(Read the full post and see more photographs at brown.exposure.co)
DAY 6: MIYAJIMA ISLAND
On day six, we took a ferry to Miyajima Island, said to be one of the top three scenic spots in Japan.
It was nice to be outdoors with nature. He didn‘t even ask me for the iPod Touch the whole day. Mother Nature kept us occupied.
We were on the ferry fairly early and the island looked like it just woke up. Isaac was very fascinated that cars could drive up into the ferry itself.
On the island, the first thing we heard was the announcement declaring that the deer on the island are wild and during mating season, they can get aggressive. So please don‘t approach them, especially the deer with antlers.
So we tried to stay away from the horny deer.
The deer though, did not stay away from us. They are very brazen and will eat anything. Even paper and plastic bags.
Isaac was accosted by one such deer at the pier while he was eating his soft serve ice-cream. We managed to get away.
We bought some bottled water because we were going to hike up Mount Misen.
Uncle Pro Tip: It‘s ¥130 at the shops nearest the pier. But it‘s ¥110 at the small provision shop deeper in.
While I sat on a bench enjoying the view at the coast, I heard a rustling sound and thought Isaac was trying to get his bottle of water from the plastic bag.
But when I turned to look, it was a deer looking into my plastic bag for food. I went “Oi!“ and tried to take the bag back but the fella bit on the bag and fought me for it.
When I finally pulled it away from the deer, it shifted targets and grabbed the map of Miyajima from my back pocket. I fought to get that back too but lost half my map, as the deer walked away chewing the other half happily.
Isaac laughed his butt off.
Later, as I was taking a photo of Isaac, in the background was another man wrestling with a deer for his map too.
The deer on this island are gentle and yet pretty in your face at the same time.
For some reason, the deer reminded me of my oldest daughter. Faith has the same doe-eyed innocent look when she comes up to us. And also the same assertiveness when she wants something. Perhaps she has the soul of Bambi.
We took a leisurely walk up to the cable car station. It usually takes about 30 minutes from the pier but we took longer, since we planned to spend the day here (and we had all those deer incidents).
We had udon at a small eatery on the slopes and took a long, lazy lunch there, sitting at a low table without our shoes on, and just soaking in the view.
Then we hiked up to the first cable car station and twenty minutes and a transfer later, we were at the highest station. It wasn‘t over. To get to the summit, you still have to hike another 30 minutes uphill.
This is where I realized my son has way more energy than I do. He hops his way up the slopes, I grunt my way up.
Out of kindness (or pity), he would stop for me to rest, usually looking for a bench or tree trunk for me to rest my aching feet.
But we did reach the summit in the end. And there was a nice observation station built there. You can even take your shoes off to lie down on the platform.
The view was quite lovely and we tarried there. As I laid on the deck, the boy went out to explore the surrounding rocks.
One lady climbed one of the higher rocks to take a selfie. I had to keep reminding Isaac not to attempt that himself.
He said, “Don‘t worry! I can do it!”
“Don‘t climb that tallest rock ah. It‘s dangerous.”
“But I can!“
Then he disappeared down the stairs and went out there to the rocks.
I walked over to the balcony to check on him, worried he might really climb up that tall rock but he didn‘t. He was at a lower, safer rock, just sitting there playing out some imaginary scene in his mind.
“I only climbed to this lower rock,“ he declared.
I nodded in acknowledgement and returned to my lazing but at a spot where I could still see him.
We have to trust that our children know what their own limits are. But it doesn’t hurt to keep an eye on them too.
We made our way down in time to catch the sunset at 5:30 p.m. By then all the shops selling street food and little cute cakes were closed. I was happy to see the sunset and capture it, but a little disappointed that I wasn’t able to have rock oysters for dinner.
We did manage to buy some pastry filled with vanilla ice-cream though, and shared that between us. Then Isaac gasped and said, “Pa! There is deer ahead!“
So we scrambled to finish our snack. You don‘t want to mess with the deer here. They can smell your food and your fear.
(Read the full post and see more photographs at brown.exposure.co or view the embedded version below.)