Foxes, as you may already know, have long played an important role in Japanese culture. Appearing in myths, literature, theater, video games, and even music videos, the adorable-yet-mysterious creatures have long captured people’s imagination.
And now, they’ll capture your heart, leaving you “awwwing” in a catatonic state of cute-overload at the Zao Kitsune Village!
Kitsune, of course, in the Japanese word for fox. And this fox village is actually an expansive zoo where you can see, feed, and even pet the adorable creatures!
In addition to the well-known red foxes, there are also silver foxes, arctic blue foxes, platinum foxes, arctic shadow foxes, and cross-breed foxes, all of which a very real despite their unique names.
For those of you who might balk at the idea of a fox zoo, you can take heart in knowing that the grounds are quite large, giving the animals plenty of room to run free. The Zao Kitsune Village also has all of the foxes inspected yearly for infectious disease in addition to other preventative measures. There have been zero infections in the Fox Village’s history.
▼”The human’s sure are weird-looking today.”
▼Trained professionals. Do not try going outside without a coat during winter at home.
▼”What’s kawaiiiiiiiii and why do the humans keep screaming it??”
In addition to the numerous foxes, of which there are over 100, you can also pet some kid goats, bunny rabbits, and ponies!
▼”Halp! I iz adorable fur ball attack’d by monstur handz!”
▼”ZOMG! FOOD HAND! FOOOOD HAAAAND!”
▼”Okay, bunnies, here’s the plan while we live in this fox village: We stay inside. Forever.”
People are even allowed in the fox area, where the animals will run up to visitors and “play with the cuffs of their pants.” No word on whether or not magical spells will be cast on unruly patrons, but we wouldn’t recommend trying to find out.
▼If those eyes don’t convince you that fox magic is real, nothing will.
▼”Hunh. Humans are a lot taller face-to-face…”
▼”Dude, please, I’m trying to sleep.”
▼Grandpa fox disapproves of your squeals of delight… but also secretly enjoys them.
The Zao Kitsune Village is located in Miyagi Prefecture, about three hours from Tokyo on the shinkansen (bullet train) plus a 3,500 yen (US$35) taxi ride from the station, so it might be a good idea to make a weekend trip out of it. There’s certainly lots of other place to visit in the prefecture, so we recommend hiring a car and spending some time cruising around.
Admission is only 700 yen (US$7) for adults and 400 yen for children, and they’re open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (4 p.m. in winter). You can check out the Zao Kitsune Village webpage (Japanese only) or try this Google Plus page to find more specific directions in English.
▼Goro never could pass the hiding portion of the ninja school entrance exam.
▼”Play and sleep, play and sleep. Yep, this is the life!”
While it may not be the easiest place for everyone to get to, it seems like a great weekend destination! Though if you happen to see one with nine tails, we suggest beating a hasty retreat.
▼”Wait. Did I leave the iron on?”
▼Evil fox probably isn’t actually evil. Just misunderstood.
All right, if you haven’t been hospitalized for a cuteness-related heart attack, you can go back to work now.