Hiroshima Prefecture: Fukuyama City is the small box on
the right and Miyajima is the larger box on the left
In the end of September we all decided to visit Miyajima. This island is on the opposite side of Hiroshima Prefecture and a really popular tourist attraction. All of the of the hotels and ryokan were fairly expensive, but luckily there is a campground on the island that charges 300 yen (about 4$ Canadian) a night. I had shipped all of our camping gear about a week before I left, but by the middle of September when it still hadn't arrived, we started to wonder if we would have to cancel our trip to Miyajima after all. Lucky for us, only a few days before the trip all of our gear arrived.

Karlee and Dustin wait for the train all
loaded up with camping gear
We took the train from Fukuyama to Miyajimaguchi, which took about 2 1/2 hours, and then a quick ferry ride from the mainland to the island. One of the first things we noticed when arriving was that there were deer everywhere. The species on the island is the Sika deer, which is a bit smaller than the deer we are used to and never lose their white fawn spots.  The deer were completely accustomed to humans and were milling about, sleeping, eating people's food and even letting children pet them. They were charming for about the first 30 minutes and then became super annoying, especially after one tried to chomp at William's foot and head butted me when I tried to shoo it away. Luckily, it was one of the deer who had its antlers cut off. By the end of our weekend, even an animal lover like me wanted to kick one. It is very sad actually, since humans are completely to blame for the aggressive, begging, scavenger monsters that these little deer have become.

Theo and a deer inspecting each other

Theo on the ferry

William and I on the ferry

Karlee walking from the ferry to the Campground

A morning clash right next to our tent
The campground was fairly nice during the day, but once it got dark everything changed. Firstly, all the male deer around decided to retest who was in charge of the tents. There was pawing, grunting, and clashing of antlers. At one point during the wee hours of the morning, a deer must have knocked over someone's cooler, since there was a mad herd gallop of at least 10 deer from all points of the campground right past our tent. Once again, all of the males felt the need to fight over who had the rights to the spilled food.

View of the sunset from the campground beach

Laughing at one of Theo's ridiculous jokes
There were a number of people who decided to shoot fire crackers for a few hours. One group of campers only arrived near midnight and sounded like they were building a cabin with all of their tent peg hammering. There was absolutely no wind, so I am not really sure what they were so concerned about. I was almost looking forward to when Theo would wake up at 7:30 a.m. running, shouting, and wreaking vengeance on all of these noisy people. Unfortunately, these same people decided to loudly take down their tents and leave at 4:45 a.m., while Theo somehow slept through it all. To top it all off, a loudspeaker played a long and loud wake up call at 7 a.m. I might have been annoyed if it woke up the kids, but miraculously they both managed to sleep in a little.
Dustin and Theo heading for the toilet

After our crappy night, Karlee, Dustin, and I realized that there was no way we could possibly manage another night at the campground. We decided to explore the town and island until late in the evening, and take the last train back to Fukuyama that night.

To be continued...

1 comment:

Carol said...

Those deer! Grandpa knew the name of those deer (I'm impressed) and offers to send you a bow and arrows. It reminded me of when Daddy and I stayed at the only "hotel" along the Iran-Pakistan border, and when in the "restaurant", we had to perfect this elbows-out position to keep the goats from eating from our plates.