Small Japanese garden: 100 ideas to create a zen and modern atmosphere outdoors

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Do you have a small outdoor area and are looking for ideas for its layout? We offer a collection of examples of Japanese-inspired decoration!

How to build a modern and relaxing Japanese garden

The decoration of small Japanese garden is one of the best solutions for the development of a small outdoor space. This is because Japanese-style gardens are characterized by their clean, minimalist design, which is ideal for smaller exteriors. In addition, the small Japanese gardens are known for their relaxing atmosphere that is suitable for both urban outdoor spaces and those outside major cities. In this text, we look at the essential elements to incorporate in a small Japanese authentic garden.

To succeed in a Zen atmosphere in his little Japanese garden, take care of all his details

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As is well known, modern Japanese gardens are inspired by the centuries-old traditions of Eastern culture. Their essential feature is undoubtedly the zen and relaxing atmosphere they offer us. In general, a small Japanese garden is a quiet space that invites rest. It is also a part of the house very conducive to the practice of meditation.

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To offer us this atmosphere, the small Japanese garden is arranged with great care. Each component of such an exterior is carefully chosen to best fit the Japanese decor. Below we go around the elements traditionally present in a Japanese garden, whatever its size and shape.

Stone, an essential material in a small authentic Japanese garden

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Stone is a typical element of Japanese gardens and, more generally, Zen exteriors. Moreover, in addition to contributing to the creation of an authentic decor for your small Japanese garden, this material also has a symbolic meaning.

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To develop your small Japanese garden, you can use small pebbles typical for rock gardens. The small pebbles seen in many small Japanese gardens symbolize water currents. They are therefore a way of illustrating this element of nature, especially in exteriors that lack an aquatic corner.

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Large stones, on the other hand, are viewed as a representation of mountains or hills. Their presence is essential in dry gardens, which are basically designed as replicas of the typical landscapes of the country of the Rising Sun.

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As you can see, there are many ways to incorporate stone into your small Japanese garden. In addition to rock garden decorations dominated by stone, it is also possible to use gravel or pebbles as a detail of your outdoor landscaping. Think, for example, of a garden path or curbs of this material.

Wood, a natural material to soften your Japanese garden decor

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Wood is an important element in Japanese architecture and landscaping. The Japanese traditional house is usually built using wooden beams that are assembled according to a specific technique. To echo this element of architecture, the Japanese garden also has wooden keys.

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How to incorporate wood into a small modern Japanese garden? Among the options to be considered, there is, for example, that of the development of a zen-style outdoor terrace with a wooden flooring.

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You will build a small Japanese garden in terracing? In this case, why not use wooden elements for the creation of your earthworks or your sloping garden driveway ?

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To add to that, think of any kind of outdoor bamboo decoration. This last plant is one of the most typical Asian-style outdoor spaces. Adopt for the to beautify an outdoor water fountain. Or even, use it to create a screen for a zen exterior protected from prying eyes!

Water, an important component of the zen garden decor

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Water is another essential element of the decoration of a small Japanese garden. In Asian culture, water is considered a part of nature conducive to relaxation and meditation. This explains his essential role in the development of a small Zen-style Japanese garden.

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Introducing this element in its Zen garden, it really does not have anything very complex. One of the simplest approaches is to opt for a water fountain or a natural pond.

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Depending on the shape and size of your outdoor area you can imagine a specific design for your pool or water fountain. To enhance the Japanese atmosphere of your garden with water basin, try this to realize a watery corner with appropriate plants and koi goldfish.

Green plants and trees contribute to the typical color palette for Japanese exteriors

Small Japanese garden: 100 ideas to create a zen and modern atmosphere outdoors

The shades of green are probably the most typical colors of Japanese style gardens. In this kind of outdoors, we avoid using brightly colored decorations. On the contrary, we favor the natural nuances created by means of green plants.


So think of achieving a balanced decor using a few touches of greenery. To this end, plan plants typical of Japanese decor. Among the best known and most resistant species of this type are cherry, natural moss and bamboo.

The garden paths have a specific function in the Zen garden

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Garden paths are another important element for Japanese style decor. In general, Japanese garden paths are known for their specific shape. It is almost never straight; on the contrary, it has a whole series of light curves.

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This characteristic form is supposed to facilitate meditation; it aims to stimulate the person to relax while walking. As a result, garden paths are present even in small outdoor spaces. Do not hesitate to arrange one or two, even if you have a mini garden!

Some accessories ideas for your little Japanese garden

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Side accessories, know that the Japanese style garden invites a minimalist approach and a refined decoration. For this reason, we advise you to bet on one or two interesting accessories; avoid overloading the outdoor area of ​​many decorative objects. This will prevent you from creating a relaxing space, especially if you are working on a small area.

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In addition to the already mentioned accessories such as ponds and fountains, you can opt for stone lanterns. These are often part of the decor of Japanese garden paths.

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You have decided to move in a Japanese water garden? In this case, you can also add a bridge to your decor. This is another popular component of the Asian garden. Like the aisles, the Japanese bridges are distinguished by their rounded and elegant shape.

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Finally, if you want to create a meditation corner in your small Japanese garden, opt for a decoration that invites contemplation. A Buddha statue is probably the most appropriate accessory for this purpose!

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