Mini Japanese gardens - In Japan they transform trucks into gardens


Once a year, landscapers from all over Japan they gather to transform the backs of their trucks or vans into a small Japanese garden. The kei tora is a type of small truck that was invented in Japan, but nowadays it can be found in all Asia .

Mini Japanese gardens in the back of the truck

This practical vehicle is mainly used in the agricultural industry. Therefore, the Federation of Landscape Contractors of Japan has designated it as a canvas for its annual Kei Tora Garden Contest, translated into Spanish as the Kei Tora gardening contest.

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A mini Japanese garden to go, please!

The participants of the contest arrive to the place with their vans without vegetation as they are. Afterwards, they spend several hours creating exuberant botanical environments that represent any type of Japanese mini garden. In the end, the jury of the contest chooses the winner according to the complexity of their work: planning, expression, design and execution. The contest has very few limits and its character is quite free. Some landscapers tend to a more radical expression in the design of their mini gardens by incorporating decorative elements such as aquariums, fountains or waterfalls. Among our selection, you will discover some of the best models of Japanese mini garden presented in the contest. Some have a very traditional side, others are more modern. In any case, they are all unique!

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The most impressive part of this contest is how professionals manage to bring together two things that are often contradictory: cars and nature. Many countries suffer from heavy pollution caused by 4-wheel vehicles. Once again, the Japanese had the brilliant idea of ​​uniting the two and sending an environmental message all over the world. This contest only takes place in Japan. Its originality has made it very popular internationally thanks to social networks.

Mini Japanese gardens with incredible designs


Kei Tora is a small and very practical van used for the transport of construction materials, as well as farmers and fishermen. Not only is it famous in Japan, but throughout Asia, as well as in many other countries. The Japanese farmers' association decided to give it a different role: framework to design a Japanese mini garden. This contest is quite new, but it has many enthusiastic participants.

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Mini gardens - The Japanese garden and its history

Mini, small or large, the Japanese garden has its rules of very precise designs. Usually, there is always a bonsai, gravel, large stones, mold and a fountain or waterfall. Gardening is an essential part of Japanese culture. It is in the garden where we rediscover inner peace and meditate. This is the reason why its design and decoration are very clear: we choose carefully the present elements and their location. The idea is to design a space that calms the mind. Listen that the flowing water relaxes. More and more French gardeners are inspired by this tradition and design their gardens with this style or opt for a Zen garden.


We invite you to see some Japanese mini garden designs so you can get to know the work of the landscapers


The back of the truck in the photo below has been transformed into something spectacular. A mini Japanese garden with gravel, large stones and tree.


Do you want to have a drink in the back of a van with a small Japanese garden? What a good idea and so romantic! One of the participants of the contest already had this idea and here we show it.


And another participant had a similar idea, but he did it a little differently. When you drink your tea, you can contemplate the mini Japanese garden with roses.


And a third model of Japanese mini garden with a small bar and a small wooden table. The wall of the plant immediately gives an impression and envelops the whole garden.


Bamboo is often present in Japanese gardens as a plant or decoration. In the following case, the contest participant used a bamboo decorative panel. There is also a small bamboo water fountain.


Two children enjoy one of the works presented in the contest


As you can see in the pictures, each project includes a bonsai. Bonsai is a very important mini tree in Japanese and Chinese culture. It symbolizes wisdom, balance and harmony. In the next mini Japanese garden, the participant decided to make bonsai the focal point of his work. Bonsai is usually placed on top of the rocks. The idea: to give it an inaccessible place to accentuate its importance. Subsequently, it is covered with foam to retain moisture.




In the next photo you can see the only model of Japanese mini garden presented here with lighting. He also has a shelter and a lemon tree above. It's amazing that you can make that garden in a small truck, right?


In the next garden we see a spectacular vase full of beautiful flowers and a large stone wall. This model of Japanese garden has been very well structured and richly decorated with plants.


You can not miss the Japanese mini garden model below and its very contemporary side. It's the decorative brick fire pit that makes the garden more modern than the previous ones, do not you think?


How they combine technology and nature in Japan and an unusual contest

Japan never ceases to amaze us with its creative and modern projects. We have the impression that this country is always ahead of the trends. The issues they are dealing with are always important at the international level. That of Man, technology and nature and how to make them coexist is part of many architectural and creative representations. This contest proves it with its originality and success. More and more people become aware of the importance of acting positively in the environment.


All photographs are from the Federation of Landscape Contractors of Japan (in English: Japan Federation of Landscape Contractors).