A few days ago the annual Setsubun-sai ceremony at Ishite-ji (Buddhist temple) was held so I was there for awhile and took some photos. It is at the base of a mountain in Matsuyama and I am living on the other side of the mountain so sometimes I take a walk along a narrow mountain road over the mountain and through the forest to go there -- takes about an hour. I usually don't see another living soul on this little, winding road so I can walk right down the center -- it really isn't wide enough for a full-size car. Occasionally I will see one or two people or a single small car during the whole hour walk. For a bit of information about Setsubun-sai you can see this:
And here is some info about Ishite-ji:
Ishite-ji is temple 51 of the 88 famous Buddhist temples on Shikoku. Many, many people every year make a pilgrimage here to visit all 88. The pilgrims are called [i]o-henro-san[/i]. I see them all the time because often they are dressed in very distinctive wear. Even these days some do it all on foot. I talked to a man in 2009 I met at Zenjibu-ji temple in Kochi-ken and he said that for most people it takes about 5-6 weeks doing it on foot. Many these days do it by car or even on a tour bus that takes them all around over several days though. Here is some info about the pilgrimage:
I put 22 photos in the Japan/Japan 9 gallery on my website, but here are just a few random ones. I moved around while there and took photos of various parts of the ceremony.