Stepping Stones and Garden Paths

The stepping stones (tobi- ishi), like many other elements, derive from the tea ceremony but has become a prevalent feature in other garden types. Originally, it was created so that visitors would not have to walk over the mossy ground. In this way, the flat stepping stones served to preserve the grass as well as orient the viewer to a specific visual experience. 

Stepping stones are placed in varying intervals. Although they create irregular paths in various patterns, the placement of the stones are calculated and precise. The gardener places the stones carefully with respect to their relative shape, color and size.    

There are stones, called step- stones, which precede the stepping stones in the garden. These step- stones are found near the veranda or entrance of the house or tea room. The visitor of the house or room is expected to place his shoes on the step- stone before entering.  
Stepping stones appear in various shapes.  Some stones remain unworked while others are worked in order to createl ong rectangular blocks.  Such worked stones are used in certain garden paths in order to break the monotony of the aesthetic experience.  For example, there are usually two rectangular stones that are parallel to each other (Tanzaku) which appears in the middle of a path.  

The juxtaposition of natural and artifical stones underscore the process of garden design: the gardener inserts artifical elements within the natural environment.  

C O N T E N T S:
Ponds, Waterfalls, Wells, Bridges
Stepping Stones, Garden Paths
Stone Water Basins, Stone Lanterns
Garden Plants and Trees
Fences and Walls

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