The Nikkei Place Foundation team brings you articles and stories that share heritage, culture, food, health tips and more!
Fox Village, Bunny Island & Cat Island
If you are an animal lover, these places are for you! We're convinced that these may be the most kawaii places you will ever visit!
A Fox Oasis
Located deep in the mountain of Miyagi, Japan, you will find a place like no other -- an actual Fox Village! or more precisely, a place called Miyagi Zao Fox Village. Yes, your thinking is correct. Here, according to Japan Travel, there are 6 species of foxes that roam freely (with minimum employee involvement so you have to be careful!). They scamper, they sleep and they will generally leave you in awe of their undeniable cuteness! You can even have the opportunity to feed them for a small fee.
We’re sure this is a good place to look to find the answer to that question everyone has been pondering – “What does the fox say?”
#Did you know?
Foxes (or kitsune) are actually popular animals in Japanese folklore. They are depicted as intelligent beings, with magical abilities that increase with age and wisdom. It is said that more tails a kitsune has (they can have as many as nine!) the older, wiser, and more powerful it is.
Other oasis' for animal lovers found in Japan
If you thought fox village was as cute as it got, you're mistaken -- in Okunoshima, Japan there is a Bunny Island! According to ABC News, hundred of friendly feral bunnies hop around delighting tourists with their cuteness. Where did these bunnies come from? No one knows.
The island of Tashirojima (田代島) in Miyagi prefecture, has become unofficially known as Cat Island! According to Japan Guide, this rural island is home to more cats than there are humans -- outnumbering them at approximately a 4-to-1 ratio-- many of which are seniors over 65 years old. It is believed by the locals that feeding the 100 (or so) stray cats that inhabit the island will bring good luck and fortune. Unlike bunny island where the origin of these furry creatures are a mystery, here, these cats we originally brought in to aid the island's silkworm farms from unwanted critters. This place is unique to its own. It's unlike fox village, which is a maintained sanctuary, and is more of a place that is shared between cats and humans. You won't find any tourist areas here, but that hasn't stopped people from visiting these furry felines!