Aokigahara forest Japan

Travel Guide: The Hauntingly Mysterious Sea of Trees of the Aokigahara Forest

Aokigahara forest is spread around in an area of 13.5 square miles. It features a very high foliage density, scarce wildlife population and is popularly renown as the Sea of Trees. It is a renowned dark tourism spot in Japan.

It is also one of the most popular suicide spots on the entire planet.

Aokigahara forest has a history of suicides.  This is where people with broken dreams, failed marriages, lost jobs, and family troubles come to end it all in Japan. Every year on average about 70 to 100 bodies are discovered by search parties. That’s leaving out those forever lost in the jungle.

If you are looking for going on dark tourism to a place with grim history, then this is the perfect place. However, if you find yourself depressed or mentally unstable, then please do not plan a trip here. Not all travel destinations for all travelers.

Aokigahara forest: Things to know before you go  

 Counted among the most renowned suicide spots on planet earth

Aokigahara forest: things to do
by TripAdvisor

Aokigahara is a forest, known throughout the world for being one of the most unique travel destinations. This forest is dense with trees. It acts as a natural agent for keeping the bodies undiscovered.

Some experts claim that at most about 100 peoples have committed suicide in Aokigahara. The spooky reputation of this morbid travel hub is well deserved. However, if you are one of the thrill-seeking travelers, this might just be a perfect travel destination for you.

Suicide and Japan

Have you heard of Seppuku? Dating back to the feudal era of Japanese history, Seppuku was quite popular. It was a ritual of suicide and thought to be an honorable way to go.

Modern times have erased the ritual’s continuation. However, it has definitely affected the combined psyche of Japanese communities. For instance, suicide isn’t seen as such a taboo subject painted with stigma as in most other countries.

Some things are like that, even after they are gone, their effects linger. The echoes of the presence of Seppuku culture have forever etched suicide as a form of taking responsibility in many people.

High suicide rates:

Japan is globally renowned to have one of the highest rates of suicide. In January 2009 alone, the financial crisis of 2008 caused 2,645 suicides in Japan. The suicide count of the previous year was 15% lower than this.

This rate of suicides continued spiking and reached its peak around march. March is known to be the supposed end of a financial year in this nation.

Experts reveal that most of the callers to suicide helpline claim family problems or mental health as the cause. Financial issues, such as low pay, long work hours, losing their job were concluded as the prevalent reasons.

Suicide prevention initiative by Japanese Govt

The Japanese government is not unaware of the high rates of suicide in the country. They have in fact enacted a plan to try and reduce the suicide rate by 20% under a period of seven years.

Government resources and manpower were allocated to various regions. These funds were used to frequently petrol high probability spots and installing security cameras.

Security cameras were scattered throughout various suicide spots and more infamous trails. Positive affirmations were posted along with the different points in Aokigahara forest trails.

Haunting emptiness of Aokgahara Forest

Aokigahara forest: suicide spot
by the Japan times

Perhaps the eeriest thing about Aokigahara is the absence of sound. It is hauntingly quiet. The wildlife in the area is so sparse that barely any sound other than your own will reach you.

Every step you take, every leaf that crunches beneath your feet, slight rustle of your clothes, that’s all that you hear. It is not a place for the fainthearted. Neither it is somewhere you should go for a casual stroll.

It is known as one of the most popular suicide spots for a reason. Do not take it lightly. You need to be in a secure mental space and healthy enough to consider visiting.

The trails are not even. Aokigahara starts as the mountain ends. At the base, it’s unsurprisingly uneven terrain that greets you. The area is rocky and filled with little caves. However, the eeriest thing about this place is the strange feeling of emptiness.

There are lush trees as far as you can see, tightly packed in this forest. You might expect the forest to be filled with wildlife, however, the inverse is true instead.  The sparsity of wildlife in the forest causes a strange atmosphere of silence.

Imagine yourself being surrounded on all sides by trees and yet you hear no bird calls. There are no small animals scurrying around. It’s just you, and the trees. Looking, tightly packed, trees. That completely isolates you from the outside world.

A feeling of isolation invades your psyche. You start looking over your shoulders at every small snap of a twig. Only to realize the roar in your ears is just the sound of your racing heartbeat. Anxiety kicks in. You might even feel paranoid. And that’s why this place is infamous around the globe.

Sometimes, more than the presence of something dangerous, it’s the absence of anything that haunts you more. I warn you to make careful considerations before deciding whether or not to visit this place.

Literary influence:

Aokigahara forest: places to see
by atlasobscura

Way back in 1960, Seichō Matsumoto, a writer published a book titled Kuroi Jukai. It was a tragic tale of two lovers. At the end of this dramatic and sad tale, they end up ending their lives inside the Sea of Trees.

This book ended up having a major impact on Japanese culture. It is one of the prevalent reasons the sport became popular.

Further enhancing the tale, is another famed book, “The Complete Suicide Manual”. It’s a kind of travel guide to suicide destinations. This book also ranks places based on various factors which depict the best places around the globe for suicide.

