Zao Fox Village, a Sanctuary in Japan Where Foxes Roam Freely

Located near the city Shiroishi in the mountains of Miyagi, Japan, the Zao Fox Village (Zao Kitsune Mura) is a paradise for fox lovers. Open since 1990, the village is a sanctuary for over a hundred animals, including six different breeds of foxes who roam freely.

After paying a small admission fee, visitors can take a tour of a bunny petting zoo, horse stables, and an enclosed area where injured and young foxes are kept for their own safety. The main attraction, however, is the large, open preserve where foxes scamper, play, eat, and sleep. Many of the foxes approach humans with curiosity, eager to be fed or petted, but visitors should be mindful that the adorable creatures are still semi-wild, and so may bite if provoked.

Foxes in Japan are held in high regard. Although they often appear in folklore are mischievous tricksters, they are also portrayed as powerful spirits or the messengers of Inari Okami, the Shinto deity of fertility, prosperity, rice, tea, and agriculture.

Photo credit: Danny Villeneuve

Photo credit: Handai Fox

Photo credit: Chi Nao

Photo credit: Tatsuro Shimono

Photo credit: Justin Velgus

Photo credit: Tatsuro Shimono

Photo credit: Tatsuro Shimono

Photo credit: Maki

Photo credit: Danny Villeneuve

Photo credit: Maki

Photo credit: Danny Villeneuve

Photo credit: Maki

Photo credit: Tatsuro Shimono

Photo credit: Danny Villeneuve

Photo credit: Maki

Photo credit: uuaya

Photo credit: Tatsuro Shimono

via [Laughing Squid], [Kotaku], [Japan Travel]

Popular Around The Web

From Our Partners