I hiked off trail with my partner with the aid of a lot of string, which is necessary due to the very bumpy landscape and the sometimes shallow roots that hide uneven rocks where your foot can fall through. It is nearly impossible to find your way back as your sense of direction disappears as soon as you’re ten feet from the trail and after hiking for almost two hours, I was in awe of the nature of this forest as well as its unique landscape. I should mention that hiking off-trail increases your likelihood of seeing something you don't want to see and I do not recommend it unless you're prepared for the consequences.
Is the Aokigahara Forest haunted?
Do not follow ribbon(s) that you see.
If you’re going through hell, keep going. — Winston Churchill
Should you go?
Getting there: Aokigahara Forest
If you chose to hike in this beautiful forest off-trail, bring A LOT of string, something to cut it with, and a topological map (thank you random Japanese hiker). We ran out of ribbon as it was getting dark and we had to backtrack to leave the forest before darkness. Some people had cut and knotted string around individual trees, which would make your string last longer. We tried this, but it was very time-consuming. I found it was easier to tie the string to a tree before walking with the string loosely in my hand, so I could follow the exact path of the string back to the starting point. (If you go, please take your ribbon/string with you when you leave as you don’t want someone following your path when they could help someone else in need. Also, please don't litter!)