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Japanese gardens typically fall into two types: Hira-niwa and Tsuki-vama. The Hira-niwa will feature plains or moorland scenery while Tsuki-vama has three main parts.

(a) Kare-sansui: A dry garden without trees.

(b) Sen-tei: A natural water garden.

(c) Rin-sen: A natural forest garden.

There are many variations in Japanese Gardens. While they are based upon long history significance and typical standards, they still can vary greatly when it comes to style and individual creatives. A popular garden is the Dish Garden. This style often includes a mountain, tree, guardian stone, and a lake. The importance of the Dish Garden is that they need to be placed in certain positions. There are five mountains that are typically used: Tai-San, Oko Yama, Ko Yama, Ko San and Tomo Yama.

A triangular shaped lake, where water lies, is typically surrounded by beaches of sandy and mixed in with small inlets which are created by protruding spits and promonories and are often formed by rock slabs. The water outlet itself it placed in the traditional watercourse that follows the sun. There is no one specific cascade as there are several types. These could be wide, stepping or placed to the left or the right. The source of water is usually hidden and the cascade will include its own stones and trees. Islands can also be included and often are quite elaborate. These are named Mater's Isle, Mountain Island, Field Island, Forest Island, Cloud Island or Guest Island.

Bridges are also included and are usually composed of logs that cross two poles. Rock slabs create stone bridges and are often place in a parallel angle. They are usually seen painted with browns and have sacred significance when they are painted red. If a high arced bridge is soon, this is often called the Moon Bridge and is the most popular.

Stones play a very important role in Japanese Gardens. They each have their own position, importance, and name. The Guardian stone is known as the Shiyu-go-Seki, and is known as the most important stone. The guardian stone should be tall and have a sentinel appearance. The Taki-ishi Cliff stone is position at the top of the cascade and partly hangs of the fall. Two other stones are placed by the water’s edge right below the Cliff Stone. A stone, known as the, Hai-Seki Worship Stone will be position in the foreground or operates on an island close to the shore.

A lantern, made of Stone, is a very popular feature often found in Japanese Gardens. The general appearance of lanterns to be similar to the other features in a Japanese Garden. Two well know lanterns are the Tukimo Doro Snow Scene Lantern which is decorative and unique and often features a large roof. The roof is designed to keep the snow away. Water basins are often included and the most popular types are the Tsuku Bai and the Chozo Bachi.