Thursday , April 18 2024

Japanese Garden Lanterns: Types and Origin

Japanese outdoor lanterns were used since ancient times with the purpose of lighting tea garden paths. But beside being a functional addition, these pieces of art make every space they are being added to even more inviting and eye-catchy. Real Heaven. The interesting fact about them is that these elements appeared in Japanese gardens long before the development of the famous tea ceremony. The first lanterns arrived in the 6th century from China to Japan, they were made of stone and were used in Buddhist temples to honour Buddha. Because of their unique beauty and style, these garden lanterns are still a very popular outdoor decoration trend not just in Japan, but all across the world.

The Japanese culture is very unique and garden lanterns play an important role in it. Lanterns are made of five elements each one symbolizing the five elements of the universe: earth, sky, water, fire and wind. Made in four main types, Japanese stone lanterns can easily bring peace and serenity to any outdoor space. Here is what you can choose from.


Usually made of stone and granite, these outdoor lanterns are the ideal addition to any garden. They are most commonly used on the edges of garden paths and make the perfect choice for adding a dose of mystery and illuminating your garden. Their small size makes them appropriate for usage in both outdoor and indoor areas; just imagine one of these cuties placed right next to some of your tropical plants in a room full of sunlight. A real paradise to the eye.


Also known as pedestal or Tachi-Doro, you can easily recognize this type by their unique pedestal or large base. Designed to mimic temple lanterns, the first Tachi-Gata lanterns date back from the Ashikaga period in the 8th century when they were usually used to light up shrines and temples.


The Momoyama Period (1568-1615) was the time when in Japan was produced the first Ikekomi-Gata lantern, also known as Ikekomi-Doro. Designed by ancient tea masters, these lanterns were made specifically for gardens where people indulged in the pleasures of tea ceremonies. Available in round and square form, these Japanese beauties are among the oldest types of garden lanterns.


Dating back from the Edo period, Yukimi-Gata are used to give authenticity and sophistication to any garden. Moreover, their noticeable beauty when under a mantle of snow is something that simply cannot be denied and that is why they are often called ”snow viewing” lanterns. Garden elegance at its finest!