Aokigahara (青木ヶ原), ”The Perfect Place to Die“ also known as the Sea of Trees is a forest that lies at the northwest base of Mount Fuji in Japan. The forest contains a number of rocky, icy caverns, a few of which are popular tourist destinations. Due to the wind-blocking density of the trees and an absence of wildlife, the forest is known for being eerily quiet.
The forest has a historic association with demons in Japanese mythology and is a popular place for suicides; In 2010, 247 people attempted suicide in the forest, 54 of whom completed the act. Despite numerous signs, in Japanese and English, urging people to reconsider their actions, more than 500 have successfully took their lives here since the 1950’s. The place has long been associated with death: ubasute may have been practiced there into the 19th century, and the forest is reputedly haunted by the ghosts of those left to die.
Locals say they can easily spot the three types of visitors to the forest: trekkers interested in scenic vistas of Mount Fuji, the curious hoping for a glimpse of the macabre, and those souls who don’t plan on returning.