WEBvisit – Japan is a country that has high cultural nobility. One of the strong cultural identities is reflected in the landscape work in the form of gardens. Yes, the Japanese garden is very authentic. Just looking at it, one can immediately tell that it is a Japanese style garden. So, what are the characteristics and basic principles of the Japanese garden? How does it apply to a garden at home?
Basic Principles of Japanese Gardens
The modern Japanese term for garden is “teien” which is a compound word from the character Niwa Sono. “Niwa” means the outdoors and “sono” means fenced land. Based on these two words, it is clear that a garden in Japanese culture wants to incorporate a natural panorama into the home area. This is also the basic principle of Japanese gardens, namely miniature nature.
Japanese gardens are also closely related to meditation and reflection. This is very much in line with the principle of miniature nature that it carries. No wonder, when you are in a Japanese-style garden, you feel at home for a long time because you feel calm with beautiful natural scenery.
Main Elements of a Japanese Garden
For Japanese people, a garden has a very important meaning. The garden at home is a representation of the natural surroundings. Therefore, there are the main elements that must be present in a Japanese garden. These elements are plants, water, and rocks.
1). Plant Element
Plants are certainly the most common element when it comes to gardens. Although there is an exception to one type of Japanese garden namely Zen Garden, which is also known as a “dry garden”. However, in general, Japanese gardens have the principle of miniature nature, so the existence of plants is also very important. The types of plants themselves vary, from moss, ground cover, short shrubs, tall shrubs, to trees. Don’t forget that you often find bonsai plants and twig trees in Japanese gardens.
2). Water Element
Water is an important symbol of life in Japanese-style gardens. In the culture of the land of the rising sun, water is also a means of purifying objects before entering the sacred area. Water in Japanese gardens is usually shown through the presence of fish ponds. This pool symbolizes the lake in real nature. Besides, it can also be applied in the form of an artificial river or an artificial waterfall.
3). Stone Release
Stone is also a natural element that must be present in a Japanese garden. The rock can be a garden frame or structure giving it a hilly effect. Various types of stone are also commonly used. From different sizes, shapes, colors, and textures. This is inseparable from the principle of the Japanese garden itself to give the impression of a whole nature.
In addition to the three natural elements above, Japanese gardens are also generally filled with processed elements. That is, these elements are intentionally made by humans to support the function of the garden itself. Examples of these artificial elements are stone steps, bridges, lamps, fences, and gates.
Three Types of Japanese Gardens
Applying a Japanese garden concept to a home garden can also follow the three types of Japanese gardens that are most well known. The three types of Japanese gardens are Tsukiyama or imitation mountains, karesansui or dry gardens, and roji or tea gardens.
1). Tsukiyama Mountain Nature Park
Tsukiyama Park or Hourai-Jima is very synonymous with the previous description which is an imitation garden of nature. However, more specifically, this type of garden emphasizes the cool natural atmosphere of the mountains. The characteristics of this garden are full of plants, the soil is contoured, filled with natural rocks, and the placement of water elements through ponds, rivers or waterfalls.
2). Dry Garden style Zen Garden Karensasui
Karesansui garden or better known as zen garden is a type of Japanese dry garden. This park is very unique in that it uses rock and sand as the main elements to depict mountains and rivers. There are several types of karensasui gardens, namely those that are only decorated with stones and sand, and there are also those that combine them with plants. Both are equally interesting, including trying to be applied to the home garden.
3). Roji, Japanese Tea Garden
The tea-drinking culture is closely related to Japan. Interestingly, it also applies to gardens. The Japanese tea garden is meant to create a peaceful and calming atmosphere. This is obtained through the natural atmosphere in the form of trees, shrubs, ferns, and moss plants. Applying this type of garden at home is perfect for those of you who like to relax with family.