Japanese Rock Garden
is also called "Zen Garden"
Still your mind after a busy day!




I love Japanese Rock gardens, its simplicity and tranquility help me still my mind after a busy day.

With just a few simple items and plants, strategically placed, you can have an area of beauty and restfulness and it does not take a lot of space to achieve it.

The Japanese Rock gardens (枯山水 Karesansui) or "Dry Landscape" gardens, are also called "Zen gardens" because of their use in meditation.

Japanese Rock Garden pictures - Shitenno-ji Honbo Garden in Osaka Japan by 663highland (Wikimedia)

Japan Rock Garden - Shitenno-ji Honbo Garden in Osaka Japan


After staring at the garden for a while, your mind begins to ‘expand’ and see things not originally in the patterns - a state of peaceful transformation with feel of freedom leading to relaxation and calmness.

The great thing is that you can also move the rocks, as if you can life them; and re-rake the sand whenever needed to have an ever-changing garden.

It was influenced mainly by Zen Buddhism and can be found at Zen temples of meditation. Perhaps the most famous of all Japanese dry gardens is that of Ryoan-ji: the Temple of the Peaceful Dragon.

The Ryoan-ji garden is simplicity itself - fifteen rocks arranged in a rectangle of raked white gravel - but it has created much speculation about its meaning, its specific relationship to Zen thought, and even its origins.




Raked Zen Garden images - Ryoanji Kyoto in Japan by Stephane D'Alu (Wikimedia)
Japanese Karesansui Garden- Ryoan-ji Kyoto in Japan

Karesansui gardens can be extremely abstract and represent miniature landscapes called "mind-scapes". This Buddhist preferred way to express cosmic beauty in worldly environments is inextricable from Zen Buddhism.

Note: The Japanese rock garden is considered a reflection of nature, there are no flowerbeds so you will not see a Japanese flower garden there. The elements used are rocks, water, sand and trees.

Japanese gardens are a living work of art in which the plants and trees are ever changing with the seasons. As they grow and mature, they are constantly sculpted to maintain and enhance the overall experience; hence, a Japanese garden is never the same and never really finished.

The underlying structure of a Japanese garden is determined by the architecture; that is, the framework of enduring elements such as buildings, verandas and terraces, paths, tsukiyama - artificial hills, and stone compositions.

Over time, it is only as good as the careful maintenance that it receives by those skilled in the art of training and pruning. Part of the art is to keep the garden almost static, like a painting.

Japan Kyoto Zen Garden - Ryoan-Ji by Cquest (Wikimedia) Japan Kyoto Zen Garden - Ryoan-Ji
Japanese Rock Gardens (or Karesansui) was made from just two primary elements: rocks and a fine, light colored gravel.

Although they sometimes have a few living elements, these two humble materials are all that is needed to create a captivating display of form and tranquility.

The rocks are commonly arranged in a rectangular frame of gravel which is carefully raked to produce various patterns. The meaning of these elements is ultimately up to the observer, but one interpretation is that the patterns represent waves in water, and the rocks islands.

Japanese Rock gardens (Karesansui) can go on a desk, in a small space in a corner of a yard, or can be created to take advantage of a large lot. It is up to you how much space you want to devote to yours. They vary anywhere from very austere with rocks and sand only, to ones with a few plants added in.

Of course, the main item in a Japanese Rock garden is rock itself. The idea is to find rocks that are interesting and in different shapes and sizes; rocks that you would not mind spend hours looking at.

The Zen Garden - it is only once the stones have been carefully arranged that images and reflections suddenly arise from the garden of silence.

The most important point is that Japanese Rock gardens are widely good to be used for meditation purpose – you would not want to stare at something boring for hours, would you?

Placement of rocks is the key – you want to space them to make a visually interesting pattern. In the most basic style, sand is placed in the shallow bed and raked into patterns to resemble waves of water, with only the rocks to break the pattern.


Zen Garden photos - Japanese Rock Garden - Anyoin - Kobe Hyogo prefecture in Japan by 663highland (Wikimedia)

Zen Garden designs photos - Japanese Rock Garden - Zen meditation at Anyoin - Kobe Hyogo prefecture in Japan by 663highland (Wikimedia)

Japanese Rock Garden:
Zen meditation at Anyoin - Kobe Hyogo prefecture in Japan






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The Japanese Rock gardens were made from just two primary elements: rocks and a fine, light colored gravel. The idea is to find rocks that are interesting and in different shapes and sizes; rocks that you would not mind spend hours looking at.







Japanese Zen gardens with its simplicity and tranquility nature, are famous because of their effective use in meditation - help us to still our mind after a busy day. A Zen Garden can go on your desk too : )








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