Torii Kannon is one of the most famous fall foliage spots in Saitama Prefecture. Moreover, it is also one of the official top 100 tourist attractions of Saitama Prefecture. The leaves at the kannon usually start to change around mid October, but lucky for us, they are late this year. As of November 14th they were only at 50%. According to the Kannon’s blog, they are probably taking longer to change due to the higher than average temperatures this year.
Torii Kannon is on the side of Mount Hakuun (Hakuunsan) in a thirty hectare park of sorts, full of various religious structures. Many of which can be seen from a distance. They really enhance the fall foliage experience, when the bright white statues and temples can be admired among brilliant autumn colors. I really don’t want to get into all there is to offer at Mt Hakuun in this post, but I hopefully will get the chance another time. For now, I just want to share that the autumn leaves at this beautiful bucolic location are about to reach their prime, albeit later than normal, any day now!
Naguri Autumn leaves festival at Torii Kannon
Usually Torii Kannon participates in the Naguri Autumn leaves festival, but the festival has been cancelled this year. Instead, they are having a “special autumn leaves period”. It started on November 3rd and ends on November 23rd, which it looks like was a bit premature this year. But based on the average year, the fall foliage would normally be in their prime during this period.
During the “special autumn leaves period” the Guze-daikannon at the top of the mountain is open on weekdays. It only opens on weekends the rest of the year. Also, there is a fee of 500 yen for the large parking lot at the foot of the mountain during this period. Please note, that even though the parking lot is large, it is not unusual to have to wait for a spot during the prime viewing period. Particularly, on the weekend.
Naguri Autumn leaves festival なぐり紅葉まつり Torii Kannon special autumn leaves period 鳥居観音紅葉特日期間
Dates: from public holiday Friday November 3rd to public holiday Thursday November 23rd 2023.
Time: 9 am to 4 pm
Cost: there is no charge into the grounds, but you have to pay for parking during the special autumn leaves period.
Venue: Mt Hakuun Torii Kannon, 3198 Kaminaguri, Hanno, Saitama 357-0111. View on Google Maps.
As above, if you come by car, there is a 500 yen charge for parking. By public transport, the Kannon is about a 40 minute bus ride from Seibu Ikebukuro Line’s Hanno Station. Alight at Renkeibashi and walk about five minutes to the entrance. There is plenty of walking on the side of the mountain too! Walking or hiking shoes are recommended.