Guide to Visiting Zao Fox Village

japan guide zao

Located in the scenic mountains near Shiroishi, Zao Fox Village is a captivating sanctuary that is home to over 100 animals, including six different types of foxes. This unique village offers visitors the rare opportunity to observe foxes in their natural habitat. Foxes hold a special place in Japanese folklore and culture, making Zao Fox Village an ideal place to learn about the history and significance of these fascinating creatures. However, the main draw of this destination is simply the undeniable cuteness of the foxes themselves.

What to Expect at Zao Fox Village

When I first heard about Zao Fox Village, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. It sounded intriguing, but I wasn’t certain how many foxes would be present. However, after my visit, I can confidently say that I was not disappointed.

Upon entering the village and paying the admission fee, visitors have the option to purchase food for the foxes for a nominal fee of 100 yen. There are specific rules regarding feeding the foxes. Visitors are not allowed to feed the foxes inside their cages and instead should throw the food for them to retrieve. The staff at the village will provide instructions in Japanese, aided by visual cues on a sign with pictures and red Xs to ensure understanding.

The initial part of Zao Fox Village resembles a petting zoo, with a handful of foxes either in cages or on leashes. In addition to the foxes, there are also bunnies, miniature horses, and goats that visitors can pet and interact with. This section of the village alone is enjoyable, as visitors can have the chance to pet the animals and capture memorable photos. However, at this point, one might wonder if this is all that the village has to offer. Fear not, for there is much more to explore.

The main attraction of Zao Fox Village lies beyond a door, where visitors can explore an open area where the foxes roam freely. Surrounded by trees and bushes, one can truly feel immersed in the wilderness. This area is teeming with foxes of various colors and breeds. Some will approach visitors with curiosity, while others may shy away. Many foxes can be found sleeping or resting, showcasing their adorable nature.

After feeding the foxes, some may follow visitors around in the hope of receiving more food. It is possible to get remarkably close to the foxes, but it is important to remember that they are wild animals. It is not advisable to attempt to touch them, as they may bite if they feel threatened. It is worth noting that there is minimal supervision from staff in this area, so caution is paramount.

The preserve within Zao Fox Village includes structures and miniature houses for the foxes. Additionally, there is a serene shrine adorned with statues and a torii gate, adding to the beauty and cultural ambiance of the area. The surrounding Miyagi Zao mountains further enhance the picturesque setting of the village.

How Much is a Ticket to Zao Fox Village?

The current admission fee for Zao Fox Village is 1000 yen for adults, while children aged 12 and under can enter for free. Additionally, the village features a small gift shop and food shop, allowing visitors to take home a memorable souvenir or indulge in local delicacies.

My trip to Zao Fox Village was incredibly enjoyable and unique. It provided an experience that cannot be replicated elsewhere. Whether you have a fondness for foxes, a love for nature, or simply an appreciation for cute things, I highly recommend making a visit to Zao Fox Village. Prepare to be enchanted by the charm and allure of these captivating creatures in their natural habitat.

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