Panettiere, who arrived with her world-champion boxer boyfriend, Wladimir Klitschko, and a small group of activists, called for an end to the town's annual dolphin hunt. Panettiere's visit comes just weeks after The Cove, a graphic film illustrating Taiji's dolphin slaughter, won the Oscar for best documentary.
Japanese fishing village defends dolphin hunting depicted in Oscar winner The Cove
The actress added that if the hunt was abandoned, she would "love to be a spokesperson" for the town to help generate tourism.
"We are trying to peacefully come up with better ideas as to how to generate income and utilize the nature here," Panettiere said. "We've been to Taiji before and it's a beautiful place with beautiful wildlife."
Both Panettiere and a fellow activist were blocked at the door of the town hall when they tried to meet with the mayor and representatives of the local fisheries union.
Panettiere, who plays an indestructible cheerleader Claire Bennett on Heroes, is also the spokeswoman for the "Save the Whales Again!" campaign. She previously visited Taiji in 2007, when she and others swam into the cove where the hunt takes place in a peaceful protest that was eventually broken up by fishermen.