Christmas in Japan

The boats all in harbour…

Today started just as any other day here in Japan… Alarms going off in the early hours, and meeting together in our hotel lobby soon after- all geared up and ready to go. Unknowing of what we may encounter that day… unsure of what we may see. Every day we must ensure to get enough rest and downtime during the day, in order to function physically and mentally the following day. But of course, with the nature of what we do here almost guaranteeing restless nights- we must do what we can, when we can, to recover our minds and bodies.

This morning seemed like every other morning here in Taiji that I have encountered so far… Today marked the end of my third week here in Japan- and I can honestly say that it has felt like years since I was back home in Australia. What’s more, today was also the very first day that I have been away from my family for Christmas!

I had to be reminded this morning that it was indeed the day of the biggest holiday of the year (for many Australians)… That was probably the strangest thing about today. No matter how much I tried to convince myself- it just did not feel like Christmas… I think, most likely, that it was because of the temperature here in Japan at the moment. Back home on Christmas day it is normally one of the hottest days of the year… today was among some of the coldest I have experienced! (It is strange also that there is one Cove Guardian from Canada who is delighting in the ‘warmth’ of the temperatures here at the moment…)

Just like any other day here, we drove straight to Taiji Harbour, to see whether the banger boats were out hunting for dolphins or not… As we rounded the corner headed toward the harbour, we were absolutely thrilled to see that all twelve boats had not left! The boat from the other day that we thought had some problems is still dry docked, it seems as though they might be working on it…

We had all heard from numerous people here that the Fishermen take days off during the holiday period- through late December up until the New Year (a holiday which seems to be even bigger than Christmas here in Japan)… We still plan to head out and check every day, however, just to make sure… Yesterday as well as today were both absolutely perfect days weather-wise for the fishermen, so there is no doubt that they had intended to stay at home with their families for Christmas… let’s just hope that it stays that way!

The rest of the day was very relaxed- everyone definitely enjoyed not having to be at the Cove on Christmas! I got to Skype with my family back home, who were all enjoying one of our traditional Christmas day lunches, it seemed very surreal to watch the Christmas celebrations I had been involved in for 19 years through a computer screen!

But, you know what; I would not change it for the world. This is where I feel as though I have to be, and if my presence here in Taiji has any effect whatsoever on somehow helping this slaughter to finally end- even if it encourages the awareness of only a few other people- then that is worth one hundred Christmas’ to me! I am completely committed and dedicated to making some kind of positive change here for the dolphins of Japan… and if that entails celebrating Christmas a little differently with newfound but lifelong friends, then I am more than happy about that! Today we all welcomed Andy to our Cove Guardian team here!

Hopefully in a few Christmas’ time I will be able to look back on what once was a Christmas well spent in Taiji, Japan- trying to end the killing of dolphins… Hopefully in a few Christmas’ time, we will all be able to look back at today, and realise how far we have come- to a time where the screams of thousands of dolphins are not heard off the coast of Japan. Until that time, however, I hope the fishermen and government of Japan know that on every Christmas from here on in… there will be people here watching everything that they do, people who will not stop until this insanity is over- until the cove never becomes red with blood again…

To help spread the word on what goes on here in Taiji, you can add and share my Facebook page– which has regular updates, photos and videos of what goes on in the Cove…
To become a Cove Guardian here in Japan, head to Sea Shepherd’s website

Thank you all for your support, and well wishes over the last few days! I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas day!
On the path to protect,



  1. Merry Christmas and thank you to all of you. I have been here in Japan for 6 years and still Xmas doesn’t feel like Xmas.
    Thank you for being here. You all are true Heroes.

  2. Thank you to all the Cove guardians and we wis you all a very merry christmas. the dolphins wish you one too. See you soon


  3. Season’s Greetings to you Nicole. I just want to say thank you for writing such a beautiful piece for Christmas day. All my very best to you, cheers!

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