Fluffy & Cute! Everyone’s Talking about the Miyagi Zao Fox Village
Snow monkeys and cat cafes come to mind when people talk about Japan’s claims to fame related to animals, but foxes are gradually growing in popularity. Today we’ll be talking about the Fox Village (kitsune mura), which can be said lent a helping hand to igniting the love of foxes.
What is the Miyagi Zao Fox Village?
It’s a zoo/theme park featuring foxes in Shiroishi, Miyagi. It’s the topic of a lot of conversation for being a place where you can interact with free-roaming foxes (currently about 130 of them).
*It’s important to know you may come in contact with the parasite echinococcus when touching foxes. However, these foxes here are all bred by people and receive regular check-ups from veterinarians so it’s a rare trourist spot that is extremely safe place.
What to know before going?
1. A gorilla welcomes you at the entrance
Foxes are the main feature of the Fox Village, but there’s a massive gorilla at the entrance. It’s their landmark.
2. There are rare species of foxes
Most people think of the red fox when they think of foxes, but here there are many rare species of foxes, including the silver fox, arctic fox, platinum fox, shadow fox, cross foxes and more. One highlight of the Fox Village are all the cool foxes, like in the photo.
You can freely touch the foxes inside the park, but it seems much of the time they’ll run away. That’s where the food comes in. Show them food and their eyes turn into those of hunters and they gather around you. Their wild instincts may take over and they could bite, so make sure to feed them in the feeding area.
4. Foxes and Shinto
Foxes have a deep connection to Japanese culture. There are all kinds of stories revolving around foxes and it’s said that they can shapeshift as yokai monsters. Also, they’re famous as the deity at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine. Seeing real foxes wandering around the Shinto shrine inside the Fox Village is strange and amusing. Definitely another highlight.
Best time to go
- Around May: This is when the fox kits are born. You can hold cute, recently born kits.
- Around January to February: Foxes have summer and winter coats. Their winter coats are very fluffy so winter is the best time to see them. Also, if you go in winter then you can see both the winter scenery and the foxes.
Foxes with winter coats, http://blog.livedoor.jp/hmx_library/
How did you feel about Miyagi Zao Fox Village, where you can see foxes in natural poses like in the photo, for they have a bit more “wildness” to them than cats or dogs? Follow the rules when you’re petting them and have a lot of fun! Information: Map