Visitors to one of the most beautiful places in Japan document the four-legged mafia’s adorable M.O.

For generations, Hiroshima Prefecture’s Miyajima island has been recognized as one of the three most beautiful places in Japan, and with good reason. Aside from the iconic sight of the torii gate of Itsukushima Shrine rising from the sea and the beautiful wooded ridges of Mt. Misen, Miyajima is home to herds of wild deer.

Considered messengers of the gods, the deer roam not only through the island’s interior, but also through the streets of the island’s town, where tourists pose for pictures with the animals. They’re essentially the island’s welcome committee…or at least most of them are, as Japanese Twitter user @27_miya_ came across some Miyajima deer he says are more like gangsters who were camped out in front of one restaurant’s entrance.

“These Hiroshima yakuza are causing some serious trouble for this local business owner.”

That’s Fukuya, a casual lunch spot, in the background, and these two deer seem determined to not let anyone into the place. This wasn’t an isolated incident, either. Another Twitter user who had also been on Miyajima one week earlier shared this photo.

▼ “Oh, you’re hungry? I’ll let you know if I decide to care,” this deer seems to be thinking.

While deer can be seen strolling along the town’s streets every day, it’s unusual for them to get up so close to the entrances of shops and restaurants. At Fukuya, though, this seems to be a regular occurrence.

▼ Another photo from about a week and a half ago.

And lest you think this is related to the unusual weather Japan has been having this summer, this has been going on for years at Fukuya.

▼ A photo taken in 2017

▼ 2014

It’s unclear why the deer like hanging out in front of Fukuya so much. Perhaps it’s just because they haven’t figured out how to work the door.

▼ This one, photographed in 2012, certainly looks like he wants to go inside and place an order.

Multiple deer are shown in the photos, and considering that Japanese deer have lifespans of 15 years or more, odds are they’ll be continuing to loiter at the entrance for some time to come. Still, the four-legged mafia doesn’t seem to have hurt Fukuya’s business too badly. The restaurant is still in business, serving up local specialties like fried oysters and anago (saltwater eel) daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., making it a convenient option for a mid-day meal while you’re sightseeing on the island.

Provided the deer let you in, that is.

Restaurant informaton
Fukuya / フクヤ
Address: Hiroshima-ken, Hatsukaichi-shi, Miyajima-cho Hamano-cho 855-1
Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Source: Twitter/@27_miya_ via Jin

Follow Casey on Twitter, where it’s impossible for him to write about Hiroshima without craving okonomiyaki.