The tradition of Sabanto-Meido arose in Nippon/Japan after the widescale adoption of robotics and automation. It is a cultural movement to embrace traditional values and to counter the subculture movement of the Ko girls.
A rather large armed group slowly walks the road. Unless you get to see what they transport, you could think it is a caravan with expensive goods, or the soldiers escort someone important. But this is a prisoner transport, on the way to mines, criminals on their way for punishment.
The soldiers may be willing to talk, the captain will have a few questions on you and the road, but they will keep distance, and part soon.