An Ethereal Forest Where Japanese Commit Suicide

By Alexa Keefe
Photographer Tomasz Lazar asks us to envision the final walk of those who have died in Aokigahara forest—as well as the spirits that remain.

At the base of Mount Fuji is a dense, verdant forest. From above, the trees swaying in the wind are reminiscent of the sea, giving the Aokigahara forest a second name—Jukai, or Sea of Trees. The ground below is uneven and riddled with small caves, moss-covered roots growing on top of the dried lava that once flowed there. The soil has a high iron content which interferes with GPS and cell phone signals.

This is a very easy place to get lost. Visitors are strongly encouraged to stay on the trails.

There are some people, however, who enter the forest with the intention of not coming out. Signs at the forest entrances remind visitors that their lives are precious, to think of their families. At the bottom of the signs is the number for a suicide hotline.

Source: An Ethereal Forest Where Japanese Commit Suicide – National Geographic, 2017-02-23