Naguri Village, located about halfway between the cities of Hanno and Chichibu in mountainous western Saitama, is a popular destination for Tokyo day trippers. Stretching along the Iruma River, here called the Naguri River, Naguri Village offers an unusual density of attractions, all of them related to nature and / or traditional Japanese culture.
Naguri Village consists of several areas. The part of the village most relevant to visitors is Kami Naguri (on road signs often spelled Kaminaguri), situated right at the foot of Mount Hakuun.
The central visitor stop in Naguri is the rest house in front of Sawarabi Onsen (off Route 53 towards the Arima Reservoir). The bus stops right outside, it offers plenty of parking, local maps and brochures and a limited supply of food. Onigiri rice balls and the like, it's not a restaurant. It does have a nice terrace with tables and benches to sit down with a snack or a can of coffee.
A great number of Buddhist statues and structures have been privately erected on the slopes and on the top of Mount Hakuun, including a 33m high statue of Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy, which can be entered on weekends and public holidays from April through November.
It is possible to climb up into the head of the statue, named the Guze Dai Kannon, on a narrow spiral staircase. A viewing platform on the back of the head of the statue offers a great view over the mountains towards Chichibu.
In November, the whole Hakuun-san Torii Kannon site explodes into a riot of autumn colors.