Welcome to our Japanese Stepping Stones article. Turf was not used in ancient Japanese gardens, although of late it has been introduced in imitation of foreign gardens, and with a view to economise labour in garden making. In an orthodox Japanese garden the plain open portions are spread with sand raked in patterns, or as is still more common, a firm beaten earth, well weeded and swept, is retained.
This is kept slightly damp at all times, to present a cool and fresh look. Because the Japanese wore wooden clogs, this would invariably cut the path to pieces, hence the introduction of "Stepping Stones" or Tsutai - ishi. Another name apllied to them is Tobi - ishi, meaning " Flying Stones, " because of the resemblance to the formation of birds in flight. Terms such as " Sea - Gull Style " and " Wild Goose Style " are terms used to describe such arrangements.These irregular flat stepping stones are referred to as" Shiki - Shama , " or Scatterd Islands, in reference to the islands of Japan. Check out our Japanese Garden Lantern Article here, another essential part of a Japanese Gargen.