Their cute little faces turned expectantly up toward the camera, six breeds of foxes stand patiently awaiting their lunch.
This amazing place is Zao Fox Village, in Japan’s Miyagi prefecture, where visitors pay 700 Japanese Yen (less than $6) to be allowed to feed the adorable canines.
Foxes are celebrated in Japan, with many believing that they have mystical powers. And plenty of others believe that they bring good luck as they descend from Inari Okami — a Shinto deity of fertility, rice, as well as of general prosperity and worldly success. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. The foxes get ready to be fed at the Japanese Fox Village in the Miyagi prefecture.
2. Guests are encouraged to feed the foxes, but it’s sensible not to put your fingers too close.
While foxes have continually received a good amount of negative press over the years for causing mischief in urban areas, these are simply too cute not to fall in love with.
The Zao Fox Village sanctuary is located near the mountains around the city of Shiroishi and hosts more than 100 varieties of animals, apart from the six different types of foxes.
And for visitors who may be slightly fearful of feeding the foxes, staff are on hand to give advice on the right way to pass the food.
The fox village is divided into two sections. The first houses foxes in pens and cages. Some of the foxes are on a lead, but that is more for their own safety.
3. This character looks to have eaten too much as he takes a nap in the sanctuary.
4. The first part of the fox village sees the animals in their pens, all six different breeds.
But after passing through another door, visitors are thrust into a very different environment.
In that second section, foxes wander freely about. Some of the canines will run up to the visitor, eager to get their snack, while others will be scared and hide into the bushes.
Marveling at the foxes as they scamper around, it is easy to forget that they are still wild animals, but visitors are advised not to pet to close to their mouths, for they can bite.
5. A walk through a door and you get to get up close and personal to the foxes, who are on the lookout for food.
6. Foxes are celebrated in Japan, with many believing that they have mystical powers.
7. Many believe that foxes bring good luck as they descend from Inari Okami — a Shinto deity of fertility, rice, as well as of general prosperity and worldly success.
8. Visitors to Zao Fox Village get swarmed by foxes.
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