Aokigahara Forest, Fujikawaguchiko-machi

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#5 of 11 in Nature in Fujikawaguchiko-machi
Aokigahara Forest , also known as the Suicide Forest or, is a forest on the northwestern flank of Japan's Mount Fuji thriving on 30 square kilometers (12 square miles) of hardened lava laid down by the last major eruption of Mount Fuji in 864 AD. The western edge of Aokigahara, where there are several caves filled with ice, is a popular destination for tourists and school trips. Parts of Aokigahara are very dense, and the porous lava absorbs sound, helping to provide visitors with a sense of solitude.The forest has a historical reputation as a home to "yƫrei" or ghosts of the dead in Japanese mythology. In recent years, Aokigahara has become internationally known as one of Japan's most popular destinations for suicide, and signs at the head of some trails urges suicidal visitors to think of their families and contact a suicide prevention association.GeographyThe forest floor mostly consists of volcanic rock which can be difficult to penetrate with hand tools such as picks or shovels. Since the forest is very dense, hikers and tourists trekking through Aokigahara have begun to use plastic tape to mark their paths so as to avoid getting lost in recent years. Beyond the designated trails leads to several tourist attractions such as the Ice Cave and Wind Cave. The first kilometer of the forest is littered with tape and other rubbish left by tourists, despite officials' attempts to remove it. After the first kilometer into Aokigahara towards Mount Fuji within the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, the forest is in better condition, with few obvious signs of human presence. However, portrayals of Aokigahara where navigational compasses go haywire are false. The needle of magnetic compasses will move if placed directly on the lava, but are otherwise stationary if held at a normal height.
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Aokigahara Forest Reviews
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  • Few weeks back I was trekking inside Aokigahara on a jungle. The huge trees, the dense vegetation, the strange look of the roots of the trees, made so by the dark lava and the caves, the moss covered ...  more »
  • This forest is growing on volcanic soil and rocks so there is no cellular connection or compass directions . So it is known for the travelers that get lost or try to commit suicide and also according ...  more »
  • It's a shame that this area is now so well-known for the suicides that go on, as it's really a unique place in the world. There's just something about it that feels a bit different. I only did one of ...  more »

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Where to stay in Fujikawaguchiko-machi

The lakeside resort town of Fujikawaguchiko-machi offers a great variety accommodations, reflective of the diverse reasons people have for visiting the town. Some simple guesthouses and hostels dot the more modest streets of the main urban areas, while more upmarket, resort-style hotels with "onsen" (traditional Japanese spas) are located close to the lake, or sit in privileged positions just out of town. Campsites and inns in the surrounding rural areas provide particularly good options for those just wanting to get up Mount Fuji.
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