New Video is up, others are on the way...

I have been out of work for sometime now, so my focus has been on finding employment, not posting videos. But I just posted Part 3 of last year's Okinawa trip:

...and am working on the video I took during my second(!!) overnight stay in Aokigahara that I did/shot last year. Stay tuned!


Sleeping overnight completely ALONE in Aokigahara, AKA Japan's "suicide forest"

To the best of my knowledge and extent of my Google-fu, there has been no one that has documented going to Aokigahara AKA "the Sea of Trees" (or "Sea of Forest" according to the Engrish of the Wind Cave parking lot's map of the area, and also known as, unfortunately, the "Suicide Forest"), and sleeping overnight completely alone among the alleged ghosts and scattered remnants that numerous tortured souls have left behind.   

There are several videos and blogs of people either going in at night to “ghost hunt”, or going with another person or in groups to stay overnight, but no one seems to have had the testicular fortitude to go in there and sleep overnight ALONE in Aokigahara...until now.

First, a bit of background. After hiking through Aokigahara during my Sea-of-Trees to Summit hike of Mt Fuji:

I started checking out the numerous videos of the place on YouTube, and I kept seeing the same factually WRONG information, and the same challenge (to spend the night there) in the comments. After looking at the most popular videos and checking videos and blog posts in both English and Japanese, I realized that no one had documented going into the forest and *sleeping/camping* overnight completely ALONE. One guy went "ghost-hunting" and several camped overnight with others, but no ones seemed to have videoed or blogged about doing it alone. So I said, Challenged Accepted, Bro!

As I prepared for the trip, it occurred to me that doing a solo trip was also the perfect time to bust some myths as well, which can be seen in the video.

(2019/1/13: Continuing where I left off....)

It has  been almost a year since I uploaded my Overnight Alone in Aokigahara video, and it has become my most watched video. It received over a 1000 comments, almost all of them overwhelmingly positive, and many encouraging me to make more videos. The positive feedback was much appreciated.

Let's talk about the negative feedback a bit. My haters fell basically into two categories: the "Hurr durr GHOSTS ARE REAL, MAN!" true-believers, or the garden-variety name-calling trolls that usually got deleted immediately. I have no problem with differing opinions..I do have a problem with those that just want to be dicks.

To the credit of the true believers some presented a mature discussion of their beliefs, but not one has been able to provide a link to a scientific study that supports their "Ghosts are Real!" position.

Having my video get such a response (and resulting in me finally getting PAID a tiny bit of beer money from Youtube...Woo-Hoo!) was quite educational, and quite motivating to see that even though *I* thought the vid could have been MUCH better, many people said that the liked my "style", so...COOL! It is Game On with my YouTube game!

I learned that seeking to make the "perfect" video is time wasted, that most people can see and appreciate when you are being genuine with them, and that people are more often accepting of you than your are of yourself. Unless you are a truly evil person, for most people, the voice that tells us we aren't good enough is a &$%#@# LIAR...so don't listen to it! Positivity is the winning move!



New year and new post....

Since it looks like ScrewTube will be taking away my Partner status, I plan to try and make up for it by trying to direct more traffic here to my blog. It will likely be years or possibly never before I ever get paid from Adsense, but I gotta do, right? Besides, I am a far better writer than I will ever be video presenter/vlogger, so I need to make better use of my writing abilities in getting my message out.

I counted, and was rather disappointed to see that I only uploaded 6 damn videos last year. I can.. I MUST up my game this year and I am already slacking, but I'm back in the game with a new video....YAY!


Sea of Trees to Summit Part 3: Climbing Mt. Fuji through Aokigahara Forest (青木ヶ原樹海)

Here is the 2nd video (of 2) of our Aokigahara to Mt. Fuji hike:

(continuing from Part 2 of my write up of the trip...)
We woke up, had our breakfast of champions...

...took a few pics of the 5th Station of the Fuji-Yoshida trail..

...filled out a supposed-to-be-post-hike survey about why we refused to pay the for-now voluntary fee to allegedly 'Help keep Mt. Fuji clean" (the bathrooms are disgusting, so it sure as hell isn't being spent to hire people to clean them properly) in order to get a free bottled water, and we were on our way.

Typical trail surface of the mountain...

...other than the areas where you are literally climbing over large rocky outcroppings and boulders, such as this:

Passing through and above the cloud layer...

 Just a bit more of this wee little hill to climb...

As it approached the early evening, the moon paid us an early visit...

Clouds rolled in in the evening, despite being well above the usual cloud layer...

Ironically, we...a U.S. Marine Corps vet (me...thus the "Devil Dog" part of this blog's name) and an Army vet team, found this hanging on the wall of the mountain hut we stayed at:

...and afterwards, I found the video of the team that signed it:


It pleased me to see that the USMC team didn't care about the shitty weather they experienced, sucked it up, and made it to the top, whereas the Army team... 😭

 However, after getting some sleep in the 8th Station mountain hut for about 7 hours, *our* Marine/Army team woke up around 12-ish, and joined the long line of climbers aiming to get to the top before sunrise. There were so many on the trail that we often had to wait for people to move higher up in order to continue. Despite the traffic, we made it with plenty of time to get ready to video (me) and photograph (Victor) the sunrise. Check out his much better/higher quality pics here at Frame of Travel

  After taking video of the sunrise and the above still pics, we gathered up our stuff to go find a place to crash for a couple hours before hiking back down. Around this time I managed to *again* drop my phone, but did not notice it till about 25-30 minutes later. I doubled back, asked at every shop and at the shrines if it had been turned in, but no luck.

Fortunately for me I was smart enough to add a "If you find this phone, e-mail me @" message to the lock screen the day I bought the phone, and the non-Japanese person that found it contacted me and sent it back to me C.O.D. so that it was back in my hands by Friday, 5 days after I lost it. Only in Japan. 


Sea of Trees to Summit Part 2: Climbing Mt. Fuji through Aokigahara Forest (青木ヶ原樹海)

...and back into the heart of the forest we dove:

   And found holes...BIG holes. In this area (south east of road 71/northwest quadrant of Mt. Fuji's base) there were several large caves and holes, seemingly in much more abundance than near the Lava & ice caves.

Whatever this root curled around obviously came out the loser in what was likely a years-long fight for survival...

   Based on the shape, I think this should be called Jabba the Cave. This is connected to a 2~3 km long cave.

   Some creepyness here. I wonder who and why(??!?) did someone (...or something?) feel the urge/need to look for several softball-sized rocks and pile them up like this...

...and I hope this lonesome hat we found on the trail was dropped by accident, not because the owner had no use for it (and life in general) anymore. Either way, we left it where it was... 

After having gotten off the trail earlier in the day, it was good to know we were back on the right path...

A somewhat seemingly oddly placed tree(?) farm, where we took a break to eat and rest.

    Here we crossed under the Fuji Subaru (*which means 'constellation', not 'Japanese car maker') Line toll road.

   This map, unlike Google Maps, clearly shows the trail we mostly took after turning off of 71. 

   The only wide open space we saw until...

...we reached the 5th station, got some food, had a celebratory beer...

...then laid down, outside at first, then later inside the rest/vending machine area, to get some much needed sleep.