Friday, September 26, 2008
Miyajima, the popular tourist destination in the Inland Sea near Hiroshima City is home to many deer.
Since ancient times the island has been sacred, and it was only relatively recently that people were allowed to live there. Even now only the village around Itsukushima Jinja, the World Heritage site in the north-west of the island, is the only developed area on the island.
One consequence has been that the forests of Miyajima are virgin, a rarity in Japan. Another consequence is that the native deer have never been hunted, and so have no fear of humans.
The deer wander anywhere they want, and now that the hordes of tourists can buy food to feed the deer, they come into the village every day.