Japan · Life in Japan

Miyajima: Autumn Leaves, Deer and Daisho-in

Miyajima is fast becoming one of my all-time favourite places to visit in Hiroshima. The island is the perfect place to visit for the autumn leaves (as well as during spring for the cherry blossoms), and it has great food (okonomiyaki and oysters), photogenic deer, and Daisho-in – a Shingon Buddhist temple (often visited by the Dalai Lama when he comes to Japan).

Even though it is now slightly past the peak for the vivid autumn leaf colours, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see them on the island. So I headed off early yesterday morning to join the mass movement of crowds (who all seemed to have the same idea). Here is a collection of photos that I took. Enjoy!

The Deer

This deer was looking for practically anything to eat, including a magazine-like booklet. I watched as she tried to pick it up off the bench (see below), and didn’t think she could…

The next thing she had it in her mouth and was trying to eat as much as she could, trotting away when a kid came near her. I knew I had to get the booklet from her as I am sure eating paper is not good for deer. As I approached her slowly she fumbled in her munching and dropped the booklet, giving me the chance to quick-step up to her and place my foot on it so she couldn’t grab it again.

Once I picked it up she immediately came towards me trying to get the booklet back. It was like trying to hide biltong from my cats… she was quite insistent that I return her food.

Fortunately there was a deer-proof bin nearby so I could throw the booklet away. She looked positively dejected when I showed her my empty hands, sniffing them once and then turning away to look for more food among the leaves. She was not impressed…

Daisho-in Shingon Buddhist Temple

Fortunately this area of the island was not as busy as the rest down by the coast where the torii gate was, so I had more opportunity (and time) to take lots of photos of the complex and the hundreds of statues that are found there.

Heading up towards the temple complex

Prayer wheels line the steps that lead into the main area of the complex

‘Buddha Babies’

All around the temple complex are these statues, that I have nicknamed ‘Buddha Babies’ – they are everywhere! If I had the means, my garden at home would be full of these cute, expressive statues.

These two photos (above) show the ‘Buddha Babies’ with each of the animal signs of the Chinese zodiac.

This ‘Buddha Baby’ is rocking that beanie 😉

Around Miyajima and Autumn Leaves

The crowds patiently waiting for the tide to recede so that they can get up close with the torii gate 
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