Friday, September 26, 2008

Deer of Miyajima

One day on Miyajima 4479

Miyajima, the popular tourist destination in the Inland Sea near Hiroshima City is home to many deer.

One day on Miyajima 4491

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 morning on Miyajima 4517

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.

One day on Miyajima 4580

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.

One day on Miyajima 4589

At night they return to the mountains and forest, and so are still wild, though at the same time quite tame.

3 comments:

  1. Hehe, I love the deer in the second picture! He reminds me of a little old guy who's muggin' for the camera. :) So cute!! You know, I bet he'd be super popular on Cute Overload. :)
    Love the other pictures too! Fabulous, as always!

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  2. I recall that the deer of Miyajima looked rather unhealthy to me - poor looking fur and fat bellies, and these pictures seem to show that, too. Is it the breed of deer or is it, as I suspect, that their largely tourist-supplied diets are to blame? The truly wild species seen in American forests are sleek, trim, athletic beauties in comparison.

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  3. Hi Phil.... I agree, but the deer in Nara look even worse..... I have come across wild deer in Japan and they are much healthier....

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