|Aokigahara, near Mt Fuji|
Although my Tokyo life seems to be an endless string of soirées in Shibuya, DJs, and various social events, I tend to favour activities that revolve around nature and exploring Japan. On Sunday morning, my friend Mike and I messaged each other (after practically no sleep) and decided to hop on a two-hour train ride to Fuji, for a little (and very unplanned) hiking adventure.
Mt Fuji is only open for climbing in the summer months, so the plan was to hike around the local area, and also check out the mysterious Aokigahara Forest. The forest, also known as "sea of trees", contains several icy caverns and is very dense. Aokigahara is sadly also infamous for being a popular place to commit suicide, due to its association with demons in Japanese mythology. Various signs around the forest urge visitors to reconsider their actions, and each year a high number of bodies are found.
The forest eerily has a non existent wildlife, and is completely silent, due to the density of trees blocking the wind. Incidentally, the vegetation is in pristine condition and very lush. Scary but fascinating, and as morbid as it sounds, we wanted to take a glimpse of the area. Indeed, the forest was beautiful, dark, and eerie. We visited a bat cave, which was quite the adventure as we had to literally crawl- claustrophobics please refrain.
We did not venture very deep into the forest, as local park rangers strongly discouraged us to do so, so close to dusk. We took some pictures and hiked around, until it suddenly got pitch black and scary. I think we caused the park rangers a great deal of stress. The forest is a bit difficult to get to and buses are very infrequent, so a carefully planned journey is essential.
It was one of the best day trips I've ever had in Japan. I love being surrounded by mountains and nature (however creepy that place was), I adore long train rides and discoveries, alongside friends to share it with. All in all, we spent more time in trains and buses singing songs from high school and playing "who would you rather..." than actually being in the forest, but the journey is always the best part.
|The journey started on Sunday morning, at Shibuya station, coffee and my idea of hiking gear|
|Touch screen vending machine at Shinjuku station: I got Pocari Sweat|
|On one of the many trains that would take us to Fuji|
|Fujikyu, the cutest train line ever.|
|Not sure what is going on here.|
|Before venturing into the forest, we had udon. Although we were tempted by the "nomal taste" dish, we both settled on the Japanese wild "veggetables", delectable dish.|
|Stylish helmets for cave exploring purposes|
|Mt Fuji omiyage|
|I heart Japan|
Next summer I'll actually climb Mount Fuji!
**Edit: I found out about this Vice magazine documentary on Aokigahara. The content is definitely not suitable for all viewers, but if you want to find out more about it, I think it's quite fascinating.