How haunting is the Aokigahara forest?
I have myself been to Fuji mountain and traveled through the Aokigahara forest. My tourguide told us lots of stories about suicides of people and other ghost stories about the forest. I wonder whether it is 100% true. In addition, if it is, I would love to hear more scary tales about it.
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How haunted - not at all. How haunting - quite a bit.
I found the reputation was considerably exaggerated. Some people hear the rumors and tales, and thing entering the forest is forfeiting their lives. That is not the case at all. While it is easy to get lost, the forest is not big enough to be in any risk. Just walk in a straight line for some hours and you will reach a road.
But a series of circumstances make the place special. The presence of the volcano stops compasses from working properly. The remote location blocks any mobile network signal I seem to remember GPS also does not work, although I don't remember why. Then there is the volcanic ground, full of holes, ranging from large caves to treacherous shin-threatening traps. And if you are unlikely to see a corpse, you are very likely to notice a few of the locations where so many people chose to end their lives. That is definitely a feeling that will haunt you for some time.
I really enjoyed the hike. I recommend it. You do not need a guide, if you are an experienced hiker. Just do your research ahead of time, stick to the roads, do not lose your calm, and you will not be in more danger than your average mountain hike.