SEA WORLD Shimoda's floating aquarium would be just another run-of-the-mill m?lange of fish tanks and lazy sea otters were it not for one feature: heavy petting. Of dolphins, that is. The aquarium offers a variety of "dolphin contact" activities like the one I witnessed at the outdoor pool. Five rubber-suited visitors waded hip-deep into the water to touch, rub and coo over a handful of trained dolphins, including one that resembled a small whale. The idea of touching animals with big teeth freaks me out, so I retreated to the relative calm of the indoor aquarium. But the interior was no...

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