Going to the zoo is far different from the opportunity to observe animals in their natural habitat, while they are freely roaming the surrounding area. Therefore, being able to visit an animal sanctuary is a much better alternative, and if you ever visit Japan, make sure you don’t forget to go to the Fox Village!
Zao Fox Village is the home of six different types of foxes, that would be happy to play with each other and their other furry friends to attract your attention!
The place is located in Japan’s Miyagi prefecture, in the mountains near Shiroishi, around a two-hour-long trip on the bullet train from Tokyo.
Photographer and prolific Instagrammer Lauren Bath (@laurenepbath) visited the place and said:
“In the fox village, the foxes have plenty of room to roam and there are plenty of places for them to chill out if they didn’t want to be bothered by the tourists walking through.
There are lots of benches and nooks and hollowed out trees for them chill out in. They’re just kind of everywhere doing their thing. They sleep a lot, so you’ll have fun spotting them in their little nooks. I found a log with three or four of them curled up inside, which was totally adorable!”
“The thing I like about it is they have the opportunity to get away from you. There are areas they can retreat to, and visitors aren’t supposed to stray from the footpath, so there are definitely ‘fox only’ areas. However, they all seemed happy and quite social and didn’t mind you getting close enough to take photos.”
The admission for adults is 1000 yen, and it is free for children aged 12 and under. To receive some foods to provide to these fluffy inhabitants, you can pay additional 100 yen (or about 85 US cents).
Yet, the foxes are not domesticated, so visitors are advised to not hand-feed them or bring small children with them. There is a small gift shop, as well as a food shop, you can visit while there.
The preserve has numerous structures and little houses for the foxes to move around, and the entire area of the Miyagi Zao mountains is magnificent and scenic.
Foxes are thought to be sly tricksters in Japan, but some people believe they have mystical powers and are messengers of Inari Okami, the Shinto deity of fertility, prosperity, and rice.
Scroll down to see the Fox Island’s adorable inhabitants: