TOPMachiya & Kyoto GuideAll About Machiya‘Rankan’ Wooden Handrails

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Japanese Townhouse Architecture: Rankan (Wooden Handrails)

Sometimes when you look up towards the 2nd floor of a machiya, you’ll find “rankan” wooden handrails. ‘Rankan’ are waist-high handrails that attach to the front of a window. However, unlike a porch or veranda, you cannot step out onto them. In addition to preventing people from falling, it also serves as a decorative detail to the exterior!

Rankan are named as as such, as they resemble handrails found on bridges, which are known as “rankan”. If you look at the machiya houses one by one, you can see the various designs and admire the skills of craftsmen of the time.

Stay in a traditional Japanese townhouse (machiya) during your next visit to Kyoto, Japan. Rent a private machiya holiday house – perfect as a short term or long term rental.

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