some of them related to demons and evil spirits from Japanese mythology. But its main fame is because of the large numbers of suicides that happen every year.
More than 50 people commit suicide in Aokigahara every year, the bodies found exceed 100, it is possible to find decomposing bodies and even skeletons. Aokigahara is considered the biggest suicide point in Japan and the second largest in the world, behind the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
The high rate of suicides caught the attention of Japanese authorities, who posted notices in Japanese and English discouraging the act. Every year a team of trained people advance in the dense forest in search of bodies.
Aokigahara is not just an amazing place, there are tourist spots to explore, such as the Ice Cave and the Cave of the Wind. There are more than 200 caves within the Aokigahara forest, some even have shrines. Tourists usually put tapes in the forest to mark the trails they are exploring, so the forest is full of tapes marking trees leaving a more frightening climate…
The aforementioned legends refer to demons and spirits. Some Japanese fear the forest, and he thinks that when he enters he will never return. This may be true, it is easy to get lost on the trails, and due to the volcanic soil, compasses and phones may not work.
Another reason why people believed that the forest is haunted is due to Yurei, souls full of hatred, sadness and desire for revenge. According to legend, people take their families to the forest and let them die there. In popular Japanese belief, if a person dies in a deep sense of hatred, anger, sadness or a desire for revenge, their soul cannot leave this world and continues to wander.
That legend scares today. Body hunters usually leave the bodies found in a room before taking authorities. The legend says that if the body is left alone in the room, your yurei will move around screaming in the room. Body hunters often play Jankenpo to decide who will take care of the body.
Movies and Videos
There are 2 films that tell a little about this macabre forest:
The Suicide Forest - from 2009, tells the story of some students who go to the forest to make a kind of amateur documentary about their legends and stories. They end up getting lost there and terrible things happen. Horror
The Sea of Tress - It tells the story of two men, the American Arthur Brennan (Matthew McConaughey) and the Japanese Takumi Nakamura (Ken Watanabe), who go to the forest wishing for suicide, but end up starting a journey of reflection and survival into the woods. Drama
Finally, I will leave a TV report that talks a little more about the Aokigahara forest: