Miyagi Zao Fox Village

Haven’t had much posts last year and January bogged me with a lot of things since my line of work usually peaks during the start of the year due to annual reports on top of the usual work load.

This visit was during January 2018. Yep that’s right, I have a backlog of photos worth two years. Actually thought long and hard if I was going to post something figure related (because there’s a lot here) or something that can interest a broader audience for once, but I chose something quite general instead since I think it’ll be easier to handle more than plastic tiddies :^)

To be quite frank, it was hard for me to write this one because I was thinking if i should go directly straight to the point and talk about the destination or if I should expound also on the journey to said travel topic at hand. Let me know in the comments what you guys prefer. For now, I’ll prolly go and be as straight to the point (somewhat) as i can when it comes to these posts.

Shiroishi Zao Station

Just a few stops from Sendai Station where we came from, Shiroishi-Zao Station would be the place you’d want to get off before taking another ride to get to the Fox Village. Winter during that time was really really packed that it stopped Shinkansens the night before and it was already 10C out so it was nigh impossible to grab a bus ride headed to that area.

Inside the station where it’s warm and all. Aside from your usual pretty 3d ladies, Japan also pays anime ladies to also pose and get lads to pay more attention to certain things. Which one was more effective in grabbing your attention?

First time making a mini snow man. Obviously I’m not a snowman making prodigy ^^

Statue right outside the station. I forgot what this statue represented though I vaguely remember it might be about friendship maybe??

We were supposed to ride a bus, but due to really bad weather (spoiler alert: BLIZZARD) which limited their availability and and also left certain vehicles susceptible to accidents like the these two which apparently scratched one another. Been living in a tropical country for most of my life so accidents due to black ice (that’s ice sheet on asphalt which makes things extra slippery) is rare for me to see.

30 minute ride from the station using a cab. Silent Hill feels. Will post directions from Shiroishi Zao station at the bottom of the entry.

Eventually managed to get a ride after an hour of waiting for a taxi and we finally managed to arrive in… Miyagi Zao FOX village??? Yeah that got me and my friend all confused. Signage says “Miyagi Kitsune” (kitsune as in fox) but what greeted us was a giant gorilla =)))

So far so good, there’s a fox statue that looked like the ones you see in Inari shrines and a… badger???

Me when I’m buried under backlog.

Uwah! Very excited to see Foxes up close! This is probably the second time I’ve been this close to an animal who can probably rip you open with their jaw or claws (the first one was a tiger). Foxes here don’t seem to mind my annoying human presence as they’re used to having a lot of visitors.

This one seems to be having a bad day ooof ^^

Yes, that’s mostly poop and pee and the snow doesnt help in hiding that fact. The place doesnt smell as much though, must be the weather freezing whatever’s left of my olfactory senses.

Some foxes are inside cages, probably the ones that need to have a timeout. I wonder how the staff manages to tell them apart without any tags or collar though @[email protected]

There’s like a lot of fighting between foxes every 5 or 10 minutes but it usually ends up in an intimidation contest more or less. Their fur is up at the moment since it’s winter and it helps regulate their body warmth as i was told.

I was 5 inches away from these two while they were fighting.

Just so you guys know, DO NOT TOUCH the foxes. They’re wild and they can bite your hand as they try to get food from you.

There’s a special area close by where you can feed the foxes. Please read the signages as theyre more for your safety really than the foxes. One shouldnt expect foxes to act like domesticated dogs that you can just pat or feed like in a disney film or something. Foxes will be more or less willing to follow you there in that area to be fed.

Yes there are black foxes =)))

In less than 10 minutes, the blizzard started to set in the area and the temperature dropped real fast. That combined with the strong winds really made it hard to stay very long in the area =\

The little cylindrical stuff there are the treats for the foxes which costs 200Yen, not bad. The carrots on the other hand aren’t for them but for the rabbits close by…. your guess is as good as mine. Circle of life and all ^^

The fox village also had these torii gates to make the place look more surreal. To be honest I wouldnt mind visiting during the fall and see how the entire place would look like with the autumn foliage.

First time to experience blizzards (a week long of snowstorms in Sendai really) and I do strongly suggest to always check weather forecasts during winter and layer up if youre like me who is used to living in a tropical country where 28C-30C is a normal thing.

I learned very fast that unlike rain, you need to take an extra step of removing snow from your clothes and bags before entering as its just going to be more hassle when it melts into water. Forgive my fascination, I’m just quite new to snow during 2018 =)))

Its piling up

The aforementioned place where you give carrots to. Although they’re not going to bite your hands off like foxes, it’s still suggested not to pet them too.

“Hmmm i wonder what they’re here for…”

The souvenir shop was a huge place for comfort given how cold it was. I can take 7C in cities, but having the strong mountain wind to go along with it really kills every fiber of my being. Took me a while to acclimate towards this type of weather.

Fox wood craft goodies to take home!

Although the woodcrafted souvenirs are more on the practical side. Plushies are always the safest choice when bringing home to children or significant others. Surprisingly, they also sell some rabbits too.

Probably the number one top selling items in the shop: keychains and magnets. Do you guys also buy magnets whenever you visit a different country or particular area of it too?

I can’t recall if that’s a ladle or a backscratcher to the left side ^^

Anime is everywhere, even a series that’s arguably on hiatus (movie 4 when are you ever coming out??), still finds it’s way in the weirdest items or everyday supplies.

Mini bar cafe where visitors can wait for the bus (which was never coming in this blizzard) or you can ask the counter if they can call for a cab for you.

Or Stuff

Cozy place where you can talk with fellow travellers. We actually got a ride with a fellow traveller so we were able to pslit the bill three ways!

Lady was nice enough to give us this orange rice crackers which I havent tasted before. Pretty nice tasting.

Okay, now for the How to’s.
Take note, this was during 2018. So you may have to check if the information is still updated.

GOING TO MIYAGI ZAO FOX VILLAGE
1.) Take the Shinkansen to “Shiroishi Zao station” there are multiple methods to get there depending on where youre coming from (either from Tokyo or Sendai usually)
2A.) From there you have the option of either taking the bus which costs 200Yen one way. The caveat of taking the bus is that one, the travel line is only available Tuesdays and Fridays and will not leave unless there’s more than 5 people. Also do let the bus driver know youre getting off at Miyagi Fox Village.
2B.) Direct route, take a cab. It will set you back between 4,000Yen to 4,200Yen. So only take this if youre willing to spend, or better yet, if you have 3 other companions willing to do a 4 way split.

GOING BACK
1.A) If your patient and/or lucky, you can take the bus going to the station. Same cost 200 yen
1.B) If youre like us who got hit by blizzard luck, you can just take a cab back or better yet, wait at the lounge for any fellow travellers travelling back to have a four way split. Same cost of 4,000 to 4,200 yen

ADMISSION:

Entrance is 1,000 yen and the treats are at 100-200yen. I read that there are fox cuddles for 400 to 500 yen but I’m not sure, maybe that’s a seasonal thing or it might have been removed since I didnt get to see that at all. Just dont expect a lot in the touching department.

For more information do visit the Zao Fox Village website here!

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