How To Visit 'The Forest' & Make The Creepy Movie Come To Life
If strolling through a forest sounds like a whimsical way to get your life a little bit closer to a Walt Whitman poem, then you may need to reconsider your expectations. The new movie The Forest will remind you that hiking can be absolutely terrifying — especially when there are ghosts following you on the trail. The new film, which stars Natalie Dormer and Taylor Kinney, follows Dormer's character Sara as she searches for the truth about what happened to her identical twin, whom has disappeared in Japan's Aokigahara Forest. The stakes are particularly high, as Aokigahara is known as the "Suicide Forest," a place where people go to commit suicide and, as legend has it, evil spirits roam. The creepy-as-heck trailer may make it seem like this haunted forest is purely the work of fiction, but the place depicted in The Forest is very real — and you can visit it. Now the only question is: do you dare to?
As the title cards in the trailer state, Aokigahara is at the base of Mt. Fuji, and many tourists flock to the area for the spectacular views of the mountain from around the area. You, too, can be one of those tourists — if you can get to Japan, of course. There are plenty of tours available for those interested in a guide through the forest, and unlike what was noted by a character in the trailer for The Forest, guides appear to be easily available. Viator's tour, which will cost the traveler $156 dollars and will last nearly 12 hours long, will pick up travelers from Tokyo and take them on a two-hour bus trip to the area surrounding Aokigahara. From there, visitors will get spectacular views of Mt. Fuji — and the ability to explore the Suicide Forest.
The guided tour of the forest includes some pretty spectacular sites, including the Narusawa Ice Cave, which covered year-round by ice and is not available to the public, hence the need for a tour guide. Louise Hung at XOJane chronicled her own experience visiting the forest, and stated that the cave was "not spooky" but instead "SPECTACULAR." However, Hung also noted that there was a general eeriness to the rest of the forest, and she couldn't help but feel like the Aokigahara really had been "touched by death." She wrote:
I mostly chalk this up to being easily spooked, but there were more than a few instances where I stopped and glanced behind me. It could have been the silence and my own shuffling echoing against the frozen ground and trees, but at least once I really thought some other hikers were coming up behind me. There was nobody there.
Visiting the Aokigahara forest is one trip you're not likely to forget... if you're brave enough to take a tour.
Images: Gramercy Pictures