5 Accessories that Every Japanese-themed Garden Needs

A Japanese-inspired garden stands out from all other types of garden designs due to its unique style and deliberate method of choosing and using garden elements. The most beautiful examples of these gardens are said to be found in Kyoto, but many homeowners and landscape developers around the world are also opting to start and keep Japanese-themed gardens in their property.

These gardens serve different purposes; there are those that are made for strolling or for tea ceremonies, while there are also others that serve as a quiet space for meditation. Owners of Japanese gardens maintain a tranquil environment by cultivating moss, which symbolize age and tradition, and by using elements like pebbles and sand, stone statues, and flowing or running water features, among others.

Establishing a Japanese garden is a rewarding activity that takes a bit of time and effort. Here are a few essential elements that you need so you can start your own Japanese-inspired garden today:

  1. A generous helping of moss. Moss is an essential aspect of any Japanese-inspired garden—some even say that it’s the highlight of Japanese gardens. Moss grows on land, stones, rocks, and trees, knotting together the elements of the garden and creating a unified composition. It takes years for moss to naturally grow and cover the surface of a stone, so you need to have patience if you want to start from scratch. However, moss can also be purchased from landscaping and gardening suppliers and transplanted to your garden. 
  2. Bamboo fountain. Bamboo fountains are another ubiquitous element in Japanese-inspired gardens. The sound of gently flowing water can help drown out noise from outside and contribute to the serene vibe of the garden. The organic look of the fountain exterior also adds to the visual appeal of the space. Certain models available at Kinetic Fountains, such as the Deer Scarer Bamboo Fountain with Pump, work the same way as a traditional Japanese shishi-odoshi fountain does. It creates a melodic ‘thunk’ noise that was originally meant to scare off deer, hence the fountain model’s name.
  3. A stone pagoda pillar. Pagodas are a common architectural sight in many South Asian and East Asian countries. Miniature pagodas made of stones are also commonly seen in Japanese gardens. These contribute to the look of the garden, sometimes even serving as a source of light once night falls. Stone pagodas should be placed in key areas that draw the eyes of the garden’s visitors, such as beside a winding path or near a water fountain.
  4. A stone bench.  It’s perfectly fine to add a few furniture pieces to your Japanese-inspired garden. Instead of buying metal or plastic patio furniture, go for rustic-looking stone or granite benches instead. These sturdy, heavy benches represent the Japanese belief of the eternal nature of elements, making them perfect for your garden theme. They’re also built to last a lifetime, and will actually look even more impressive as they’re continuously exposed to the elements.
  5. A rain chain. Rain chains are basically a series of elaborate copper or metal cups that are connected to each other by a chain, which is then hung from your roof or garden overhang. When the rain drips down onto the chain, they make a lovely sound akin to that of a gently-bubbling brook or water fountain. They can also double as wind chimes on a windy day!

When designing a Japanese garden, it’s important to avoid clutter as it can make the place look and feel cramped and take away the serene atmosphere that you should be going for. When in doubt, like about installing a new fountain or transplanting moss, don’t be afraid to get the opinion of more experienced landscapers or gardeners.