The suicide forest of Japan

Once inside, the crew passes a sign urging would-be suicide victims to think again. Positioned where a public trail turns into a cordoned-off area, for many it is the point of no return.

Above contacts details for the Suicide Prevention Association, the sign reads: ‘Your life is a precious gift from your parents. Please think about your parents, siblings and children. Don’t keep it to yourself. Talk about your troubles.’

Despite the alarming number of people who seem deaf to such pleas, there are those who change their minds.

Unsure of whether they are ready to die, they often unravel tape behind them, Mr Hayano explains, using it like a breadcrumb trail to guide them back to safety.