If you need help creating a relaxing, Japanese Zen garden space, you have come to the right place.

Japanese gardens are usually formed on the basis of certain common principles where the backgrounds are usually neutral.

Natural and manufactured accessories such as softly colored and shiny pebbles, rocks, sand, driftwood, bowls, plates, lacquered oriental objects, and stain-finish pottery are also commonly used to create a tranquil and soothing ambiance.

A Japanese garden is a world in itself that is full of abstract shapes such as rocks, cloud-pruned plants, gravel—all designed to represent the bigger landscape of nature.

So withouth further ado, here’s all you need to know to design and setup your own indoor Japanese garden.

Japanese indoor garden design principles

  • The presence of water

A Japanese garden cannot be complete without the presence of the element, water.

Hence, if you want your garden to qualify as a Japanese garden, it is imperative for you to have a well-manicured landscape around a fountain.

For landscaping purposes, you can attempt to create a basin with a bamboo dipper, as shown below:

Stone Basin with Bamboo

  • Make pathways

Winding garden paths can help attract the eye and draw visitors into the garden. Or, the paths can simply be used a medium to help lead you to the next room.

For forming walkways, you can consider using stepping stones in a gravel or sand path. The stepping stones can also be used to form stairs if you want to incorporate an element of elevation.

Stepping Stones Japanese Garden

  • How about installing a stone lantern?

Visit any legitimate Japanese garden in the world and you will see that they all have traditional stone lanterns.

Installing a stone lantern in your indoor Japanese garden can help illuminate your garden and improve the aesthetic appeal of your home.

Stone LanternStone Lantern

  • Add a place where you can enjoy your tea

A Japanese garden must boast of a tea house. However, we understand that you may not have the space to build a full-fledged tea house in your limited indoor space. Therefore, you can instead designate an area where you can enjoy your beverages. The designated area should ideally have a beautiful view of the garden.

Indoor Japanese Tea Garden

  • Japanese Zen Rock Garden

These are so cliché, we considered not including them. But at the same time, they are so nice that we went ahead and did.

There any many kits available to be purchased online, but you can also go ahead and do it yourself.

According to Japanese tradition, setting the stones is the first and most important step, as their alignment will dictate future good fortune. Wikipedia has some great information on this process, called “Ishi wo tateru koto“.

Japanese Zen Garden

  • Tame bamboo

We are not telling you to harness the power of a living bamboo plant. We are aware that a living bamboo plant can be too invasive for your indoor space.

However, you can still incorporate bamboo elements in your indoor space. Bamboo poles are a durable element and they can be expertly used to form a drain cover, instant fencing or a canopy.


Best Japanese indoor plants

Most Japanese gardens boast of plants that have strong and interesting shapes. The plants can either look marvelous as a standalone plant or blend in with a second plant to offer a definitive shape.

Some of the best and most common indoor plants used in the creation of Japanese gardens include:

  • rhododendron,
  • water lilies,
  • chrysanthemums,
  • azaleas,
  • camellias,
  • umbrella trees,
  • weeping figs,
  • gardenias,
  • myrtle,
  • citrus trees, and
  • European fan palms.


We hope this guide has helped you gather ideas for your indoor Japanese garden. Feel free to leave suggestions in the comment box below.