A Beach Where You Can Swim with Risso’s dolphins in Wakayama Pref.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Risso’s dolphins swim in an enclosure in Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, on Tuesday.

TAIJI, Wakayama — The Taiji Whale Museum in Wakayama Prefecture started an annual event on Friday in which beachgoers can swim with Risso’s dolphins.

This is a popular summer event that started in 2008. On Tuesday, museum staff transferred two female dolphins — named Satsuki and Sumire and about 14 years old and 4 years old respectively — by boat from Moriura Bay, where the cetaceans are kept. They are both over 2.5 meters long.

After being released into a 12-meter square enclosure, the Risso’s dolphins began swimming slowly and eating bait. They are released into a designated swimming area of the beach at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. for 15 minutes each during the event scheduled to run through Aug. 16.