Aokigahara – Suicide Forest – Mt. Fuji

After watching the Bunraku performance of Much Ado About Love Suicides in Kyoto during the summer I also wanted to visit Aokigahara (or Suicide Forest) and found the perfect opportunity to do that this weekend when a friend of mine was free to join me – there was absolutely no way I was going into that forest alone.

Secretly a little terrified, we went off in search of the ice caves, trying our hardest to stick to the designated nature trails. Luckily, there is a bus stop directly next to the wind cave so  that was a breeze to find. But, despite the option of sticking to the main roads to find the remaining caves (ice cave and lava cave) we decided to cut through the forest – the extra creepy, super silent forest.

Sticking to what we assumed was a trail, was somewhat difficult and we quickly discovered that accidental death in the forest was probable. The ground was slippery with black ice and the uneven volcanic rock was not going to help the situation. The forest seemingly has it’s own climate too – as we neared the forest it began to snow, as we left the forest it stopped – coincidence? I think not. I quickly wished I’d worn my ski gloves.

There are many keep out signs and suggested routes along the way, not that we followed any of the rules or even the minimalist map you receive from the bus company. Getting lost is easy. Luckily some pink tape and a woodpecker led us to a more desirable pathway and out onto the road. The deserted road. Thanks tape. This isn’t just as creepy as those tombs we just found.

Albeit, fraught with misery and despair, the forest in all of it’s stillness and silence is also incredibly peaceful and beautiful. This beauty is not only encapsulated by the dense forest and moss landscapes but also by the chilling ice caves. In fact, bar the disappearing man, the mystery cave entrance, the eery silence, the complete lack of wildlife and or human life, the chilling temperatures, terrifying terrain, the fear of finding a dead body or being attacked by demons, the forest is an absolutely pleasant place for a picnic.

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