The Hopping Lantern first appears after Chihiro and her friends, Yubaba's Bird, Boh and No-Face, disembark from the Sea Train and walk up to the small group of trees separating cottage from the traintracks. The creature hops out of the trees and bows to Chihiro and company, then leads them through the trees and to the cottage. After their arrival, the lantern wraps its long, stalk-like body around an arch above the entrance through a fence in front of the cottage, again becoming a seemingly-normal, hanging lantern.
After Haku returns to the cottage to meet up with Chihiro, they fly away, leaving No-Face behind to be a weaving apprentice to Zeniba. Zeniba, No-Face and the Hopping Lantern are seen waving goodbye to Chihiro as she flies away on Haku.
The Hopping Lantern is a small lantern attached to a flexible stick or rod with a pale (possibly gloved) hand at the other end.