I woke up a bit early and hopped in the shower. Afterwards I did some packing and preparing and then reading until I could not help but get everyone else up and ready. We stashed the baby car and some luggage and checked out. We headed to the train station and bought a bunch of fruit and rice and stuff for breakfast and lunch then took a train. When the train arrived at our station we bought cheep ferry tickets and then ran a few blocks to the coast.
We got there just in time to board a ferry and climb to the top deck.
We watched the main land drift away and we neared an island. Miajima is mostly famous for it’s giant orange gate that looks like it is floating out in the ocean.
(the red and blue things in the water are kayaks)
It’s also famous for deer and rice spatulas but we will get to that in a bit. We got off the ferry and followed the crowd onto the island. It was nearly noon and we had been carrying our breakfast and lunch with us and were dying to eat it. We found a nice shady spot but had one problem.
Nearly tame deer were kind of interested in eating paper, plastic or fabric they could get from you and super interested in people food.
After a bit we found a spot they were not at and we were able to eat. After breakfast we wondered to the gate and checked it out some then went shopping. We had a few things left to get and even though all the shops sold nearly the same stuff we seemed to check out all of them.
We got everything we needed and got pictures taken with a lot of fun stuff.
Supposedly the rice spatula was invented by a guy in this city a long time ago and they are so proud they sell them all over the place and even have the worlds largest one.
After shopping we checked out the temple
And the 5 story pagoda.
Heath and Grant looked around an old building full of ancient art.
Then we went back to the coast. It was really hot so we got some beer and ice cream then found a nice spot to eat lunch. The problem came back though.
The “tame” deer came and we tried to shoo them away but there was 1 that was not interested in being shooed.
He/She started to nip at our bags and clothes and was going to steal the souvenirs we had worked so hard at finding. It also wanted to steal our lunch and camera and backpack. Things started to get aggressive and eventually I had to hand Lily to Heath and retreat. We had stuff all over and I tried to pack up the stuff and keep the deer out at the same time. It nipped at my pockets and pulled me. When I turned it stood on it’s back legs and swung the front ones at me. I avoided the hoofs then grabbed it’s head and pushed it down to the ground.
As the adrenalin started to get going and the crowds started to watch I tried to figure out how to get out of this situation. The deer could not get our stuff, Heath and the kids nor I could get hurt by the deer and I could not really hurt the deer. I let him up expecting him to retreat and I got more of our stuff together. Heath and the kids got a safe distance away and took some of our stuff. The deer realized it may not be able to eat our plastic sacks after all and came back more aggressive.
I fought it off thinking my family was impressed but later found out they and probably all the crowd thought it was hilarious as long as I was not injured. I never got hit by a hoof and eventually I was able to hold it’s head against the ground long enough to get everything in the backpack. Then it was retreat time. We headed away from the deer and it followed for a while but eventually gave up on our stuff.
The tide had gone out and the gate was in low water. So we took off our shoes, stuck our beers in them and left them on the shore then waded out in the tiny pools and streams.
They were full of tiny crabs in shells.
Grant caught several and we stepped on tons. We went out and examined the giant gate and took some pictures and examined all the shells and crabs and stuff. It was really fun.
It was getting late so we headed back, put on shoes, finished the beers and got on a ferry headed back. Then we took the train back to the main Hiroshima station then I ran and got the baby car and luggage from the hotel then we headed to a bullet train. We got a little confused on what bullet train to get on and missed one. This gave us an hour wait for the next one so we got some beer and ice cream and took a break and waited.
The train zipped us back to KK and Chiaki’s city and we got busy packing. It was overwhelming at first but eventually we got everything to fit well. Chiaki came home and got after the kitchen making all sorts of wonderful smells. She got dinner about ready and we got about done packing then she went to get KK from work and Heath, Lily and I ran to a nearby mall for some beer and a few things.
We all met back at the apartment and Chiaki laid out a feast.
I think I had 3 plates of food by the end.
After I was super stuffed they had a surprise birthday cake for me and I made some more room.
We put the kids to bed and stayed up late drinking and talking of the good old days and good future days and our Japan adventures.