In a mountainous area, up the winding road is the famed Fox Village. When we first arrived, a giant statue of what looked to be King Kong came into view and confused us for a bit. Right above the wooden ape statue was a sign that said welcome to the Fox Village in Japanese. We later found out the ape is called Rocky and is the guardian angel of the place. Also, there was a sign saying that there is a pig farm below, which is why it smelled bad.
Before entering the building, there were many signs of warning, but the English translations put a smile on our faces. The reason for the numerous warnings is because the foxes are essentially wild and freely roam the preserve. The bottom line is to be cautious and avoid provoking the foxes. Otherwise there is a possibility that you may get bitten by them.
As we made our way inside we were given a general instructions paper with how we should conduct ourselves in the preserve. They were also selling fox food for an extra 100 yen. The first area we entered looked like a petting zoo. There were various animals around there like goats, bunnies, a crow, and unique foxes. Before venturing further into the mini zoo, to the right was a door that lead into an expansive fox preserve.
Inside the preserve, the foxes were everywhere, but a majority of them were asleep since we arrived right at the opening time. On the designated walkway we came into a group of them sleeping and couple of them were alerted to our presence. We carefully maneuvered around them and as soon as we were a good distance away they went back to sleep. There were a few different colored foxes, but the red ones were the most common.
In the middle of the preserve is an elevated platform that is enclosed from the foxes. This is the designated area to feed the foxes if you bought the 100-yen food. When a food pellet was tossed the frenzy began. Some waiting around the platform chased after the tossed food and fought those that got in their ways. In another section, there were foxes on benches waiting patiently for the food to be tossed to them.
Baby foxes were kept separately, but the ones we saw were no longer babies. Our guide informed us that the last time she saw them was back in April when they were newborns. Most of them were curled up and asleep while using their tails to block out the incoming sunlight.
When our exploration came to an end, we headed back to the bus and started to compare our favorite photos of the foxes.