Kashima – The Island of Deer

Has it really been this long since my last update? I guess as the final days of winter disappear – finally! – and the spring sun begins to claim victory of the winter darkness, I find the time has come again for more adventures and less sitting under my blankets at home like beached whale. (Are you enjoying my eloquent use of metaphors?)

Tuesday, Spring Equinox, was a day off for us residents of Japan, and depite the fact that I can’t remember the last time I taught a class, it was nice to have a break from my so-called “work”. So, me and a friend decided to go over to Kashima!

Kashima is an island which literally seems within arms reach of my house, but actually requires a ferry to get to. I am convinced I could swim there in a matter of minutes but am told that the current is too strong and people who attempt this swim need to be rescued (CHALLENGE ACCEPTED). Anyway, it was too cold to swim, I concluded, so we took the ferry over (which took about 10 seconds). The island’s famous resident are the deer, which seem to greet you at every turn.

I am a deer.
See, deer at every turn. I wasn’t just making that up.

You can hike to the top of the island which makes for a nice view, and along the way see an abundance of deer. After walking to the top and back down (and attempting to feed the deer, who were having none of it, and instead, upon seeing us, stomped the ground and then jumped off in that funny way deer do) we walked around the island.

I live over there somewhere.
The view!

There were nice beaches and some caves and funny rock formations and it would definitely be a nice place to go in the summer when the weather’s warm enough to enjoy a swim! There were also a lot of people fishing there. At the end of our walk we were greeted by a male deer (with antlers!) who was clearly looking for some food. We lured him over by throwing food (which you can buy on the island) at him, and eventually he ate out of our hand! Upon seeing this, another, more confident deer came along, and I tried to get some food out of the plastic bag to feed him as well. He, it seemed, couldn’t wait for me to pass him the food, and instead went straight for the bag itself, grabbing it with his mouth and trying to eat it. I seriously thought that this was going to kill this famished deer who was trying to eat the plastic bag. Fortunately he seemed smarter than most animals I know (read: Buffy) and spit it out. (But honestly, what if he had swallowed it and I had been responsible for the suffocation of a deer. Awkward.) After that hilarious encounter we headed home! Kashima was great attraction and definitely worthy of the 300yen return trip (if you aren’t up for the swim)! To see all the photos click here!

Deer love me.

That’s all for now! Except to say a HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one Miss Raven Lake, the best sister I’ve ever had in all my lives. Enjoy your special day girly!