Believe it or not, there lies a dreamy village (Zao Fox Village) overrun by foxes high up in the mountains of Miyagi in Japan. 

Yup, there are foxes everywhere you look in the Zao Fox Village and I am not even exaggerating here. 

There are over a hundred of them of at least six different species including the red fox, silver fox and platinum fox. So, this place is literally a heaven for those who adore foxes. 

The village was opened in 1990 and visitors from all over the world would come here to roam freely and to make a foxy friend or two. 

According to traditional folklore, foxes used to live side by side with humans in ancient times. They are known as kitsune in Japanese. 

And, they are believed to be the messengers of the Shinto Inari spirits (deity of fertility, rice and prosperity) who possess mystical powers and also have the ability to shape-shift. 

In fact, every New Year’s Eve a fox parade is conducted at Tokyo’s Oji Inari-jinja Shrine. These fluffy, inquisitive and adorably photogenic creatures are a sight to behold and if you want to see them up close and personal, here’s everything you need to know about the Zao Fox Village. 

The village is a tourist attraction and not a sanctuary for foxes. And, it is usually surrounded by snow-covered mountains for most of the year. 

The general admission fee is ¥1,000 (₹690 approx). However, the entrance is free for elementary school students and young children.

Also, before starting on your adventure, you can buy small bags of treats for ¥100 (₹69 approx) from the entrance area to feed the foxes.

Look out for instructions and sign boards and follow them at all costs. Most instructions are in Japanese but, the translated version in English is also available.

Remember, no matter how cute and cuddly you find the foxes, they are wild animals so don’t pet them and don’t have anything dangling. It is also advisable not to bring small children here as the foxes are undomesticated and therefore, aren’t very child-friendly. 

Apart from being home to many foxes, the village is full of trees and quaint structures. So, if you are a nature-lover, this place should definitely make it to your bucket list. Oh, there are bunnies, miniature horses and goats too that live on the other side of the village. 

Depending on the seasons, you may also get an opportunity to hold fox cubs or foxes. Though, there is a small amount you have to pay. For larger foxes in autumn it is  ¥400 (₹276 approx). 

Before leaving you can visit the fox-themed gift shop to buy souvenirs for your friends and family. The best time to visit this village is during the winters. 

How to get there?

The best way to reach this quaint village is by taking a direct bullet train from Tokyo Station to Shiroishizao Station. Though, it is a pricey option costing about ¥10,000 (₹6880 approx) each way.

Alternatively, you can also take a bus to Sendai and catch a regular train to Shiroishi Station. Buses cost between ¥3,000 (₹2064 approx) and ¥5,000 (₹3440 approx) and take about 6 hours. 

You can also rent a car from Tokyo. It will take about 5 hours to reach your destination. 

Check out this video to know more:

Seems like the perfect place for a wonderful vacation!