6 Essential Elements in a Japanese Style Garden

Japan has an ancient and rich gardening tradition that is unlike any other in the world. Designed to create a miniature, idealised landscape, Japanese gardens take influence from the Chinese style of gardening, but have their own unique sense of aesthetics. Popularly thought of as being places of contemplation and meditation, Japanese gardens offer an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This week, we take a look at some of the key elements that make Japanese gardens so unique.


Winding paths

Japanese gardens are designed to offer up a series mini landscape vignettes which are revealed as you move through the space. Ideally, each vignette is hidden, and must be reached by following a winding path through the garden. Exposed aggregate concrete is ideal for creating an elegant path that winds through your garden.



Although Japanese horticulture is often thought of in terms of cherry blossoms and bonsai trees, most Japanese garden landscapes take a subtler approach by gently contrasting shades of green and different leaf textures. Evergreens are often favoured for their year round colour, and sculptural properties.


Water feature

Water and stone are two key elements present in every Japanese garden. In Buddhist symbolism, these two things represent yin and yang and so there is always a pond, stream, or small waterfall running through the landscape. Larger gardens often have multiple water features that recreate a range of different water landscapes.


Stone garden

The Zen gardens are perhaps the most well known element of Japanese landscaping. Consisting of rocks and sand, these spaces are an abstract representation of famous Japanese landscapes, with each rock and sand pattern reflective of wider philosophical thought.



Because of the way Japanese gardens are layered, there are a lot of moist, shady places which are ideal for blanketing with moss. To ensure the moss isn’t damaged by foot traffic, stepping stones are often used to continue the pathway through these areas.


Secret pavilion

Paths through Japanese gardens often lead to secret pavilions or teahouses, where the garden can be viewed in privacy. An open pavilion design or one with verandas is ideal as it enables the occupant to sit in comfort and reflect upon the beauty of the garden.


Prestige Concrete specialise in decorative concrete surfacing solutions including exposed aggregate concrete. To learn more about our capabilities, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by calling 0411 440 157.