The use of stepping stones in Japanese gardens became popular during the Momoyama period (1573-1615) with the purpose to guide your path through the garden. Stepping stones should be arranged with ease of walking in mind. Creating a pathway that is irregular, and uneven in parts, forces you to walk slower and to focus on the ground helping you connect to the garden. We would also recommend selecting stones with size variation so that it helps create interest, and can change the rhythm of the walk.
In Japan the numbers 4 and 9 are very unlucky, as they sound like ‘death’ and ‘suffering’, respectively. When creating your path try to avoid using only 4 or 9 stepping stones.
Below are some examples of ways you can arrange a stepping stone pathway, or simply design your own path. For a downloadable copy please click here.