Top Ten Places to Encounter Whales

Eastern Hemisphere: Shikoku, Japan

Shikoku is the smallest of the four main islands in the Japanese group and lies nestled in the Seto Inland Sea off the southeast coast of the main, and largest, island of Honshu. The mountainous island is one of the most rural areas of Japan and just happens to be an international trekker's destination. A sequence of 88 temples circle the coast of the island. Walking this circuit is a famous pilgrimage and is unusual in that it's a pilgrimage that doesn't have a final goal. You walk a circle, beginning anywhere.

Seems like the perfect mindset for an encounter with whales. Several well-organized whale watching trips head out from fishing villages, conducted by the same people who used to hunt whales.

Just the Facts

What you might see there: Bryde's whales, sperm whales, minkes

Viewing options: boat, shoreline


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