Japanese gardens first appeared on the island of Honshu, the large central island of Japan.

In their physical appearance they were influenced by the distinct characteristics of the Honshu landscape; rugged volcanic peaks, narrow valleys and mountain streams with waterfalls and cascades, lakes, and beaches of small stones. They were also influenced by the rich variety of flowers and different species of trees, particularly evergreen trees, on the islands, and by the four distinct seasons in Japan, including hot, wet summers and snowy winters.

Japanese gardens have their roots in Japanese religion of Shinto, with its story of the creation of eight perfect islands, and of the shinchi, the lakes of the gods. Sometimes they took the form of unusual rocks or trees, which were marked with cords of rice fiber (shimenawa), and surrounded with white stones or pebbles, a symbol of purity.[5] The white gravel courtyard became a distinctive feature of Shinto shrines, Imperial Palaces, Buddhist temples, and zen gardens.[6] Japanese gardens also were strongly influenced by the Chinese philosophy of Daoism, and Amida Buddhism, imported from China in or around 552 A.D.. Daoist legends spoke of five mountainous islands inhabited by the Eight Immortals, who lived in perfect harmony with nature. In Japan, the five islands of the Chinese legend became one island, called Horai-zen, or Mount Horai. Replicas of this legendary mountain, the symbol of a perfect world, are a common feature of Japanese gardens, as are rocks representing turtles and cranes. [7] The Chinese garden had a very strong influence on the early Japanese gardens. In or around 552 A.D. Buddhism was officially installed from China, via Korea, into Japan. The earliest recorded Japanese gardens were the pleasure gardens of the Japanese Emperors and nobles. Japanese Gardens       Japanese gardens derive their beauty from a mixing and blending of different elements: sand rocks water ornaments such as lanterns, water basins (tsukubai), and bamboo fences natural plants and surroundings

The design of the Japanese gardens is based on three basic principles, reduced scale, symbolization, and borrowed view. Gardens in reduced scale represent famous scenes and places in small and confined spaces. Mountain views and rivers are miniaturized using stones, sand and gravel. Symbolization is used in almost every Japanese garden. Raked sand or gravel symbolizes rivers, groupings of stones and rock can represent islands. Shakkei or borrowed view is the use of existing scenery and plants to supplement

is a very well known type of Japanese gardens. The elements of a courtyard garden are similar to the elements of a tea garden. The purpose is to have a peaceful mind before starting the tea ceremony. Often existing landscapes are reproduced on a smaller scale. The garden design is made in such a way that the existing scenery becomes part of the total design. . This type of garden has the following elements: Japanese lanteren (toro). Most of the time these are small enclosed gardens. mostly built during the Edo-period. and a waiting place (machi-ai). The first courtyard gardens were made in the open spaces between the house and the storage buildings. Most of these gardens are now public parks.Kaiyu-Shikien These are pleasure gardens.Tsukiyama These are large landscape gardens. The tea garden is usually part of a larger garden. or waterless rock and sand garden. however more shade tolerant plants are used. Tea gardens . The design principles of traditional Japanese courtyard gardens. They are the passage to the teahouse where one performs the tea ceremony. This type of garden appeared in the Muromachi period (1333-1568) and is influenced strongly by the ZenBuddhist doctrine. crouching water basin (tsukubai). The Kimura-en in Kashiwasaki in the province of Niigata is a beautiful stand alone tea garden. This type of garden include some though limited plant life. It is a passage from the outside world to the inner world of the teahouse.the garden. There are several different styles of Japanese gardens. Courtyard Gardens .3 square meters The origin of the tsubo niwa lies in the 15th century when Japan's economy was thriving. A lot of merchants had large house with several storage buildings around it. one does not drink tea in a tea garden.Cha Niwa or Roji Contrary to what one could expect from the name. Strolling gardens . Karesansui. groupings of rocks and stones. raked gravel symbolizing streaming water. A famous example of this type of zengarden is Ryoanji in Kyoto. stepping stones (tobi ishi). One tsubo is a Japanese measurement equaling 3. Strolling gardens . or an imaginary landscape is created. are very suited for create contemporary small spaces on roofs or terraces.Tsubo Niwa Courtyard gardens are small gardens. mostly moss.

