Originally used in the broad sense to mean any lantern, the word tōrō came to mean a lamp of stone, bronze, iron, wood, or another heavy material. These illuminate the grounds of Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, Japanese gardens, and other places that include tradition in their decor. The earlier oil and candles have given way to the electric bulb.

The andon is a lamp consisting of paper stretched over a frame of bamboo, wood or metal. The paper protected the flame from the wind. Burning oil in a stone or ceramic holder, with a wick of cotton, provided the light
 Bonbori 雪洞 is a Japanese paper lantern,small, portable andon with a six-sided cross-section and a rather wide, open top. Historically, bonbori lanterns were portable and distinctively hexagonal in shape, with wood or metal frames covered with paper (or glass in later years). Today, bonbori lanterns are commonly illuminated from within with electric bulbs, but sometimes (as in earlier decades) oil or candles furnish the lighting.