Rain Chains — Japanese Style

In the U.S., gutters allow rainwater that gathers on the roof to make its way onto the ground via downspouts. However, in Japan, it’s rare to see a gutter or a downspout. Instead, rain chains are everywhere. The vertical gutters were formed along with the architecture for tea ceremony houses called “Sukiyazukuri” over 400 years ago. The tea masters during that time weren’t satisfied with functioning gutters — they also wanted them to display a beauty that would add variety to a rich environment. However, today rain chains are made in a rustic fashion, without lavish decorations, to let nature be enjoyed from up close. There's a growing number of rain chain types, such as those where chains are linked together, as well as chains of continuous cup-shaped links, and those used in structures made with techniques other than traditional architecture.