27th August 2015: Foxes everywhere {Japan, summer 2015}

Zao Kitsune Mura [蔵王きつね], the Fox Village in Zao is as its name says, a fox village. There is about a hundred foxes running around, chewing your shoelaces and marking territory. It’s like the deer of Nara, in foxy form.

Zao is located close to the city of Sendai [仙台], up north of Tokyo, and here I ended after a couple of bumpy train rides to meet with D****e at Shiroishi station. We took a taxi to get there.

The Fox Village is located in the mountains, about 20 minutes away from the town. There is an outer part which consists on a sort of petting zoo, some baby foxes and the hospital. You’re not allowed to pet the foxes without permission though, because they have, you know… teeth. There is also a badger (for some reason), some rabbits and goats. In that area you can take pics holding and petting the foxes for a fee.

Once you go into the main area, you find yourself in a large yard where there are… 100? 200 foxes? There are different colours of foxes, even if all of them are “red foxes” they have different coats: standard red, white, black (technically called ‘blue foxes’ apparently?), mixed colour (called ‘ice and fire’ or something because why not?).

You’re allowed to feed the foxes from a platform / shed as long as you don’t touch them, and you’re supposed to stay still when they try to chew you cross your path.

The area is separated into a small zone for the cubs, an acclimation area for the ‘teens’ and the main freedom yard.

There the foxes have got… well, I’m not even sure of how to call them, so just have a few pictures. As long as you follow the rules and don’t freak the foxes out, you can get pretty close to them, which is amazing. We tried not to disturb them while they ate, either.

The weather was miserable though so you see some dry foxes and a lot of wet foxes. There was a very wet me in-between too. And well, the foxes were fascinated by D****e’s clothing and kept trying to eat her. However, my mission was to ‘take pictures first, rescue her later’.

There is also a little shrine with space inside for the foxes to sleep.

At the end you’ve got a bittersweet feeling because you’re not allowed to take any home (T_T) I just wanted one or twenty…

The day ended with yummy gyutan (grilled cow tongue), a walk throughout the covered Sunmall Ichibancho [サンモール一番町] commercial galleries and some Chupacabra hunting in an UFO machine downtown Sendai.

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