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All reviews unique experience open area jr pass train station time consuming entry fee cost yen feeding platform in december guinea pigs noodles roam freely on tuesdays caged area walking around return taxi snow
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Reviewed September 19, 2015

It's a pretty interesting place to visit if you've never been up close and personal with a fox! There's a big area for them to roam free! Some are sadly caged, but I like to think positive and assume they're safer here than out in the wild getting eaten alive. It's a bit out of the way though. You can take the shinkansen all the way to the city from Tokyo. The cab from the station is a bit expensive though....it was like $30-$40 if I remember correctly

Date of experience: September 2015
2  Thank aardvarkmarc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2015 via mobile

Loved it here, if you clearly look at it from the fact these are wild animals it was amazing to see ❤️ most of the foxes were just chilling out sleeping while some were fighting for food( which is what they would do in the wild). It is summer now so they will look thin due to not having a winter coat, loved our time here and would recommend it to anyone. And yes a taxi is about 4000 yen each way

Date of experience: August 2015
2  Thank Russell K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2015 via mobile

I have mixed feelings about this place. From what I know, it is not a preserve or rescue, rather a tourist attraction. The young foxes were kept in very small cages near the front to grab your attention- they are really cute. Once you make it out to the free roam area, you'll see the older foxes, many of whom seem to have mange and eye infections. The foxes were not fed meat, but rather a mush of sort. The workers there do seem to really care for the foxes, but I am afraid there are far too many of them there to be properly cared for. The young, healthy rabbits were in the front of the entrance too. Upon further inspection, the 40 or so rabbits that were housed in the back were in bad shape, and many had partially bitten-off ears. If you have a soft spot for animals, this place will break your heart.

Date of experience: July 2015
24  Thank AnnaBananainJapan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2015 via mobile

Welcome to the complexity of human experience. Zao Village was a lot larger and significantly less sad than I thought... And also offers unbridled contact with nature that few places can ever offer as you literally walk amongst (and feed) the foxes in an open space. You can even hold a baby fox around 3pm each day. Love foxes? Love animals? Love photography? Go here! Do it! This place is a great spot for Japanese families to bring their kids and also for tourists to get their cute fix. Sound crass? So much of being human is about the gray area... Who's to say no good comes of this or whether it ought or ought not be done?

OK--so I'm not an idiot and I do have mixed feelings about animals in captivity (dependent on many factors like the species/breed of animal, its intelligence, its dependence on humans, conditions of its environment, etc), and I can see why this place is polarizing, but I don't think this is a "blackfish" situation. It would seem that the majority of the foxes are in good health (from my limited medical perspective) and can run freely in the open space provided to them (unless sick). If they don't want to be looked at or talked at (you can't touch them), there's so much space where people can't go that they can hide in. Many foxes, the ones shown in pictures, want to be around people or food. Yes, there are a lot of foxes, but it wasn't disgustingly overpopulated. Some foxes were molting their winter coats so they did look a little strange, but other than that, I didn't see anyone limping about or with missing ears, as stated with other reviews... Every fox was sleeping or sunbathing and generally doing fox things. Yes, foxes fight. It's a form of communication for them. Yes, they are at least partially dependent on treats fed by human visitors. Are they unhappy? Depressed? Longing for a different life, longing for sameness, longing for difference? Do they know they're under constant surveillance? Does this stress them out? I don't know...

OK--The caged foxes in smallish cages, badgers, and crows were a little sad, but I also understand some of it was for their own safety (especially in the case of the sick foxes or kits... Which were on rotation so the times they would be on display would be staggered). The crows, though... They made me sad. Ahh, they are so intelligent and kept calling to people for attention :(

There was also one single uber-fox (aka incredibly good looking) on a chain for the purposes of being pet. Whether this was the case or not, he/she appeared extremely domesticated (which is likely why he/she was chosen to be the "pet") and didn't seem afraid, unhappy or crazed. For all I know, maybe he/she was? He/she actually appeared alright with being the ambassador of the species.

I do agree with one reviewer's comment that the fox tails in the shop were in poor taste... But, come judge for yourself.

That being said: Overall, I enjoyed my time here. It was a little run down and off the beaten path, but if you love foxes and wildlife, you should not pass up this opportunity to view them in an almost natural habitat. This place is definitely worth a visit and can even be somewhat awe-inspiring or invigorating (However, of course, if you find the idea of animals in captivity morally objectionable in every way, then I would not recommend coming here... Or going to zoos, aquariums, farms, research facilities, etc). I, for one, enjoyed the experience... Maybe you will, too?

Date of experience: June 2015
31  Thank WineEnthusiast2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2015

The place was better than I expected. It's not like a zoo where you see animals that have clearly given up on life. Most of the foxes live together in a large enclosure. Yes, they fight for their food and some of them are missing an ear or a tooth but have you seen foxes in the wild? They are as close to the real thing as it gets. Their young, who live in a separate enclosure nearby are a different story and so are the arctic foxes that live in cages. THOSE are pretty sad to see but overall the experience was quite nice. Try visiting in the winter, they look lovely with their thick fur, rolling on snow.

Date of experience: December 2014
5  Thank El C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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