11 August 2022


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Rain chains – Decorative downspouts of Japan

Japan has a reputation for visual distinction.  Sakura cherry blossoms, Mount Fuji, Tokyo streets, dojos and pagodas, and so much else.

Photo of a Rain Chain in Japan

Photo of a Rain Chain in Japan


There’s even a rain water downspout style popular in Japan: the rain chain.

While researching materials and alternatives for downspouts a few minutes ago, I noticed the link on Wikipedia to “Rain Chain”.

Click to read the Rain chain article on Wikipedia


Their purpose is largely decorative, to make a water feature out of the transport of rainwater from the guttering downwards to a drain or to a storage container. (Rainwater is sometimes collected for household usage.) They can also be found on temples.

Rain chains are typically either a series of metal cups, chained together with a hole in the bottom of each, or chain links that span vertically.



Rain Gardens book by Nigel Dunnett

Rain Gardens book by Nigel Dunnett

Some of the Wikipedia points here are making reference to a book, “Rain Gardens” by Nigel Dunnett, and I found that on Amazon-dot-ca, here. Apparently people love it, it has great reviews.


A rain chain brings an aesthetic value to the downspout, but because it’s not a solid tube, it doesn’t fit into a continuous pipe at the bottom and direct away from foundation. So, for the benefit of waterproofing, the flow of water through a rain chain would need to be directed using an elevated garden bed or a decorative trough, to achieve a similar redirection.


The Quick Fix shop has a down spout next to one of our exterior security cameras, and during very-heavy rain we see overflow periodically triggering the motion detection of the camera.


Perhaps we will install a rain chain on our office, and share on our Quick Fix Waterproofing page on Facebook! If it makes sense, we may recommend these in the future for customers that have decorative beds or decks near their downspouts.