At the end of the day the main parts of the Bonbori Festival was held at Yuwaku Onsen. This festival actually didn't exist before Hanasaku Iroha was made, but has been held here ever since, so this was the 6th festival.
There were several performances held by the stairs up to Yuwaku Inari Shrine all day long. This band played various music including anime songs from Hanasaku Iroha and Evangelion.
Lots of people were checking out of the performances.
Image from Episode 26 - 05m42s
I had some yakisoba in-between the various performances. It wasn't heart shaped like in the show though.
This drum performance was the last one before the main parts of the festival began.
After this they started a procession through the main streets of the town.
Image from Episode 26 - 02m56s
People had lanterns, just like in the anime.
Image from Episode 26 - 02m54s
Shinto priests carrying boxes full of wish tablets.
Image from Episode 26 - 02m52s
I had seen one of the boxes earlier in the day when people could still put wish tablets in.
Lots of people in regular clothes towards the end of the procession.
The procession stopped near the stairs so the festival organizers could speak.
Image from Episode 25 - 14m16s
After that they went up to the Yuwaku Inari Shrine. There was a video screen near the bottom of the stairs so people could see what was going on.
Even more people had shown up for these parts of the festival.
There was a priority sitting area right in front of the stairs for sponsors.
Image from Episode 26 - 01m21s
The procession continued down from the shrine area again.
Image from Episode 26 - 01m24s
They were playing the song Bonbori Yoru from Hanasaku Iroha during the procession. This was the song played during the same parts of episode 26 in the screenshot above.
The festival organizers thanked everybody for coming.
Then the shrine area was opened up for regular people to check out.
Image from Episode 21 - 19m58s
The whole path up to the shrine was lit up by lanterns.
Image from Episode 21 - 19m59s
There was a queue to pray at the shrine.
Image from Episode 21 - 20m43s
Path down again.
Image from Episode 26 - 01m41s
Still a huge crowd at the bottom of the stairs.
People were also checking out the lanterns.
I checked them out as well.
Image from Episode 26 - 06m12s
While I checked out the shine, the procession had moved on to Lake Gyokusenko. I've marked the path from Yuwaku Inari Shrine to Lake Gyokusenko in the map below.
Image from Episode 26 - 06m18s
This is where they lit the ritual bonfire. Only sponsors and people winning the lunch box lottery had access to this area during the lighting. After this I had to catch the bus back to Kanazawa Station, so I didn't have time to check out the lake area myself when it opened up for regular people later on.
This location was visited on 2016/10/09.
Bonbori Festival 2016 official website