Beautiful Foxes at Zao Fox Village



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Less than one hour drive from Sendai, Zao Fox Village is Japan’s fox-themed animal park. 

Sendai is the capital city of Miyagi Prefecture, in the northern Tohoku region, on Honshu - Japan's main island. 

Foxes in Japanese Folklore

Foxes, kitsune in Japanese, commonly feature in Japanese folklore and culture. Stories depict them as intelligent beings and as possessing paranormal abilities that increase with their age and wisdom.

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According to Yōkai folklore, all foxes have the ability to shapeshift into human form. Carved stone statues of foxes can sometimes be found at the entrance to shinto shrines.

Day Trip to Zao Fox Village from Tokyo with Lunch

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Beautiful Foxes at Zao Fox Village

In the video below I follow one fox whose attention was drawn by noises on the other side of the park's perimeter fencing. I could hear the sound of rustling leaves but couldn't see what was making the noise.

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Although the fox was preoccupied, as it peered through the fence trying to locate the source of the rustling, it knew I was following and was very relaxed about me getting very close so I could photograph and film it.

Pros and Cons of Zao Fox Village

Generally, I don't like seeing animals in captivity, so did a fair bit of research before deciding to come here. There are definitely pros and some cons of the concept.

However, on balance, I think the foxes at Zao Fox Village have a good life and they certainly live longer here than they would in the wild.

A 1-Day Nature Tour in Miyagi Prefecture: Frolic with foxes


The Miyagi Mountains

More than 100 foxes freely roam in a park. The village is located in a quiet, rural area of the Miyagi mountains, in a wildlife protection area. It's a lovely setting and I was surprised at just how large the park is.

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As the foxes are used to seeing humans, it is possible to get up close to these beautiful animals - as you can see in the film below.

Indeed, if you are carrying food, some of the more inquisitive (and braver) foxes are bold enough to jump up at or climb onto you if you're not careful.

Day Trip to Zao Fox Village from Tokyo with Lunch


The Fox Hospital

On site there is a fox 'hospital'. Here, foxes that are sick for any reason can be cared for and quarantined before being returned to the village.

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All the foxes are regularly checked for echinococcus (a parasite common to foxes in the wild), so that the pack remains healthy.

If you like foxes but are uncomfortable with zoos (as am I) then I recommend doing further research on Zao Fox Village before deciding to visit to reach your own decision.

Me? I was glad I went and had the opportunity get so close to these beautiful creatures.

A 1-Day Nature Tour in Miyagi Prefecture: Frolic with foxes

VIDEO: Beautiful Foxes at Zao Fox Village

Zao Fox Village Location Map

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Rob Dyer The Real Japan

About the Author

A writer and publisher from England, Rob has been exploring Japan’s islands since 2000. He specialises in travelling off the beaten track, whether on remote atolls or in the hidden streets of major cities. He’s the founder of


Getting to Zao Fox Village

11-3 Kawarago, Fukuokayatsumiya Shiroishi-shi, Miyagi prefecture 989-0733


9:00-17:00 (winter season 16:00)


Adults (13 plus) 1000 yen/ Children (12 and under) Free



Zao Fox Village Experiences

A 1-Day Nature Tour in Miyagi Prefecture: Frolic with foxes
Day Trip to Zao Fox Village from Tokyo with Lunch

Where to Stay Near Zao Fox Village

Hotels & Ryokan near Zao Fox Village
Accommodation in Sendai

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