In later Japanese gardens. occupying a large part of the garden space. This makes the garden seem larger than it really is. as in the Japanese rock garden or Zen garden. and are carefully composed into scenes that contrast right angles. literally 'hide and reveal. Japanese gardens frequently include white sand or pebble beaches and rocks which seem to have been worn by the waves and tide. Use of Rocks. particularly Chinese lakes and mountains. but the promenade garden is meant to be seen one landscape at a time. Chinese gardens are designed to be seen from the inside. with much architectural decoration. walls or structures. the buildings are well apart from the body of water. Chinese gardens were inspired by Chinese inland landscapes. The garden is sometimes made to appear larger by placing larger rocks and trees in the foreground. The architecture in a Japanese garden is largely or partly concealed. [40] Marine Landscapes. rocks were smaller and placed in more natural arrangements. Smaller gardens are often designed to incorporate the view of features outside the garden. Chinese gardens have buildings in the center of the garden. Differences between Japanese and Chinese gardens Architecture. The Japanese garden is a miniature and idealized view of nature. or from a path winding through the garden. The garden buildings are very elaborate. trees groves or bamboo. In later Japanese gardens. Japanese gardens are not laid on straight axes. and vertical features. such as buildings with natural features.Aesthetic principles Miniaturization. The buildings are placed next to or over the central body of water. "Borrowed" Scenery (Shakkei). Later Japanese gardens are designed to be seen from the outside. like a scroll of painted landscapes unrolling. . They were often the stars and centerpieces of the garden. or with a single feature dominating the view. bamboo or trees. with very little ornament. to be discovered when the visitor follows the winding path. with horizontal features. Concealment. Rocks can represent mountains. galleries and pavilions in the center of the garden. and smaller ones in the background. such as rocks.') The Zen Buddhist garden is meant to be seen all at once. In a Chinese garden. Buildings and garden features are usually placed to be seen from a diagonal. trees or temples. rocks were selected for their extraordinary shapes or resemblance to animals or mountains. Asymmetry. such as water. (miegakure. integrated into the garden. particularly in the Ming Dynasty. Features are hidden behind hills. and used for dramatic effect. while Japanese gardens often use miniaturized scenery from the Japanese coast. such as hills. and the buildings are simple. as part of the view. Viewpoint. from the buildings. and ponds can represent seas. which rarely appear in Chinese gardens.

A few flowering plants such as iris. Used for practical purposes. These zen gardens were designed to stimulate meditation. You can use a wide variety of types and sizes of rocks. flowers or plants. stones. sand. particularly among the Samurai class and war lords. bamboo. lotus or lilies may be found near water. Now. these gardens have gained in popularity and can be recreated in your backyard. and quickly achieved a wide following. could transmit the most profound thoughts by its simple presence"The most famous of all zen gardens in Kyoto is Ryōan-ji. you can simulate this effect with a few stones poking out of the water and your bridge can span the pond. with lakes and islands. More commonly found in Zen gardens are shrubs and vines such as azaleas and wisterias that are pruned into shapes which often mimic the natural landscape. The gardens of the early zen temples in Japan resembled Chinese gardens of the time. made of stone or wood. plants and water and were originally found in Zen monasteries. The sand in Zen gardens in usually white and is always raked into patterns. Pine.Zen Buddhism Zen Buddhism was introduced into Japan at the end of the 12th century. islands. each with their own purpose. Water can represent mythical or real bodies of water. sand gardens. While you may not have room for a real island in your backyard pond. Stones are a major part of any Zen garden. if you made it expressive by reducing it to its abstract forms. Flowers themselves are not common in Zen gardens. water and waterfalls. rock and moss. water can be simulated with sand. There is evidence that Shinto priests were the first to place the rocks in these gardens. Bridges. Different trees have different meanings in the Shinto religion and often represent living long and weathering adversity. "Nature. The rake is used to form ripples in the sand that imitate water. Zen gardens. provide a relaxing area for meditation or be a gathering place. trees. Waterfalls can fall directly into ponds or fall in stages over rocks. If the waterfall falls directly. In dry. it is usually bordered by tall rocks and the water will hit one stone at the bottom where it enters . flowering plum and cherry trees are commonly used. These elements are bridges. Bridges are thought by some to symbolize the transition from one world to another or from one stage of life to another. often called Japanese gardens. built in the late 15th century where for the first time the zen garden became purely abstract. who admired its doctrine of self-discipline. stones. Trees of any kind can be placed in your Zen garden. consist of sand. Zen gardens have eight main elements. trees add colour to a plain garden. extend over ponds and link small islands to each other and to the shore.

In a sand garden. . a waterfall can be imitated with a fall of rocks. Waterfalls are said to represent how the universe always changes but always stays the same.the pond.

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