Killer whale spectacle thrills tourists off coast in Hokkaido

May 30, 2016

RAUSU, Hokkaido–Pods of killer whales are gathering in the Nemuro strait, off the coast of this fishing town on the east coast of Japan’s northernmost island.

Passengers on a tourist cruise boat were thrilled by a close encounter with the marine mammal when one dived beneath the boat and surfaced beside the stem.

Many killer whales were seen swimming near the coast on May 28, and they usually remain in the area until July, according to a tour organizer.

The Nemuro strait separates the main island of Hokkaido from Kunashiri island in the east. Rausu stretches on one side of the mountainous Shiretoko Peninsula, a UNESCO World Heritage site along the strait.

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