Miyajima island

Miyajima island is only half an hour away from Hiroshima and a much more cheery place. It has the famous shrine gate in the sea which you might have seen in pictures of Japan. According to the Lonely Planet this is one of the top three views of Japan. I’m not sure what the other two views are but this view is pretty amazing indeed.

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In addition to the attraction of the shrine gate, the island also has a lot of deer roaming freely. They’re not shy at all and come up to tourists quite a lot in search for food. It’s exciting and fun to be so close to them, until they surprise you while you’re watching the sunset and suddenly a deer has its head in your handbag.

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It’s quite a touristy place but after being alone so much on my excursions, I actually quite enjoyed having some people around.

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I stayed in a traditional Japanese hotel. Nice and big room (it is very rare in Japan to have so much space)!

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When I arrived in the afternoon, it was low tide and the water had receded so much that you could walk up to the shrine gate.

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I decided to watch the setting sun behind the shrine gate. The water slowly came back, which made for an amazing view.

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The deer took advantage of the tourists hanging out to watch the sunset. They snuck up on quite a few without them noticing and you could hear the odd scream here and there when someone had a deer try to eat their food or their guidebook. They like to eat paper quite a lot.

Here’s a little photo story.

Deer approaches.

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I shoo it away, so it goes up to the guys sitting next to me.

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They shoo it away, so it goes up to the guy sitting down with his travel guide. It takes a couple of pages out of his guide book and eats them (I’m serious).

Check out the girls in the background. They think it’s so funny and cute!

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Deer goes up to the group of girls. They still think it’s cute and take photos.

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Until… waaahhhh!! It tries to eat the food in their plastic bag. The guy continues taking photos and put his guidebook back out for the next deer to eat. And it will come.

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But anyway, back to the main attraction. Beautiful sunset!

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The next day I took the cable car up to the highest mountain on the island. Amazing views from the top!

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The cable car doesn’t take you all the way to the top and it’s about 1 km walk to the summit from the cable car station. Doesn’t sound like a lot but it’s steep and the weather was really hot. Exhausting.

Luckily they have some shrines to photograph at half way point. Nice excuse for a break.

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And I also visited the shrine down on the island where I ran into this young lady and her boyfriend. Nice to see someone (vaguely) familiar!

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I finished my sightseeing on the island around lunch and made my way to my last destination in Japan: Osaka!

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