The oldest historical record indicating the usage of chochin paper lanterns in Japan dates from one thousand years ago. Although the light is now provided by electrical bulbs, the chochin hasn’t changed over the years.
They are still ubiquitous in Japan, being used at shrines and temples, at open air festivals and in front of the bars and restaurants, like in this photo taken in Ponto-cho, Kyoto. Traditionally, a red colored chochin indicates an izakaya, a type of Japanese bar that serves food to accompany the drinks.
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: