Exactly a year ago (September 2014), I was in Japan for the first time. I spent five weeks there, and I made it a point to visit several different Japanese gardens while there. This picture however isn’t from Japan. This one is from the Japanese garden in the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California, USA.
I found it fascinating how very much like an authentic Japanese garden it was. Now, there are several kinds of Japanese gardens. I only really know the names of them in Swedish, but direct translated this would be a walking or path garden. It is built for you to wander through. (Unlike Zen gardens which usually consists of raked gravel with large, moss covered rocks. And specific spots to stand/sit and contemplate their meaning.)
Of course there were plants and trees in the garden in California that you wouldn’t find in Japan. There were some redwoods there for example. But the likeness was striking anyway.