The Japanese garden is designed to be a
representation of nature and to impart a sense of simple, unspoiled beauty.
Its style therefore contrasts with that of
a Western garden, which relies on shaping nature into a kind of geometric
There are three main styles of Japanese
garden; Tsukiyama (artificial hills),Karesansui (dry landscape), and Chaniwa
TsukiyamaGardens often copy famous landscapes from China or Japan, and
they commonly strive to make a smaller garden appear more spacious.
For instance, ShukkeienGarden in Hiroshima is said to have been modeled
after Lake Xihu in Hangzhou, China.
This is accomplished by utilizing shrubs to
block views of surrounding buildings and integrating the background scenery of
the garden such as mountains in the distance into its layout.
Ponds, streams, hills, stones, trees,
flowers, bridges, and paths are also used frequently in this style.
The three most famous landscape gardens in Japan are in this style;
Korakuen in Okayama, Kenrokuen in Kanazawa, and Kairakuen in Mito.
Karesansui Gardens were influenced mainly by Zen Buddhism and can be found
at Zen temples. Unlike other traditional gardens, there is no water present
in Karesansui Gardens. In this style, the flow of water is represented
by raked gravel or sand. The rocks are chosen for their artistic shapes
and used to represent ponds, waterfalls, islands, boats, and mountains.
Ryoanji Temple and Daisenin Temple in Kyoto each have a garden famous for representing
Chaniwa Gardens are built for holding tea ceremonies and there usually
include a tea house where the ceremonies occur. This style of garden avoids
any suggestion of showiness and strives for the utmost simplicity and naturalness.
Often, there are stepping stones leading to the tea house, stone lanterns,
and stone basins (tsukubai) where guests wash their hands and rinse out
their mouths before entering the teahouse.