Classic Ponds

The Japanese garden is all about nature. You're trying to create a perfect piece of nature in miniature. So lines are curving and organic; stone and wood is left to weather; objects are placed in odd numbers. We have summarised what we feel are the 5 styles of Japanese Gardens.

chisen kaiyu shiki garden. (water garden): "Chisen" meaning a water garden made with a pond or a spring, usually with a low mound to represent a hill in the background.

chisen kaiyu shiki garden

hiraniwa garden. (flat garden): Flat Garden The flat garden uses white sand, moss, grass, and evergreens. The garden is designed to create a series of rounded shapes, these shape symbolize happiness or enlightenment.

hiraniwa garden

roji niwa garden. (tea garden): The Tea Garden includes a ceremonial tea house. Stone lanterns, stepping stones, and a stone water basin are intrinsic elements, for Tea Houses, Azumaya's and Gazebos please visit Japanese Tea Houses

roji niwa garden

shukeiyen garden. (natural garden): Waterfalls and a pond are the important elements. A shelter 'Azumaya' is a important as it provides a place where one can sit and view the garden, for Tea Houses, Azumaya's and Gazebos please visit Japanese Tea Houses 


seki tei garden. (sand and stone garden): This is a walled garden often used for prayer by Buddhist Monks. Sand and rocks are the key elements, they are symbolically arranged.

seki tei garden

If you are a purist you could follow a particular style, however for most people the elements of a Japanese Garden are enough to create the feeling that is required.

Simplicity: Less is more. Japanese gardens are never fussy. This is especially true in rustic style gardens, where simplicity is revered.

Balance: There should be a harmonious balance in all things: between vertical lines and horizontal; soft and hard; wet and dry; objects and space; high, mid and low level elements. There should also be a balance in terms of size: if your garden is small, the elements within it must be small; if it's large, you should use larger rocks and ornaments. Everything in balance.

Asymmetry: You don't find symmetry in natural landscapes, so we don't use it Japanese gardens.

Emptiness: Empty space is a feature in and of itself. If there are too many elements in your garden, it's definitely not going to feel Japanese. You need the proper balance between space and elements.

Seasonality: Design your Japanese garden to be enjoyed all year round. Spring and summer are easy; but in autumn you can enjoy the falling leaves, and in winter, if you've planned the shape and structure of your garden carefully, it will look truly magnificent under its layer of snow.

Meigakure: Meigakure means that you never see the whole garden at once. The different areas of the garden are partly concealed. This creates a feeling of space, nature, and mystery.

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