Aokigahara has been ranked highly, termed as “the perfect place to die” by The Complete Suicide Manual. Now, why are we talking about this? Because this book was discovered amidst the possessions of various different suicide victims in Aokigahara.

Local belief

I recommend that you try to learn the local customs and traditions of any place you travel to. Make small talk with the locals, go to a pub, and ask about the surrounding area.

While internet research and travel guides might lead you to the mainstream travel hubs, locals know the area better. No travel blog including this one can claim to offer better in-depth know-how of the locality. In the same sense, the locals believe the Aokigahara forest to be haunted. “yurei” or vengeful spirits of the departed are said to linger in the forest. Some claim to have experienced a ‘presence’.

No matter the truth, only considering the suicide toll in this forest is enough to make it spooky. There are quite a few folklore that are related to this forest. Almost all the stories ending up in suicide. The vengeful spirits are said to entice the hikers of the well-trodden path into the deeper depths of the forest. Haunting them till they take their own lives.

A history of local intervention:

Dating back to 1970, annual searches have been held comprising of the volunteers of the locality. However, these searches are more focused on recovering the remains of the suicide victims.

The remains of the departed are brought back from the depths of the forest and buried properly. The government of Japan hasn’t publicized the actual count of suicide victims of recent years. Early on, the average count ranged between 70 to 100 people.

Considering the present darker climate of worldwide recession, and economic slowdown, the count is supposed to be at it’s highest.

If locals see a visitor coming along with a tent, it evokes doubt. It signifies in general that the person might be considering their fate. The patrolling people try to talk them out of a bad choice. Sometimes people don’t even need suggestions. They just need someone to listen.

Where to stay near Aokigahara Forest

Mizuno Hotel

where to stay in Japan
by Japanican

Mizuno Hotel is located about 9 miles from Aokigahara forest at 187 Azagawa, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minamitsuru-gun 401-0303, Yamanashi Prefecture.

You can check out Kawaguchiko cheesecake garden cafe at a 15-minute walk from Mizuno Hotel. The amenities offered at the hotel include free parking, free WiFi, a hot tub, sauna facilities, complimentary taxi services, a spa, and a bar.

Your room at the hotel includes facilities such as blackout curtains, air-conditioned rooms, a safe and a refrigerator as well as a flatscreen TV. You need to be aware of the fact that the rooms are nonsmoking.

Fuji View Hotel

fuji view hotel Japan

Fuji View Hotel is located around 7.2 miles from Aokigahara Forest. placed at 511 Matsuyama, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minamitsuru-gun, 401-0310, Yamanashi prefecture. You can check out Nabeya, a Japanese restaurant located on a 4-minute walk from the property. Partita is an Italian and

The amenities offered at this hotel include free parking, free WiFi, a hot tub as well as a sauna, a bar, and bicycles available on a rental basis. Free taxi service included.

The room comes with air conditioning, a flatscreen TV, a refrigerator, and a private balcony. Other basic facilities are included as well. You can get here from Haneda airport by a 59-minute drive.


Things to do nearby Aokigahara Forest

Japanese culture
by Japan guide

Feel the peace at Lake Kawaguchiko- Located around 8.5 miles from Aokigahara forest, Lake Kawaguchiko is placed at Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minamitsuru-gun 401-0300, Yamanashi Prefecture.

Experience the Fuji Shibazakura Festival- located 1.8 miles from Aokigahara forest at 212 Motosu, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minamitsuru-gun, 401-0337, Yamanashi Prefecture.

Visit the Motosuko Lake– located about 2.4 miles from Aokigahara forest, at Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minamitsuru-gun, 401-0337, Yamanashi Prefecture.

Take a short trip to Saiko Iyashi no Sato Nemba- located about 3.8 miles from Aokigahara forest, at 2710 Saikonemba, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minamitsuru-gun 401-0332 Yamanashi Prefecture. It’s q traditional Japanese village. Best place to sneak a peek into the traditional customs of Japanese culture.

See the display of Itchiku Kubota Art Museum- located about 8.9 miles from the Aokigahara forest, at  2255 Kawaguchi, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minamitsuru-gun, 401-0304, Yamanashi Prefecture.


Some travel destinations are so unique, that even habitual travelers need to be cautious before approaching. An adventurous spirit is good and all, but nothing is more important than your safety.

I hope you plan your travel to the Aokigahara forest only if you are mentally secure and happy in your present life. A depressed mentality can worsen in the absolute isolation of the depths of this forest.

Go on now adventurer, have fun, stay safe, happy travels!





One thought on “Travel Guide: The Hauntingly Mysterious Sea of Trees of the Aokigahara Forest

  1. Wreszcie jakiś porządny artykuł! Czasami człowiek się zastanawia, czy czyta w internecie artykuł człowieka, czy jakiegoś robota… Tutaj na szczęście nie mam wątpliwości i na pewno jeszcze tutaj zajrzę. 🙂

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