September 15th, 2012Tagged active stratovolcano, Aokigahara, Aokigahara Forest, climbers, climbing, enivronment, erupt, forest, Fuji Five Lakes, haunted, Honshu Island, Japan, Mount Fuji, mountains, Mt. We haven’t done much looking around at Japan, other than Nara Dreamland, the abandoned Disney knock-off amusement park, but now the experts are red-alert claiming that Mount Fuji volcano is about to erupt.
Estimates are as high as 100 bodies being recovered every year from the suicide hotspot of Aokigahara. Magnificent Mount Fuji from Lake Yamanaka, the highest, yet the shallowest, of the Fuji Five Lakes.
Endless fields of purple flowers in foreground, Mount Fuji still capped with snow in the background. View of Mt Fuji and Asagiri Plateau from Mount Kenashi which is a “1,964 m (6,444 ft) mountain on the border of Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures in Japan.
Even though Aokigahara Forest is called the Suicide Capital of the World by some people, it is undoubtedly gorgeous. Some suicides scenes are staged for movies, such as about to happen on left, but the scary, haunted feeling is real enough in the Sea of Trees. I get many different requests sent to me, sometimes here on the blog, other times through my social media pages or maybe you asked me something in person. I have often been asked for my Night Photography Tips, for example, what settings I would use or what equipment. Taking photos at night was something that took me a while to get my head around, settings are generally going to be different to other times of the day, as is equipment and technique. Below is a photo taken at the Church of the good Shepherd, Lake Tekapo in the South island of New Zealand. If you did, please join thousands of people that receive exclusive weekly photography tips & tricks and get a FREE COPY of my book, 10 Tips to Better Photos! While no one is exactly certain, it is thought that the first ascent was in 663 by an anonymous monk.
All the recent worry about an eruption started after the 2011 disasters like the 9.0 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that wreaked so much devastation.
Instead, we wanted to examine the beauty of Mount Fuji and its exceptionally symmetrical cone which has been a subject of Japanese art and stories throughout the ages. Here in the foothills, we see Aokigahara Forest, also called the Sea of Trees, which is infamous as a dense forest where troubled souls go to commit suicide. Lake Yamanaka is located in the village of Yamanakako in Yamanashi Prefecture near Mount Fuji.
Wikipedia adds, “Paragliders take off in the vicinity of the fifth station Gotemba parking lot, between Subashiri and Hoei-zan peak on the south side from the Mountain, in addition to several other locations depending on wind direction.

Fantastic Japan explains, “This iconic natural wonder is not actually a single volcano but three. According to Wikipedia, “There are two stories behind the naming of the mountain, which have opposing meanings. The 3,776-meter peak straddles the border of the two prefectures, both of which celebrate the mountain on Feb. The Japanese government proposed making Mount Fuji a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site; the UNESCO World Heritage Committee is expected to make a decision in summer of 2013. It’s part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and a protected Japanese Natural Monument since 1936.
Climbing Mount Fuji is “very popular not only among Japanese but also foreign tourists, who seem to make up more than a third of all hikers.
Some say “due to the wind-blocking density of the trees and an absence of wildlife, the forest is known for being eerily quiet. For those people brave enough to hike beyond the blocked and closed walking paths at Aokigahara Forest, they often encounter signs of real suicides in the Suicide Forest.
Fuji during fall that people will see next autumn, or will the volcano erupt as experts predict? There is too much info to share with you about this in a blog post so I have created a whole page dedicated to Taking Photographs at Night (click here to go there now). This is a 30 second exposure, my wife was behind the church and I called out at the beginning of the exposure so she could shine the torch through the windows, making it look like the lights are on. In September 2012, the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention used mathematical models that suggested that the pressure in Mount Fuji’s magma chamber is higher than it was the last time the Japanese volcano erupted in 1707.
The youngest volcano, the one we all know today: Fuji, lies on an older volcano known as Kofuji, underneath which is Komitake volcano. The peak season for climbing Mount Fuji is during the school vacations which last from around July 20 to the end of August.
Other scientists have claimed that is poppycock and it’s pure hysteria to spread such fear in the media. As of 2011, the most popular means of suicide in the forest were hanging and drug overdoses.” A zombie sneaking through Suicide Forest? Climbing from October to May is very strongly discouraged and many people who ignore the warning have died due to accidents and the cold. If walking, the ascent to the summit is reportedly much longer than from here than the other 5th stations.

The squadron, based in Atsugi, Japan, provides combat-ready armed anti-surface and anti-submarine helicopter detachments to ships deploying in the Korea, western Pacific and Persian Gulf regions.
This lake, Lake Saiko and Lake Shojiko were all formed by lava flowing across what is now Aokigahara Jukai Forest and into the enormous lake that once dominated the area.
About 240 schools, including 93 prefectural high schools and elementary and junior high schools in nine municipalities close on that day to celebrate their beloved mountain.
The peak of the peak is reached during the Obon Week in mid August, when climbers literally have to stand in queues at some passages. The annual body search, consisting of a small army of police, volunteers, and attendant journalists, began in 1970.
Or is this yet another hailing of coming Apocalypse, common among the doomsday 2012 phenomenon predictions?
We’ll leave that for the scientists to decide because nothing can be done to stop a natural disaster. Nowadays people travel from all over the world specifically to see this view; about 300,000 adventuresome souls climb to the summit annually. An overnight climb in order to reach the top for the sunrise (go-raiko) is the most traditional thing, but you will probably be shuffling along in a slow-moving line for the latter stages of the ascent.
Most hikers climb the mountain at night in order to be in a position at or near the summit to see a sunrise such as this.
23 as Mount Fuji Day in December 2009 and then the Yamanashi Prefecture followed suit in December 2011.
Consider starting out in the late morning to reach the summit for the equally majestic sunset, with a tiny fraction of the crowds to accompany you.
It’s been around in Japanese art since ancient times when samurai warriors trained at the base and women were forbidden from climbing to the sacred summit. Fuji, we’ll get back to the bizarre and scary aspects of the otherwise sublime Sea of Trees.
Aokigahara Forest, also called the Sea of Trees, is infamous as a dense forest where troubled souls go to commit suicide.
So we interrupt the scheduled panic and doomsday disaster news, to take in the beauty before it is allegedly destroyed in an eruption.

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