The word “whale” in conjunction with Japan doesn’t always elicit the most pleasant mental image—sadly. But luckily there is another side to the relationship between humans and whales here.
Many people appreciate how magnificent these marine mammals are and recognize their intelligence and unique behavior. Younger folks especially are quite interested in interacting with them through whale watching or even whale swimming tours. The same goes for their smaller cousins, dolphins. Japanese waters are inhabited by a variety of porpoises (the scientific term for whales and dolphins). Sperm, humpback and pilot whales, as well as bottlenose, spotted and Risso’s dolphins, inhabit the waters around Japan and are frequently sighted.
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