Aokigahara, Japan’s Suicide Forest Tour

Forest Suicide

Starting from a history of the forest of Aokigahara itself, where once in this forest often performed a ritual called Ubusute. Ubusute means to die. This ritual has been performed since the 19th century.

In 1960 rumors about the Suicide Forest were further spiced up with the publication of a novel Koroi Jukai, by Japanese writer Seicho Matsumoto. In Koroi Jukai is told about a couple who kill themselves in Aokigahara for their love. Be, the next few years this forest is truly the most popular suicide site in Japan.

In 1998, there were 73 dead bodies either by hanging themselves or by other means. The number of suicides increased in 2002, which was 78 cases. It continued to increase to 100 cases in 2003, and since that year the government has hidden the number of subsequent deaths from public consumption.

However, despite its haunted impression, Aokigahara is still interesting as a tourist attraction. Located at the foot of Mount Fuji, Japan, it has interesting spots for tourists to visit. One of them is Fugaku Wind Cave.

Ice Cave Tour, Fugaku Wind Cave

Located within 32 square kilometers of Aokigahara forest, visitors are not allowed to travel alone. In Yamanashi, there is a tour guide service to the forest. A variety of tour packages are available. A cave or caving package requires a check of 5,400 Yen or about Rp. 550,000-, where we will later get a professional tour guide and a special outfit that is needed for caving purposes.

The journey begins. From Yamanashi it takes about 30 minutes to get to Aokigahara. Along the way, the left-right of the road will be filled with dense trees. Aokigahara Forest is indeed touted as Jukai, or Sea of Trees aka Sea of Trees.

Main road to enter Aokigahara

Although it resembles the ocean, it is actually only the three main trees in Aokigahara. Namely, Mapple, Pine and Cheddar trees. Wild animals that live here, mostly deer, wild boar, foxes to black bears. Dangerous, indeed.

However, the forest, which was formed 1200 years ago due to mount Fuji’s lava eruption, has something ‘sweet’. It is a mushroom named Mannatake, it is said, if on the way to the cave you find this mushroom, then you will be lucky.

Mannake Mushroom or Ling Zhi Mushroom, believed to bring good luck

This is Fugaku Wind Cave. Just up at the mouth of the cave, the ambient temperature even decreased drastically. Suddenly it’s cold. The cave gaps at the surface of the ground, all of which is formed by the frozen lava of Mount Fuji.

Fugaku Wind Cave

The tour guide will be very careful when walking backwards down the cave. The head should not be knocked over the ceiling of the cave. The legs should be alert when treading, because at some point the floor freezes and it makes slippery.

Although it’s called the Wind Cave, there’s no wind hole at all in this cave. The temperature is stable throughout the year, between 0 to -2 degrees celsius. Because of the stable temperature, the locals used to make this cave as a refrigerator. It is proven by the absence of niches in the cave walls that are used to store food, even put cocoons of silkworms to be later spun into threads.

Going into a depth of 200 meters, the visitors’ pace had to stop. No further entry–about 100 meters, if not a professional. However, at that point 200 meters, the beauty is displayed. The cave stalactite freezes, because the temperature inside here is about -2 degrees celsius. They, forming a beautiful landscape resembling a crystal room.

Stalactite that freezes at -2 degrees celsius, making the cave room look like a crystal room

After exploring the hidden beauty of Aokigahara Forest, visitors are expected to change their perception. The haunted impression of being homework for yamanashi prefecture government so that tourists do not get caught up with the same story. Aokigahara, hopefully can be maintained with good beauty, fresh air and coolness.

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