Sunday, December 16, 2012

Follow-Up to Suicide Forest entry

Hey everyone,
Obviously I was so committed to watching every horror movie ever made during our favorite season of Halloween that I was too busy to blog. Maybe my New Year's resolution should be to blog every week. Goodness knows there are enough supernatural topics to keep me busy 365.

As a follow-up to my previous post about the Suicide Forest, I wanted to let you know that I spent most of November in Japan. It was really amazing and beautiful. If you haven't been or previously haven't had any interest in going (as was my case), I have to say it was one of the best trips I've ever taken. Solo, of course, and I don't speak or read the language. I'll admit it was difficult to get to some of my destinations (out in the country or in the mountain areas there is no English available), but that was part of the fun.

So I went up to Mt. Fuji (sugoi!) where it was -3°C at the 4th station. It was the highest that we were allowed to go that day due to weather. On the way back down the mountain I inquired if the driver would stop at Aokigahara aka the Suicide Forest. Not sure if the horrific look on his face was due to my terrible Japanese accent or if he thought I was out of my mind for asking. More than likely it was both. The above photo is the only keepsake that I have of my close encounter with Aokigahara, other than my first impression, "Man, that forest is dense." It made me understand why people go in there to bid their lives here on earth goodbye - if anyone went looking for them they'd be hard-pressed to find.

I was fortunate, however, to visit another mountain: Koya-san where Okunoin Cemetery, the largest in the country, is located.

The trip to Okunoin was one of my most-difficult travel days, but so worth the effort. I also had the good fortune of rain the day I visited so photographing the cemetery was an even better experience than I'd imagined. Here are a few photos. Oh, by the way, the place was so huge I got lost in there. But, you've probably seen a trend from my previous entries: I seem to get lost pretty easily. LOL

(Please note that all photos are copyrighted. Thanks, guys.)

At one point, alone in the rainy oversized cemetery, the silence was broken by what sounded like a human shriek. I'm sure it was a bird or something (uh, yeah... right. That's what I told myself anyway).
Because of that and the overwhelming beauty of this graveyard, I have to give Okunoin 4 jumpers on my Scare-O-Meter!

Until next time (and hopefully it won't be so long),