Other Locations in Taiji 太地町

After seeing The Cove, I had wanted to visit Taiji and see things for myself. In 2011, when my brother and I came to Japan, we did sight-seeing around the Kansai region of Japan. I looked into the logistics of being able to visit Taiji, but it was just too far out of the way, and quite expensive by train. Driving was really the only sensible option.

Now that I live in Japan, and drive in Japan, I finally took the opportunity to go there. Taiji is located on the southern end of the Kii peninsula, so the most sensible route will always enter the town from the north. That's where I found that dolphin bridge from the previous post. On the hill past the dolphin bridge are two large whale statues welcoming you to town.

Continuing along, the road curves around the coastline. There's a shabby-looking, rundown hotel just before the road straightens out, and shoots straight forward to the whale museum and other attractions.

The road is lined with palm trees, and a cement barricade blocking the crashing waves onto the land. Some townspeople sat along the ends of the piers and cement walls trying to catch some fish.

At the end of the straight road was the Kyo Maru No. 1, a research and whaling vessel.

Nearby were large clamps. After the "research" vessel fires enough harpoons into the whale to tire it down, and keep it from fighting, the metal contraption clamps into the whale's tail, and hauls it back from the ocean to land for their meat.

From here, I started roaming around town a little bit to figure out some locations. I went passed the whaling museum, and saw the cove. I continued on and went to the downtown area, found the city hall, and took photos overlooking the area. I went back to the cove, and took those photos. Then hiked up the northern surrounding mountain, which gave a nice view of the area. Though, the cove was not visible.

After that, I spent some time at the Whale Museum, and then began to explore the southern area of the town. There are several points along the coastline which housed ancient (and some modern) light houses. Light house keepers had to stay in the light houses several days to make sure the fire continued to burn and illuminate the coastline, so each lighthouse had a small house or a dorm for the keeper.

The old wooden light houses were no longer there, but some locations still had the dorms. One site had a modern light house in place of the old one. This was the same site that had buildings for butchering and storing whale meat back in the day. Hundreds of years ago, after a whale was defeated and dragged ashore, it sometimes took weeks to cut through the entire beast.

Pacific Ocean

I continued along the coastline of the ocean. The last place I visited was the overlook near the Sakihirami Park 先平見公園.

Nothing too special. It offered a similar view as the other places, but had an unofficial trail leading down to the ocean. There were some ropes set up to help hikers keep themselves from slipping and falling, but it wasn't too bad.

The edge of grass and dirt was met with a beach of rocks, smoothed and carved from the constant battering of ocean waves. Every step unstable, and balancing on the moderately sized rocks piled onshore. Closer to the water, pure rock covered in moss crept up from underneath the rubble housing pockets of miniature oceans.

Within these pockets lie stranded sea life. Small creatures moved within the water, and hid themselves when my shadow broke their sunlight. Other pockets held plant life. Flora that would wave and dance with the slightest movement of the water it lived in.

Other pockets drained of their water had some kind of eggs or shells clamped in the areas between adjoined rocks. I have no idea what these are.

After this, night began to creep into the sky, and I drove back up north to my hotel and to dinner. The next day, having been satisfied enough with what I had seen, I did not return to Taiji. Any photos would be just more of the same.

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