The haunting pictures show the possessions left behind by those who chose to end their lives in Japan’s suicide forest.
Aokigahara forest has become known as one of the world’s most prevalent suicide spots in recent years and recently made headline after YouTube blogger Logan Paul sparked controversy by posting a video of a suicide victim’s body.
Sitting at the foot of Mount Fuji, it’s become so synonymous as a place for desperate people to end their lives that officials have put up signs urging them to think of their families above contact details for a suicide prevention organisation.
It reads: ‘Your life is a precious gift from your parents. Please think about your parents, siblings and children. Don’t keep it to yourself. Talk about your troubles.’
A map is seen at the entrance to Japan’s Aokigahara forest, which has become known as one of the world’s most prevalent suicide sites
The density of the forest is believed to be a contributing factor with people often tying string to trees to find their way back to a path in case they change their mind
String leads from a path to an apparent suicide site in Aokigahara forest, which sits at the foot of Mount Fuji in Japan
There’s plenty of chilling evidence to show that the sign does little to deter victims – stray shoes and other possessions are seen among roots as well as nooses hanging from trees and grim notes pinned to trunks.
But some are also apparently hesitant, tying tape or string to trees behind them in a bid to make sure they can find their way back to a path should they change their mind.
Also known as the Sea of Trees, the forest’s seclusion is believed to be one of the reasons so many choose it. Each year, authorities remove dozens of bodies – but others lie undiscovered for years.
Officials in Japan – which has a per capita suicide rate that’s among the highest in the world, with more than 21,000 occurring a year – are trying to decrease Aokigahara’s association with suicide by not publicising suicide figures.
Plastic bottles believed to have been used to hold flowers remain at the scene of an apparent suicide in Aokigahara forest
A marker is seen left on a tree near the scene of an apparent suicide in Aokigahara forest in Fujikawaguchiko, Japan
A T-shirt is tied to a tree in the forest, known as the Sea of Tees, which is a popular spot for suicides in Japan because of its seclusion
Personal possessions litter the base of a tree in the Aokigahara forest, chilling evidence of a suicide victim’s final moments
A single shoe is seen lying in the forest, where in 2010, Japanese officials recorded more than 200 attempted suicides
Sunlight shines through trees in Aokigahara forest, which recently made headlines after a YouTube blogger posted a video of a man’s dead body
But it made headlines recently after a well-known YouTube blogger sparked controversy by posting a video of a man’s body in the forest on December 31.
Logan Paul’s video was viewed some six million times before it was removed from his channel, a verified account with more than 15 million subscribers.
The 22-year-old was forced to issue two apologies following a storm of criticism from commenters who blasted him as disrespectful.
He had filmed himself laughing with friends about the body they filmed hanging on a tree and posted to the video-sharing channel.
YouTube punished him by removing his channels from Google Preferred and announced he wouldn’t be featured in the new season of web series ‘Foursome.’
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The forest made headlines recently after YouTube blogger Logan Paul (pictured) sparked controversy by posting a video of a man’s body in the forest on December 31
Japan has a per capita suicide rate that’s among the highest in the world, with more than 21,000 occurring a year
A marker is left on a tree near the spot of an apparent suicide. Suicide attempts said to increase during the end of the Japanese fiscal years
In recent years, officials have stopped publicising the numbers in a bid to decrease Aokigahara’s association with suicide
Light falls on a moss-covered bench in Japan’s so-called ‘suicide forest, where dozens of bodies are found every year
A worn T-shirt is tied to a tree in the forest, which recently made headlines after YouTube blogger Logan Paul posted a video featuring the body of a suicide victim
Rope and a bottle are seen among branches in the forest in Japan, which has one of the highest rates of suicide in the world
Some spend time camping in the forest while they try to decide whether to go through with their plan to end their lives
A holdall with clothes, a wallet and numerous used empty water bottles are seen among the leaves on the forest’s floor
It’s become so synonymous with suicide that a sign at a spot where the public trail meets a cordoned-off area urges people to think of their families above contact details for a suicide prevention organisation. Pictured, a book
Chillingly, a rope is seen left hanging from a tree in the forest, after authorities appear to have removed the victim’s body
As well as shoes and other possessions among the roots of trees, nooses are seen lying on the ground and hanging from trees
Some victims leave tape behind them in a bid to ensure they can find their way back to a path should they change their mind
A rope remains tied to a tree at the scene of a suicide in Aokigahara forest, which has become synonymous with suicide
Aokigahara has become so notorious as a spot for desperate people to kill themselves that authorities have put up signs among the trees urging people with self-destructive thoughts to contact a suicide prevention group
Local officials have also organised daily patrols to prevent suicides from taking place. Pictured, a single shoe in the forest
The suicide rate in Yamanashi prefecture, where the forest is located, was the worst in Japan for eight years until 2014
Suicides in Japan have fallen since their peak of 34,427 in 2003, with 21,897 people taking their own lives in 2016