Aokigahara Forest (The Suicide Forest)

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这一片树海,寂静,暗阴. 空气中弥漫着叫人心酸的悲伤,却带着独有的魅力。我喜欢这里. 在这里你能听到自己的声音. 每一个步伐,每一个呼吸,就连心跳的频率都如此清晰. 这里是青木原树海,日本知名的自杀森林.

Its dead quiet here. The air’s so still that even your breathing sounds deafening. This is one of Japan’s renowned tourist attraction yet it is known to the locals as the perfect place to die – The Suicide Forest.

I first chanced upon the name in a movie called “The Forest”. The movie left such an impression in me (cause it scared the hell out of me) and when I knew that the story’s based on a real place, like all other inquisitive souls, I just had to research on it. So it turns out that “Jukai”, as what the locals calls it, made its way on the “Top 10 Suicide Sites on Earth” web list. Some people say its haunted, cause the air’s so still and compasses fail (cause of the magnetic waves), and there’s just too many depressed souls that ended their lives here (more than a hundred per year in Year 2003). Its a sad sad story, how people tie strings on to themselves, wander into the forest, find a spot and do it, hoping that their bodies will be found and would be taken care of. Its a real depressive place but there’s really such beauty in it too. Just what draws people there?

Well, I had it on my bucket list for my wanderings. I was curious as to how quiet the place is. Everyone says its peaceful, and thats one of the reasons why the suicidal stays there in a tent for days to think through life before seeking an end. Im sceptical. Like come on, whats PEACE and whats BEAUTY? Its a forest… and thats like trees, branches and leaves. 🙂

I visited Jukai in December. It was winter and daytime was short. I took a 40 minutes hike. The terrain was uneven, it was not an easy walk. There were piles of dead leaves covering the rocky floor. There wasn’t much sunlight shining in. It wasn’t dark. It wasn’t freezing. Honestly, everything felt just right.

The air’s dead still and silent. I reckon there wasn’t any animals. I didn’t see any, nor could I even hear a cricket or a bird chirp. The loudest thing you hear – your breaths, your steps, your thoughts and your heart.

There’s peace in this forest, beauty to an extent.
But more than that, a great sadness.

There are some who steps into the forest, looking for an adventure. The forest, is just one of the beauty he sees in life.
There are some who steps into the forest, looking for an end. The forest might just be the only beauty he sees in life.

As for me, Aokigahara: Bucketlist checked.

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