I am sure you have probably seen fox village on the internet, we had too which is why it was one of the animal places we wanted to visit while in Japan. Having visited Nara, also known as deer village and if you have read my blogs about Cat Island and The Crane Nature Park, you might think you know the format by now of animals in Japan but Fox Village was different.
We were dropped off at Fox Village by our most amazing Airbnb host (seriously the best we had in our entire trip) after having the best breakfast we had in Japan. We were very lucky we had such a good host as apparently there was no public transport to the Fox Village on a Tuesday for some reason.
The first thing we noticed is that it wasn’t a village, it was more like a zoo, there was a point of entry, where we paid, we also paid for fox food. We had to sign a disclaimer at the entry point as well were it basically described all the ways which would lead to the foxes biting you or your belongings. I will admit this made me slightly nervous, but I knew we would be careful, so it should be fine, we mostly avoided head butts in Nara after all.
After emerging from the pay point with our fox food securely hidden to avoid it causing attacks I had kind of expected to be in the place you see all the photos on the internet with foxes just wandering everywhere. Instead we were faced with a whole load of cages, and in this case I don’t mean enclosures I mean cages. Now I don’t claim to know how much space the animals in these cages need, I am not an expert, but they looked pretty small.
There were two foxes who weren’t in a cage, who were apparently the petting foxes, as well as a goat and a sheep which were tied up. Most of the pictures I took of the caged animals I took either close enough to the bars that you couldn’t see them or over the top in cases where there was no top. As the name suggests things aren’t always as they appear.
Evidently there were not only foxes in this zoo, but what appeared to us to be a rather random selection of other animals, so we decided to look at those animals first.
The animals which seemed to proportionally have the most room were the guinea pigs. There were a few other animals, but they weren’t really that unusual so I didn’t really take any photos. The badgers in particular were doing a lot of pacing, but I am not sure if that was because of the cage or if they were due to be fed or if it is a natural behaviour.
We identified the main enclosure during this initial walk around, but decided to have a look at the caged foxes first, most of which were just sleeping and there were some really beautiful white and black ones.
Finally we decided to enter the main enclosure. I was a little nervous having just read all the reasons a fox might bite me. It didn’t help the sign that we saw as soon as we entered.
It was actually quite peacefull inside the enclosure, a lot of the foxes were sleeping and those that weren’t were searching around for food. None of them seemed to pay us the blindest bit of notice. This enclosure was obviously a lot larger, however there were a lot of foxes in there and I wonder how such territorial animals manage in such a crowded environment, although none of the foxes we saw looked particularly distressed.
We did a circuit of the area, trying to remain very aware of our surroundings and any foxes that might come out of nowhere to bite us, but none did, I think they were too busy sleeping or foraging.
For this reason we didn’t get quite as close as we had with the other animals so our fox selfie is from a little further away.
There did seem to be a few altercations, however they seemed to be resolved fairly quickly.
After wandering around for a little bit, we decided we wanted to have a go feeding the foxes. There was a specific feeding platform, so that the foxes only associated humans with food when they were in that area, for the human’s safety. So we went into the little hut and out onto the platform.
It was here that I saw the view I had so often seen on the internet prior to my travels of all the foxes looking up very attentively, and I got some shots that looked almost identical.
Then it was time to start feeding these hungry foxes. There were some very impressive food snatches from the air. It was good fun, but I was glad I wasn’t any closer to those pointy teeth.
After feeding time we had another little wander around the enclosure, before having a look in the cadges of to the sides of the enclosure where the younger foxes were kept.
The young foexes looked the most contented and my husband was very amused with the “pile of foxes” as he dubbed them. Especially when one we hadn’t seen because it had been covered by it’s siblings decided it wanted to stand up.
And that was kind of all there was to Fox Village. We had allowed most of a day for the visit but only ended up spending a couple of hours. You couldn’t really just sit and chill out with the foxes the way that you could with the deer or cats. I think personally this was my least favourite animal experience in Japan, probably because I had built it up too much in my mind before hand and it is a bit out of the way and difficult to get to (not so much as the cranes, but I felt that was more worth it).