Japan has an entire village populated by foxes. In the early 90s, someone thought it was a good idea to give foxes a place of their own. We are sure glad that they did since this village is home to six different fox species. Majority of the canine population are Red foxes but there are also black, platinum and arctic ones as well. Other animals such as rabbits and juvenile goats are also in this sanctuary.
You Can Feed Them But
Generally, you can buy food from the human staff and feed the foxes. You have to keep in mind though that the foxes are still wild animals. You run the risk of getting bitten if you attempt to hand feed these canines. Instead, toss the food on the ground and let the foxes eat it in peace.
Just to be clear, these foxes are not threatening as long as you follow the rules. They would even follow you like pets after giving them the treats. This loveable behavior is not given out of love. The foxes follow you because they are hoping for another tasty snack.
Want a Cuddle?
Attempting to cuddle a wild fox is not advisable. If you really want to pet or cuddle one, ask the human staff. They will gladly give a more willing fox to play with. This kind of service though is not free.
The Torii Gates
On your way to the village, you will pass by several tori gates. You will also notice how the ancient Japanese venerate the fox. They see the furry canine as a representative of Inari, a local god of rice and fertility as well as prosperity. Considering that you are in a village populated by foxes, the tribute is appropriate.
How to Get to Fox Village
Travelling to this fox village is an adventure in itself. Amy good travel guide book or local tourism office will be able to help you. The village of the fox is located at the foot of Mount Zao. A bullet train trip from Tokyo to the Shiroishi-Zao station will require around two hours. Once you get off the train, you still need to take either a cab or bus to the village. There are only 2 direct bus trips to the Fox Village. The first bus leaves the station at 10 AM while the second leaves 10 minutes after. Taxis are also available if you prefer to travel by car.
There are several well-recommended hotels near the village. The Tokinenoyado Yunushiichijoh, Mogamiya Ryokan, and the Suzukiya Ryokan are within less than three kilometers from the village.
Best Time to Enter Village
The village is normally open every day. On the other hand, the place looks magical when you visit it during winter time. Nevertheless, a good pair of hiking boots is required to make the trek easier. It also makes it easier to avoid the numerous fox poo scattered all over the place.
You need to pay 1,000 yen to enter the Fox village. If you want to feed them, food bags are available for 100 yen. For the cuddles, it will cost you 400 yen.