Zao Kitsune fox village - a 'unique' destination in Japan

At the picturesque mountains of Miyagi Prefecture - Japan, you can watch, feed and take lovely photos of six different Japanese fox breeds in the unique Zao Kitsune fox village.

Some information about Zao Kitsune

There are some experiences in Japan that are very unique and difficult to describe. Visiting Zao Kitsune Mura or Fox Village is one of them. As a zoo, fox village culture exhibit and nature reserve is a sanctuary nestled in the mountains of Miyagi Prefecture. This place is known to have helped in the co-production of the movie "Kogitsune Helen (Helen the Baby Fox)". Zao Fox Village was established in the forests of the Kawarago region and is where you can glimpse the lives of foxes. 


Zao fox village - unique animal sanctuaryPhoto: @estrellas_amp


Zao fox village - a popular sightseeing spotPhoto: @ pexinh95

There are many types of foxes living here such as Silver fox, Arctic fox , ... Foxes are rated quite badly because they are deceivers in many cultures, but in Japan, they are also considered mysterious creatures. and the messenger of Inari Okami - the god of the Shintoism of fertility, prosperity and rice. After an hour or two of hanging out with these little foxes, you will be amazed at their beauty.


Zao Kitsune fox village - where there are adorable foxesPhoto: @jb_in_jpn


Zao Fox Village - watch the foxesPhoto: @mararaawr


Impressive experiences in Zao Kitsune fox village


Take photos of the lovely foxes

Most of the great photos you've ever seen of foxes before traveling to Japan involve a lot of cute curled hair bundles and they are often located on large shelves that have aisle along the two main aisles from the courtyard. in. With millions of opportunities and lots of people wandering back and forth, this is a great place for close-ups and selfies. Although they are cute, do not touch them without permission as foxes have very sharp teeth and are not tamed.


Zao Kitsune fox village - family photo shootPhoto: @ sui_2.966


Zao Fox Village - fox party photographyPhoto: @petchjintana

One thing you may notice while walking around is the noisy foxes. This is not a strange story, but a normal quarrel in everyday life of foxes. The foxes bother each other and are quite quiet about it, so don't go near them when they're fighting, just stand from a distance and watch and pay attention when next time you encounter such a situation.


Zao Fox Village - Cheerful Fox PartyPhoto: @mararaawr


Zao Fox Village - Visit the winter foxesPhoto: @tansza


Feed the fox

The feeding station is located on high stilts in the middle of the forest, with a wide roof and lots of cunning foxes. Once you get inside, look down as you will no doubt see adorable eyes staring at you. The foxes are adorable and lined up for snacks, with plenty of foxes serving as the basis for new treats. Food bags cost 100 yen and can be purchased here or at the entrance to Zao Kitsune fox village.


Fox Village Zao Kitsune - the fox feedsPhoto: @snubs


Fox Village Zao Kitsune - the fox feedsPhoto: @__ kaoriii.926


Visiting the temple

Just like when visiting Fushimi Inari Shrine here will see a small shrine located on the winding roads of the forest. The temple has an idyllic bright red wooden fence, here you do not need to wait long for a fox to wander through, as there are even some sleeping inside for you to see up close scene them. 


Zao Fox Village - visit the fox shrinePhoto: @suguzzy


Buy souvenirs 

Before leaving, if you want to buy souvenirs, do not forget to visit the gift shop, it will be surprising that they spend everything on a fox theme. There are some new gifts such as: the fox drop chocolates, the fox shaped box, the fox key chain, the clock, the fox, ... made of natural materials that are environmentally friendly. And it's a good way to kill time while waiting for a taxi or car to go home.


Zao Fox Village - buy souvenirsPhoto: @liolittlefox


Opening hours and entrance fees

- The operation hours of Zao Kitsune Mura vary depending on the season. From March 16 to November 30, open from 9:00 to 17:00. From December 1 to March 15, open from 9:00 to 16:00. 

Zao Kitsune fox village ticket costs 1,000 yen for visitors aged 13 and over. Guests 12 years and under can enter free of charge. Note that only cash is accepted, not card payment.


