Called “the perfect place to die”, Aokigahara forest, where there are different stories related to the mythology of Japanese demons, holds the unfortunate record of second place in the world to commit suicide. (The first is the Golden Gate where now would put the toll even to pedestrians and cyclists). Since 1950, at least 500 people are no longer out of this forest, with an increasing rate of deaths between 10% and 30% per year. Recently, these numbers have increased even more, with a record of 78 suicides in 2002.
Japanese Spiritualists believe that suicides occurred in the forest have permeated Aokigahara trees, causing the increase of paranormal activity, such as the loss of guidance to those who enter. Although for the latter phenomenon, the explanation lies in the presence of minerals that interfere with normal compasses.
Due to the vastness of the forest, would-be suicides rarely have the chance to meet someone once inside the so-called “sea of trees”. This is also why the police did install billboards with the message “Your life is a precious gift from your parents”, and “Please consult with the police before you decide to die”.
But this initiative has not deterred would-be suicides. Each year approximately 70 corpses are found by volunteers who clean up the forests; although there are those who believe that they are more, because according to their different bodies are never found again.
It must be said then, that the Japanese authorities are reluctant to make public the numbers to not make it even more popular forest. Locals say they can easily identify the three types of forest visitors: hikers interested in panoramic views of Mount Fuji, the curious of the macabre, and who has no intention of returning home.