Planning for a trip usually begins with research for must-see landmarks, local watering holes, and trendy hotspots. And if you're bound for Japan, it's likely that you'll see recommendations for popular cultural sights such as temples, historical castles and shopping districts. However, aside from the iconic Nara Park, there's another side to Japan that's not usually discovered, and that's animal sanctuaries. Read on to find out about these unusual animal attractions in the country.
Zao Fox Village
This place is exactly what you think it is: an adorable sanctuary that's home to over 200 wild foxes who live and play to their hearts' content. Visitors can cuddle and feed these furry rascals and take photos with them. Make your way here by car from Tokyo or via bullet train to Shiroishi-Zao station to catch a shuttle bus run by the Fox Village.
If you're spending winter in Nagano, the hot springs are a natural choice to keep warm and enhance your skin's health in the mineral-rich waters. Make this experience much more interesting by hanging out at Jigokudani Monkey Park where you can witness scores of Japanese macaques enjoying the hot springs just as humans do.