Zao fox village - winter sightseeingPhoto: @ningnarisara


Zao fox village - winter sightseeingPhoto: @iampann


Travel guides and vehicles


How to get to the fox village from Tokyo

The mountain village has many means for you to choose to move here. From Tokyo, depending on budget and time, choose one of the following options:

Shinkanse bullet train : you can go from Tokyo Station directly to Shiroishizao station by bullet train, it takes 109 minutes on Yamabiko 145 train. These trains depart about every 1 hour but please check the route of you first. This is an expensive option although it costs around 10,000 yen per way. If you have a JR Rail Pass, it will be much cheaper. 


Zao fox village - take the trainPhoto: @chibi_masa

Travel by bus and train , you can catch buses to Sendai and catch a train to the station regularly Shiroishi. Buses cost between ¥ 3,000 and ¥ 5,000 and take around 6 hours, so going in the early morning can help with lunch time. This is a lot of time, but it cuts costs significantly and a night bus ride back to Tokyo means you don't spend too much useful time. The train ride costs around ¥ 770 and takes about 50 minutes.

By car : if you know how to drive, this is also a convenient way. It takes around 5 hours from Tokyo and you need a Japanese driver's license or an international driver's license to rent a car.


fox village Zao Kitsune - meansPhoto: @ datsunlife21


Local transport to the village

After traveling here from Tokyo or elsewhere, getting into the fox village Zao Kitsune taxi is the most popular way, there are also buses and shuttle buses but less popular.

Taxi : about ¥ 4,000 if you go with a group of friends, it will be very cheap. When you're ready to go, you can ask the cafe to call a taxi for you or if you catch a taxi there, chances are they'll give you a callback card.


Zao fox village - entrancePhoto: @ chi_key3


Local bus : runs on Tuesdays and Fridays, called Castle Kun buses, one way costs 200 yen. It runs from Shiroishi Station to Kawarago Dam, at 7:58 am and 1:35 pm. You must ask your driver to let you down, as this is not a regular stop. Also confirm the time and place to wait for the return bus. There is only one return bus in the early afternoon, so you should pay attention to arrange your departure time properly.

Shuttle : The Yakushi no Yu shuttle bus runs daily from the east entrance of Sendai Station but must be booked 3 days in advance. 


Zao fox village - the bus stopPhoto: @sarahmillinchip

Note when visiting Fox Village

- When you arrive, buy bags of cheap fox food at the entrance and have your camera ready to take some of the beautiful hijinks.

- Foxes are very wild so please avoid trying to get too close to them without the friendly staff's permission. If you really want to play or pet one of the many fluffy residents, they can arrange for you a more docile member of the crew.

- It is one of the beautiful destinations in Japan that can be visited all year round. But you should visit in winter as this is when the view looks better under the white, albeit a bit cold. Bring hiking boots for easier exploration in the snow and protect yourself from the inevitable pile of fox dung.


Zao Kitsune fox village - winter visitPhoto: @ thepooh8

Another sightseeing spot near the Japanese fox village

Naruko Onsen : in the city of Osaki, Miyagi Prefecture possesses beautiful landscapes in the fall and winter. Not too far from the city of Sendai, this area has a wealth of hot springs and nature for hiking and winter sports.

Crater Okama : 1841 meters in elevation on Mount Zao in Yamagata Prefecture and the border between Miyagi. The active volcano has a beautiful crater with a lake, called Okama due to its resemblance to a traditional cooking pot. Can't get close to the crater but seen from afar outside in winter.


Zao Fox Village - experience Naruko OsenPhoto: @yawen_shih


The festival Sendai Tanabata : also known as the "festival of stars", one of the Japanese festival celebrating the most famous and large Tanabata be held on the 7th of the 7th month of the year. According to Chinese legend, on this day the two stars Altair and Vega meet. Due to the difference between lunar and solar, the modern Tanabata festival takes place in July or August.


fox village Zao Kitsune - Okama craterPhoto: @___ngsc

Wander to discover the unique Japanese Zao Kitsune fox village , check in at the impressive pictures that are always a favorite destination for tourists. Try to come here to experience once, the impressions left will make you hard to forget.