October 25, 2012, 5:00 am
By JAMES ESTRIN
http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/2 ... de-forest/
continued at: http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/2 ... de-forest/It was an odd and hauntingly beautiful forest to be lost in. The trees were growing on pure dark lava, their roots often stretching above the ground and wrapping around caverns, making it difficult to walk. The tree cover was so dense that G.P.S. devices sometimes didn’t function, and there were hundreds of long ropes tied to tree trunks.
Pieter ten Hoopen grabbed onto a rope and made his way down an incline with a sense of foreboding. He was uncertain what he would find at the end of the 300-meter blue rope. He knew there might be clothing, empty pill containers and a diary, a scene suggesting that a suicide had taken place. Reaching the end of the rope, he was relieved there wasn’t a body or human remains.
After all, there is reason the Aokigahara Forest, at the base of Mount Fuji, is called the “suicide forest.”