ya400-20191112_2210.jpg
Aokigahara Forest is on the northwestern foot/slope of Mt. Fuji. This forest is also known as "Suicide Forest" since some people have committed suicide in Aokigahara.But apparently not in the part of the forest we hiked in. Our guides assured us that we wouldn't see any bodies...(and we didn't.) This is our English-speaking guide from this company:
https://www.the-highestpeak.com/english
ya401-20191112_2211.jpg
ya402-20191112_2212.jpg
ya403-20191112_2214.jpg
ya404-20191112_2215.jpg
Despite its reputation, Aokigahara Forest didn't look or feel spooky or scary at all. It looked like any other forest in Japan. There are distinct trails and signs to follow. It's possible to get dangerously lost if you stray too far (more than 200 meters) from the trails. The forest has multiple trail entrances, and I was told a few of them have signs trying to discourage suicide.
ya405-20191112_2219.jpg
ya406-20191112_2221.jpg
ya407-20191112_2222.jpg
ya408-20191112_2223.jpg
Lots of wildlife here too. Deer, bears, boars, woodpeckers, and squirrels. But we didn't see any, only their foot prints, digs in the ground, chipped tree trunks, etc.
ya409-20191112_2224.jpg
ya410-20191112_2225.jpg
Aokigahara Forest is on a large lava flow of Mt. Fuji, so the ground is solid lava rock.
ya411-20191112_2228.jpg
ya412-20191112_2230.jpg
ya413-20191112_2237.jpg
After walking about 15 min., we got to the Fuji Wind Cave (Fuji Fuketsu). This is the stone marker for it. There's no "wind" in the cave. It's just a name. 富士風穴 (ふじふうけつ)
ya414-20191112_2239.jpg
ya415-20191112_2241.jpg
ya416-20191112_2243.jpg
Fuji Wind Cave first appears to be a big hole in the ground. It's a lava tube. You need a permit to enter. That's why having a licensed guide is good.
ya417-20191112_2249.jpg
ya418-20191112_2250.jpg
Our guide gave us overalls, a helmet with headlight, and rubber gloves for this excursion. The cave entrance is narrow, steep, and dark. But once inside, you can walk upright most of the way. This lava tube is about 230 meters long, 5 to 10 meters wide, 5 meters high (except for the small entrance). Advance permission is required from the local Board of Education to enter.
ya419-20191112_2258.jpg
There are many lava tubes around Mt. Fuji. This one is less touristy, and not to be confused with the more touristy ones called Fugaku Wind Cave (富岳風穴) and Narusawa Ice Cave (鳴沢氷穴) near Lake Saiko.
ya420-20191112_2260.jpg
Remains from a commercial activity.
ya421-20191112_2263.jpg
This part of the cave had ice all over the bottom.
ya422-20191112_2271.jpg
The helmet headlight was essential to see where we walked on craggy rocks and ice. When we all gathered here at the end of the lava tube, our guide told us to turn off our headlights to see how dark it was. Yes, it was pitch black. Our ears then concentrated on the water drops falling from the ceiling. Great place to meditate. The temperature was near freezing, but we had enough clothing. I wanted to ask the guide what would happen if there were a big earthquake while we were inside. But I refrained from doing so because I didn't want to alarm the others...
ya423-20191112_2282.jpg
Getting out.
ya424-20191112_2298.jpg
After the lava tube, we hiked further and came to a nice forest of Japanese beech trees nicknamed "Climax Forest." ブナ林
ya425-20191112_2297.jpg
Forest of Japanese beech trees nicknamed "Climax Forest." ブナ林
ya426-20191112_2300.jpg
ya427-20191112_2290.jpg
Forest of Japanese beech trees nicknamed "Climax Forest." ブナ林
ya428-20191112_2293.jpg
     
29 files on 1 page(s)