Visiting Japan is a unique experience, blending ancient traditions with modern life. One common sight that captures this mix of old and new is the chochin lantern. These cylindrical lanterns are made from a bamboo frame covered with paper or silk. They emit a warm glow when lit.
Chochin lanterns have been around since the Muromachi period (1336-1573). They once guided travelers and worshippers at temples and shrines. Today, they're a key part of Japanese celebrations like Obon and many matsuri (festivals). They brighten up streets, shops, and portable shrines called mikoshi.
These lanterns are also a part of modern Japan. Restaurants and izakayas (Japanese pubs) hang them outside, creating a cozy atmosphere. If you're looking for a special memento, handcrafted chochin lanterns can be a great souvenir or gift.
Chochin lanterns are a captivating part of Japan, connecting the past with the present. They're a must-see when exploring this incredible country.