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From hedgehog cafes, to islands literally full of cats and rabbits that will chase you to be fed, there are many places in Japan that will make you squeal at just how darn cute they are! One of those places is Fox Village in Shiroishi, Miyagi prefecture. During my ten day (eight, actually, if you eliminate the painfully long flight times) honeymoon, I was incredibly lucky to visit it. It was on my top-ten list of places to visit in Japan, though I didn’t anticipate was how much it was going to cost to get there…
The cost at a first glance
From my online searches, I deduced that a ticket to the zoo itself would be about ¥1000 per person (that’s roughly £7), which was fair enough. That’s about the general admission cost of most museums that I’ve been to, and I just knew that this adorable experience (and the fox footage that I would take) would be totally worth it. However, it was getting there that was the real burner. The consensus that I got from the vast majority of people online was that we would have to take a taxi to and from the Fox Village, which would cost a whopping ¥4000-4500 (roughly £32), each way from Shiroishi Zao station which would add up to around about ¥9000 (about £64) for the round trip in taxi fares – a lot of money!
I found that some onsen (Japanese hot springs, or bath houses) offer special deals because of the popularity of the nearby fox village. So, we found an onsen – Yakushi No Yu; the only downside is that, unlike British hotels, onsen tend to charge per person, not per room. And so, for ¥9000 each, we got our round trip to the fox village, supper, our breakfast in the morning, a room for the night (all of which we would have needed anyway), and access to the baths. I may save this for a later blog – but Japanese onsens really are a unique experience!
Before you start thinking it (I know I did), walking to the Fox Village is definitely not an option. For starters, it’s eight miles from the nearest station, and it’s in the middle of a big, cold, snowy mountain – so no money saver there.
However, if you can drive in your home country, you might consider purchasing an international drivers’ licence. They’re cheap (only £5.50), and having one does mean that you’ll have a lot more freedom and flexibility once you get to Japan!
There’s no way to get around the fact that Japan isn’t a very cheap country to visit, but there are a number of ways to cut costs so that your purse strings don’t get too tight, allowing you to spend more money on the things that you want.
You can watch a short video that I made of getting to Fox Village, here.
Maddy is a freelance illustrator who lives in Glasgow. She's recently graduated and is working hard to make ends meet. Self-employed? Read Maddy's experiences here.