Our next big adventure was a ferry ride to the nearby island community of Miyajima. It is famous for its floating shrine. I had seen a beautiful picture by a Vancouver photographer, Michael Levin, (I include a link to his work even though I know my photos will pale by comparison to his beautiful images) who also works as a printer where I get my ink, Tricera Imaging.
We caught the ferry to Miyajima. It was a beautiful ride across the bay.
When we got to the other side I was glad that Ange and I were on our own. The tour groups followed a guide with a high flag and went straight to the main attraction. Ange and I took a long route up a hill that wound through the very small harbor town.
The thing you should know about Miyajima is that small deer are left to roam freely throughout the community. It is similar to India and their sacred cows.
But there was more to the community than just the deer. So we took the path ignored by the others ...
... and found a delightful little community full of quirks. But as we descended and approached the main tourist area, it was once again the deer ...
... who definitely displayed some personality and a liking for ice cream.
We eventually got to the area of the floating shrine where all the tour groups had headed first.
The crowd was starting to thin out by the time we got there but it was still going to be difficult getting the shot I wanted. Iwanted to make my own Long Exposure shot of the "Floating Gate" Shrine. Finding a place to set up was hard enough as the best spots were popular with the other people chronicling their visit.
On top of the usual challenges that a long exposure photographer faces, I couldn't find my remote shutter release, which meant that I had to hold my finger on the shutter release for four minutes while the image exposed. We were losing time, as we had to get back to Hiroshima, and I was taking the second of what was supposed to be a two-photo-long-exposure-panorama, when I felt something pulling at a paper in my back pocket. I knew it was one of the deer, who are notorious pickpockets, and I thought it had taken my Japan Rail Pass (which at that time still had $300 worth of travel time on it). I abandoned my shot and tried to rescue the paper. Do you have any idea how strong a deer's jaw is? The paper was gone. Fortunately it was just an information pamphlet and not my rail pass. But I lost the photo as we had to catch a ferry and Angela had lost patience with my bumbling photo misadventures.
I did manage one long exposure shot, and the difficulties I faced make it all that much more treasured.