Amidst the scenic mountains near Shiroishi, Japan is a dreamy village over-run by foxes. Fluffy, furry, adorable soft foxes. Foxes everywhere you turn, over a hundred of them and of at least six species, including the red fox, silver fox and platinum fox. The Zao Fox Village was opened in 1990 and people are allowed to roam freely along with the foxes and make a foxy friend or two.
Foxes feature often in Japanese folklore. It is believed that they possess mystical powers and can even shape-shift and are considered as messengers of the Shinto deity of fertility, rice and prosperity. They’re also unbearably cute.
At the entrance you can purchase food for the fox for 100 yen. They’ll cluster around you and stare at you expectantly if you possess food but it is advised that you avoid feeding them by hand as they are wild foxes.
It is also advised that you not touch the foxes, no matter how tough that may seem, as they could possibly bite you. Otherwise, it’s a great place to be up close with foxes and take some snaps of them to put on your desk.
The village is full of trees and quaint structures, including a shrine with statues and a torii too. If you’re a nature lover, this place should be on your bucket list.
It is advisable not to bring small children here as foxes aren’t very child friendly and are undomesticated.
One part of the village even lets you pet some foxes, bunnies, miniature horses and goats.
You can get to the town of Shiroishi by a bullet train. but fox village is a 30 minute drive by cab or car.
Zao Fox Village seems like a pretty cool place to retire in.