The suicide forest “Aokigahara” is one of the most infamous places in Japan as hundreds of people go there to commit suicide. Located at the base of Mount Fuji, Aokigahara is a 14 square mile area on the northwestern side of the mountain which is extremely popular with tourists because of its unusual icy caverns and overall natural beauty.
The thick forest blots out all noise pollution from the outside world but it also harbours a dark secret. When one enters one sees signs urging people not to kill themselves and to contact their family, unfortunately, these signs are often displayed in vain as more than 50 suicides take place in this relatively small area on average every year (in 2010 54 suicides were reported).
Not only is Aokigahara the most popular place in Japan for suicide it is reportedly the 3rd most famous suicide spot in the world. The area generally saw an average suicide rate of around 30 up until the late nineteen eighties at which time deaths steady began to rise, peaking in 2003 when 105 bodies were found in the vicinity. In 2010 over 200 people tried to end their lives which led the Japanese government to take action by putting the encouragement signs up.