TAIJI, Japan �" Taiji reveals its Janus face as soon as you emerge from the road tunnel on
the town's periphery. Bottlenoses leap out of the water in unison at the aqua park, where visitors are invited to board rowing boats and "play with the dolphins." Giant models of two whales, framed by a brilliant blue sky, serve as reminders of the town's traditions, while the emerald waters of the Pacific Ocean combine with heavily wooded cliffs to form a coastline of outstanding beauty.
But for all its natural charms, this town of 3,500 people is inextricably linked with something much less palatable: the systematic slaughter of thousands of dolphins for their meat.