Stone path, Japan

Stone paths and sidewalks in Japanese gardens

Each element in the Japanese garden has its own meaning, which is obvious to any Japanese, but not to any foreign tourist

It is for this reason that Japanese gardens, laid out somewhere outside of their native country, may not convey the meaning and depth of the author's intention, as they could in Japan itself. If a person wants to walk through the Japanese garden, he will definitely pay attention to the peculiarities of the paths that you have to walk. The most important parameters that must be considered when creating a path are its width, height and, of course, the route itself. To create a walking route, the shape and size of the stones are carefully studied by craftsmen and the stones must be carefully selected. For greater convenience, they use flat-shaped stones and press them halfway into the soil after the path of the track has been finally chosen.

The paths are laid out in such a way that the visitor, stopping at any place, can contemplate the magnificence of the garden from different angles. At the same time, thanks to the correctly chosen route, a person should not get tired quickly, but on the contrary, experience true pleasure while walking through picturesque places. If a person finds such a corner and wants to give him more attention, then benches arranged by caring masters will suit you perfectly for this purpose, where you can sit down and take your time to admire the view. It will be great if a trickle flows near the bench, accompanying thoughts with its murmur.

The height of the path is very important, because in the garden there may be several compositions that need to be contemplated from elevation, but in any case, the path should not exceed 30 cm in height. In this case, decorative railings are attached to the sides: they can form climbing plants or oblong stones. This is done not so much for security purposes, but for the sake of demonstrating the creative abilities of the masters. The railing is also attached in the case when the path smoothly passes into a small bridge, thrown over the babbling brook. In general, the paths should run through the entire garden in such a way that every element of the garden building is fully embraced by the human eye: wherever a person wishes to stop walking along a stone path, he will see the magnificence of every corner of the garden anywhere. This is the most basic and obligatory rule that all Japanese masters adhere to when laying a path through the entire relief of a garden.

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Stone path, Japan
As a rule, in the tea gardens they make "tobiisi" - step-by-step paths from flat, several stones protruding above the ground, lined at some distance from each other. Usually the gap between them is 10-15cm. The stones in the path are set at the same height and at an equal distance from each other, as a result of which a feeling of continuity is created, and the path fits organically into the garden. Tobisi are not usually created for a quick step. It is necessary to go along such a path slowly, looking under your feet. And only when the guest comes to a specially installed large stone, on which it is convenient to stop, he raises his head and admires the view that presented his gaze.

Typically, the stone paths in Japanese gardens are in a well-groomed form, but the illusion of neglect or pristine nature is often used

Paths in Japanese gardens also have their own history. First, the ancient people created the territory of the outer courtyards of Shinto shrines as the seat of the gods. The cleared sites were filled with stones so that they would not overgrow with grass. Later, however, the development of the gardens took a different path, since water and water, rather than walking, became of paramount importance. Therefore, in these first gardens of the mention of the tracks is quite difficult to find. Although some of the motifs were used even then: arched and flat bridges, the design of the banks with large river stones or pebbles, to become natural, embankments along which one could walk.

More decorated paths began to appear in the era of the developed Middle Ages (XIII - XVI centuries), when along with the water, walking was also popular. So, the famous garden of Saiho-ji, or Koke-dera (the garden of mosses) was created from two diverse parts, separated by gates. The lower part is occupied by a reservoir with islands, and the upper part is located on the mountainside, where stones were used in the tracks. Another, no less famous garden of the Temple of the Silver Pavilion, also has a two-level structure. In the lower part there is a pond, in the upper part there is a composition in the style of "dry landscape". To the temple of the Silver Pavilion leads the way consisting of three parts. The first leg of the path is a path paved with stones, the second part is a long white gravel road with shorn bushes on both sides. And finally, the third path, again stone, runs through a small courtyard with plants.

The lanes acquired the greatest importance during the late Middle Ages (XVII - middle XIX centuries), when tea gardens began to appear. The route to the tea house was prescribed to be extended and difficult, so that this walk forced the guests to plunge deeper into the atmosphere of tranquility, detachment and focus on their inner world. The ceremony participants had to walk strictly along the paths, stepping from stone to stone.

Japan is an amazing country with a great history and rich culture. The originality of the Land of the Rising Sun always surprises and fascinates tourists. In fact, Japan is unique not only for its sights, but also for its culture. Here are very responsible attitude to the traditions and honor, which is not in other states. The Japanese love to talk about food. At dinner, at least three times you have to say how much you like the dish, because otherwise you will be considered rude. Sleep in the workplace is called "Inemuri", it is a sign of a serious attitude of the employee to work, so Japanese companies encourage tired employees to take half an hour nap.

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