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Our Journey to Suicide Forest, Aokigahara, Japan

Our Journey to Suicide Forest, Aokigahara, Japan By the roots of Mt. Fuji lies a special forest, full of myths and sadness but at the same time extremely silent and graceful. This is Aokigahara, otherwise known as Suicide Forest. Only second to Golden Gate Bridge, it is the most popular suicide spot on earth. Yearly an estimated 50-100 people walk in the forest and never return. Why Aokigahara? There are a few reasons for the Aokigahara’s popularity but most people site Seichō Matsumoto’s novel from the 1960′, Tower of Waves, which follows a young couple who decide to end their live in the forest due to social unacceptance. The novel is thought to have caused a significant rise in suicide numbers in Aokigahara. Long before the novel was published, legend says that Aokigahara was a place where Japanese carried their elders to let them pass away during times of hardship (hunger and draught), a tradition known as “ubasute”. The forest is also extremely dense making it dead silent and it’s easy to get lost even using the designated tracks. Many say that regular compasses are useless due to high content of magnetic iron in the lava grounds. Some might feel comfort in taking their last breath […]

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