Friday, September 19, 2008

Creature of the Day - Oh, Deer! It's Miyajima!

During our JapanBall tour, the group took a side trip to Miyajima, an island known as "one of Japan's three most scenic spots." (The other two are Matsushima and Amanohashidate.)  Miyajima's claim to fame is the giant torii that stands in the water of the Seto Inland Sea.  Well, at high tide, that is.  The timing of our trip took us to Miyajima at low tide, so our picture of the torii, while striking, does not have the same impact of postcards or brochures.

But the point of my story here is the creature of the day, not the receding water line. Deer.  They're everywhere.  They haven't completely taken over the way their counterparts in Nara have, but they do roam free throughout the island. The Miyajima deer aren't as vocal as the Nara deer, but they can be aggressive. They're cute though, and pretty much just hang out.

Here is a particularly cute little one:

If you look closely, you can see that he's sticking out his tongue.

This one has dirt on his nose.

They seem to be indiscriminate of where they choose to rest; on the sand under a tree will do just fine, thank you.

There are signs posted around the island warning visitors to keep their distance from deer with antlers.  This was as close as our comfort level would allow.

By far this is my favorite deer sighting of the day:  Momma and fawn making their way through town and up a set of stairs.

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