Japanese Garden Lantern

Japanese garden lanterns in traditional Japanese wooden lantern style,
hand made with care in the UK in
preservative treated oak timber.

Japanese Style logo


Price on application, due to variables.
Trade and retail enquiries welcome.

What You Get

Lantern roof.

Lamp mount (with pre-fitted lamp holder, E27 screw fit).

Lantern body with UV protected polycarbonate windows.

Post, through bored with a 30mm hole.

10mm clamping rod. Passing through the post and screwing into the base.

10mm s.s. nut and washer. With the lantern on the post, this screws onto the rod, holding everything together.

Stone base (with mounting post), it has a cast in PVC tube to enable the electric cable to be threaded up through the base and post to the lantern.

Thick wooden washer, used only during installation when setting the base in concrete. In place of the lantern, it allows the post to be assebled on the base to set it perfectly vertical without having complications from the weight of the lantern.

12v 15w CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) E27 screw fit. Warm white (2700K). Approx. 70w equiv. incandescent.

Plug-in power adaptor, 12v 2Amp (switch mode type).

Note There are practical limitations in using low voltage, especially when long distances are involved. So the lantern can also be supplied without the 12v components, and suitable for 220v installation.


The stone "concrete" base is cast onto a steel mounting post (projecting 330mm below the base). The mounting post needs to be set in the ground in concrete. Using postcrete (fast setting), the whole process should take less one hour, two at most.

Then feed the electric cable up into the base (through a cast-in tube), through the post and through a hole in the bottom of the lantern. Then one nut holds it all together.

Connect the cable to the lamp connector, screw in the lamp, and place the lamp holder on top of the lantern (it simply slots in place). Place the roof on top and slide the two catches, and the roof is locked in place.

When the cable has been run and connected to the power adaptor, switch on!

Full instructions are supplied anyway, and cover the process such that anyone without much practical experience should have little difficulty.


garden lantern size

The nominal size of the lantern roof is 492mm wide by 450mm along the sides.

Overall height (measured up to the centre of the roof ridge) is 1815mm (5'-11½") maximum, and may be up to 70mm (2¾") less. The variance is due to the necessary finishing of the post ends, but in practice has little impact due to the variable possibilities in setting the post mounting height.
If more height is wanted, an extension can be produced.

Optional Slate Tiled Version

slate roof lantern

Design Styling

These types of timber lantern on a post have a history of many hundreds of years in Japan. They are more often seen around or on the approaches to shrines to light up the pathways, also in parks and often in larger and varied styles in towns.
For shrine use, the lanterns are usually painted red with the ends of the squared frame end pieces painted white, and have a black roof. Around shrines and temples in particular, there may also be seen larger and more elaborate versions with copper clad roofs.
Away from religious sites though, the wooden lanterns of Japan are usually unpainted, and these have their own charm.

The most important criteria in the design of these here in the UK, was that they should not be a westernised pseudo Japanese version; that they had to be capable of being perceived as Japanese by a Japanese person.
Subtle nuances of shape, angles and their relationship to each other all contribute to that which is Japanese.
Confirmation that the design achieved its goal has been borne out by Japanese friends and professionals.

Construction Design

It's common knowledge that timber never stops moving; in damp weather it gains moisture and expands, then shrinks again when it dries. Characteristically, in outdoor conditions oak always gains lots of fine cracks (checking) in its surface as it ages.
It also changes colour to a silver grey, which many regard as one of its attractive features. Along with checking, these characteristics add to its rustic attraction.
The formation of cracks in oak over time is perfectly normal, expected, and not considered a fault.

Larger sections of oak can develop quite large checks which aren't detrimental to the overall strength of the piece, but better off without. Recognising a contributing factor, the lantern posts are produced in a way intended to help reduce the extent of this in the long term.

Because these lanterns are furniture for all weathers, careful thought has been given to many aspects of the design, all intended to maximise life.


Oak is acknowledged as being a good long-term exterior timber. Even if treated initially, but rarely thereafter receiving any regular or further care, it can be serviceable for 20 years plus.

After completion, all of the lantern parts are tank soaked in a timber preservative which also contains a wax additive (to reduce water absorption). Soaking time is always much more than the manufacturer's recommended time.
This gives them a good "head start" and if you should continue with regular treatment (every few years), the lifespan is really quite indeterminate.

Do not be tempted to paint, varnish, lacquer, or use any other coating. Any type of coating will need to be well maintained once started, and if not very well maintained, instead of helping, will actually become detrimental.

Copyright ©2011 John A R Markham - All rights reserved