Fox Village in Zao

A place of magic in the mountains of Miyagi

 By Justin Velgus   Aug 17, 2014

Zao Kitsune Mura is a village full of free roaming foxes deep in the mountains of Miyagi. My visit happened to be on a foggy day, no problem as it suited the mystical aura foxes carry  in Japanese mythology. The foxes are tame, but still semi wild. Don't touch them and think twice about bringing very young children. Follow the tori gates in the village to the Inari shrine. Foxes are messengers of the deity Inari, so you may want to bribe the messengers by giving them some fox food which can be purchased upon entry. 

There are several other animal species at the fox village, particularly a large bunny petting zoo. A restaurant and gift shop are also on the premises.  

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Photography by Justin Velgus
Japan Travel Member

Join the discussion

Stephanie Louise 6 months ago
I've heard some
Pretty sad stuff about this place, it's actually a fur farm, and a lot of the foxes are in very small cages and are frightened of the staff. Do not advertise to animal lovers. Animal lovers would not go to a place that promotes cruelty
Justin Velgus Photographer 6 months ago
People of course are free to make their own decision. I never heard of a fur farm there! I do agree that animals in Japan do not seem to be treated as well as in western countries. Even top zoos here have small cages and nothing but concrete floors for some animals.

The small cages at Fox Village, I was told, are there for two reasons. First is foxes feel more secure in small places. Second is to get them used to humans. Once they are used to humans they are moved to the village section where they have a huge area to run and play around without fear of predators. The foxes in that area I believe are treated humanely. I think the village can do a better job still, and also sharing more info about how they care (or don’t) for the foxes would be beneficial to unsure visitors (including myself).
Jasper Wilkins 2 years ago
This seems like a very interesting place!
Lookjunn Chuthamas 2 years ago
How to get to the village?
Lookjunn Chuthamas 2 years ago
How to get to the village?
Lookjunn Chuthamas 2 years ago
How to get to the village?