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Zao Fox Village

Around 200 fluffy residents of this village enjoy its diverse infrastructure with fox hotels as an alternative to fox houses, also fox feeding area, and even fox shrine—everything to cater their needs


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The cute village was founded at the base of lush Zao mountain back in 1990. This is home 100-200 of six different fox species. Besides the dominating Japanese red fox, other types include black and platinum foxes, and also white arctic species. Just don't be confused with all those zoo-like caged foxes when you first enter the sanctuary. It consists of two parts—go further and you'll find yourself in the open area which is rather wild.

The beasties inhabiting the village are just amusing, half-cat and half-dog, some more friendly and some less. You'll probably be most surprised to hear a funny scowling-miaowing sounds they produce while fighting.

The vulpines usually rest in "fox houses", or "fox hotels rooms" in the Fox Hotel Street, when others don't give up their wild habits and dig foxholes, regardless of all modern conveniences available. In fact, the beasts are quite wild, which is why you're advised not to pet them, and throw the food on the ground rather than hand feed them. Fox food is provided for a fee and there's a special feeding area. Finally, the fox shrine must be one of the most amusing elements of the village.

Zao village is open year-round, but if you don't like snow and mud, you should avoid winter. If you want to observe the cutest inhabitants, the foxlings are born in March to April. Many visitors love to come during autumn colours display. So the best season to visit the sanctuary must be from March on through October.

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