Japanese gardens have been around for hundreds of years, combining simple, natural elements like water, stone, sand and plants to create a serene Zen sanctuary. The way in which these different elements are related to each other leads to a miniaturization of nature. The designs of these gardens are based on three principles: reduced scale, symbolization and borrowed view.
Waterless rock and sand gardens depict scenes with mountain views and rivers. Sand and gravel are raked into careful patterns to symbolize rivers, while the rocks represent mountains. The grouping can be random or in patterns, but tradition holds that stones should be placed in odd numbers. The placement of these gardens in an existing landscape creates the illusion of seeing mountains in the distance.