It’s not just the deer you have to watch out for at Miyajima — there’s something else looking over your shoulder while you eat your lunch. 

One of the most popular tourist sites in Japan is an island off the coast of Hiroshima called Itsukushima, or as it’s more commonly known, Miyajima.

There are a number of beautiful attractions that draw tourists to the island, including a red torii shrine gate that stands proudly in the water on the shoreline, and a large population of deer that roam freely around the island.

Like the deer in Nara, the deer here often follow visitors around in the hope that they might be given some food, so if you want to enjoy your lunch outside, it’s best to find a spot away from them.

Twitter user Kota Minato (@makooota) knows this all too well, being a Hiroshima native, so when he was on the island recently, he made sure to find a quiet spot to enjoy his sandwich roll, or “koppe pan” as it’s known in Japan.

However, just as he unwrapped his lunch to snap a photo of the roll, it was snatched away from him, and it wasn’t because of a hungry deer — this surprise thief came from the skies.

▼ A “miracle moment” captured on film.

Minato says the thief who grabbed his lunch was a black kite, who appeared totally out of the blue, suddenly casting a shadow in front of him before making a momentary landing on the sandwich, which was in his left hand.

What made the crime particularly upsetting for Minato was the fact that the bird didn’t even make a clean getaway with the food, instead dropping it on the ground immediately, as if it were playing a cruel prank on him.

Minato’s lost lunch touched a chord with people online, and the timing of the photo captured the theft so perfectly it went on to receive over 325,000 likes and more than 86,000 retweets, with people leaving comments like:

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime photo!”
“What a brilliant capture!”
“Such a dynamic image!”
“A miracle moment!”
“Proof that croquette sandwiches are the best!”

After Minato’s tweet went viral, he followed up with information on where the sandwich was purchased — a bakery called Katsutani Pan, who also specialises in koppe pan filled with sweet adzuki red bean paste.

Minato says he felt awful to have wasted the roll, but hopefully his story will help prevent others on the island from losing their koppe pans to a similar fate.

So if you ever make the trip out to Miyajima, be sure to keep an eye over your shoulder when you eat your lunch, and don’t forget to watch out for the yakuza deer.

Source: Twitter/@makooota via Hachima Kikou
Featured image: Twitter/@makooota
Insert images: Wikipedia/Starbacks

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