In Japan there are lanterns everywhere : in front of shops, in front of restaurants, in the gardens, in the shrines and there are used for a lot of festivals... usually there are made with thin paper and with an old technic.
Paper lanterns come in various shapes and sizes, as well as various methods of construction. In their simplest form, they are a paper bag with a candle (now an electric bulb) placed inside. More complicated lanterns consist of a collapsible bamboo or metal frame of hoops covered with Japanese paper... the paper is usually greased to make it waterproof. But now a lot are made of plastic...
The traditional styles include bonbori (It normally has an hexagonal profile and is used during festivals.) and chōchin and there is a special style of lantern called chōchin moji ( the ones commonly seen outside yakitori stand or izakaya) where something is written on.
In Tokyo, Asakusa, Gentiane discovered a beautiful old shop where they make lanterns the old fashion way: handmade. You can choose the type, the size, the color and what you want on it (name, text, logo, camon...) . Of course you have to wait for a month, but the result is much better than you can expect.