There are three main designs in Japanese landscaping and these are the Karesansui garden or the dry landscaped garden, the Tsukiyama garden or the garden which is landscaped to look larger than it is, and the Chaniwa garden which is specially designed to have a tea house for the tea ceremony.
The Karensansui garden is influenced by Zen Buddhism and is a design without water. It often uses sand or attractive gravel for a base, which is raked in different patterns to represent the movement of water. Larger rocks are also chosen for their aesthetic appeal and different varieties of mosses and shrubs are included. The mosses and larger rocks are positioned in the sand or gravel to represent mountains, islands and boats in rivers, seas and ponds.
Japanese landscaping using the Tsukiyama garden design uses an idea of a small garden area being made to look much larger by careful placement of various shrubs. This is often very suitable for any location which looks towards mountains. The area is structured so that the mountain in the background appears to be part of the garden. This is done by placing shrubs so they block the view of buildings and other obstacles that are present and move the focus towards the background feature. This type of landscaping also includes water in the form of streams and ponds; there may also be paths, a bridge, stones, hills, a variety of flowers and different kinds of trees.
When using Japanese landscaping to produce the Chaniwa garden, a tea house is usually included. This type of garden was specially created for the Japanese tea ceremony. It includes the use of stepping stones which lead to the tea house, a decorative stone lantern and for the guests a stone basin to purify themselves before the ceremony. This type of garden also uses the effects of plants, water, rocks and stones.
Other types of Japanese landscaping may include the garden where the landscaped area is seen from the residence, this is known as a Kanshoh garden. There may also be the pond garden which is usually seen from a boat, and the strolling garden which guides the individual along paths that circumnavigate the area where there is a number of patterns or arrangements along these paths. Most Japanese gardens include water which is either real or symbolic, stepping stones or a bridge, settings which may include stone arrangements or rocks, usually a stone lantern, sometimes a tea house, a wall, fence, hedge or something else of traditional make up and trees, shrubs and other plants.