The Aokigahara Forest at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan is a place where people go to die. Every year, more than 100 bodies are found hanging in the forest, but many more remain undiscovered for years. It is called Suicide Forest.
Despite signs encouraging people to live and offering contact information to suicide prevention hotlines, many people still enter "Jukai," the sea of trees, where they subsequently end their life. While there's also evidence that some people do have a change of heart, there's an almost palpable sense that by the time they've gotten to this place they've already gone too far to change course. Notes, tents, personal effects -- and most ominously, a doll hung upside down with its face ripped off -- attest to their last despair.
According to Vice.com, which hosts the above video, "After the novel Kuroi Jukai was published, in which a young lover commits suicide in the forest, people started taking their own lives there at a rate of 50 to 100 deaths a year. The site holds so many bodies that the Yakuza pays homeless people to sneak into the forest and rob the corpses. The authorities sweep for bodies only on an annual basis, as the forest sits at the base of Mt. Fuji and is too dense to patrol more frequently."
Many times you can tell which ones were unsure of whether they wanted to carry out the deal with death. Because the area where the suicides occur is one where you can easily get lost, those that may be harboring doubts wrap tape around the trees to provide a means of finding their way out should they change their minds. Yet all too often, a corpse is also found at the other end.
The video is a fairly haunting look at a completely strange phenomenon. It's well worth the 21:00 minutes it takes to watch.
2 hours ago