How to make an alley in Japanese steps?


Want to stroll in your garden without getting wet? So creating an alley in Japanese style seems appropriate. Both practical and aesthetic, the Japanese step is one of the solutions that allow you to easily organize your driveway. Thanks to the many materials available, the Japanese step can adapt to all styles of garden, from the most traditional to the most contemporary.

What is a Japanese step alley?

An alley in Japanese steps is a passage or a small path created with flat stones more or less spaced and aligned. Originally, in Japanese gardens, each stone symbolized a pitfall on the path to life. The deeper the stone, the greater the difficulty. Today, Japanese-style walkways are particularly appreciated for their elegance and ease of use.

The advantages of Japanese walkways

Between a gate and a fence, between the rows of a vegetable garden or simply to draw a path for a walk in a garden, you can make a path in Japanese steps wherever you want. The slabs that make up the steps are available in many materials such as slate, which is very popular in a modern garden, granite, wood cut into sections, poured concrete or reconstituted stone which is undoubtedly the most used. The best thing is that your material has been treated unbreakable, non-slip and antifreeze, which allows you to install a Japanese step aisle in the color of your choice with more than easy maintenance.

What material to choose to make a Japanese walkway?

It’s all about harmony. Respect the consistency of your garden when choosing a material for your steps. For example, you have the choice between:

  • Wood: it is a natural material, which must be renewed regularly since it is putrescible.
  • Slate: it is also a natural material, very often chosen because it is both functional and aesthetic. It adapts to all circumstances.
  • Natural stone: its only disadvantage is that it is slippery.
  • Reconstituted stone, in other words pavers: often pavers are lighter, do not freeze and therefore do not break.

How to install a Japanese walkway?

To make your walkway practical, it is important to measure the distance between each step, neither too tight nor too wide (approximately 50 to 60 cm from the center of one slab to another). To make mowing the grass easier, if your Japanese steps are placed on the lawn, it is better not to make them protrude and sink them a little. This means that you have to dig to a depth of ten centimeters, cover with sand and put your step down so that it does not sink too far into the ground with use.

What are the different steps to make a Japanese walkway?

Step 1: Gather everything you need

Installing a Japanese step driveway on your lawn is a very simple task. All you need is sand, slabs and a mason’s shovel or trowel.

Step 2: Lay out the aisle

Start by drawing the line of the path on the grass. It’s up to you to decide if you want a straight or rather curved driveway. It’s up to you. If you have a garden hose, it can help you mark your driveway line with Japanese steps.

Step 3: Place the steps

Calculate the number of slabs you need based on the length of your driveway. Walk all the way, from your starting point A to your ending point B. Count the number of steps you need between A and B: and you will know the number of Japanese steps you need. Then place them at an equal distance from each other.

Step 4: Dig around the edge of each step

Trace the outline of each of the slabs and after removing it from the place you have chosen for it, lower the floor by about 10 to 15 centimeters – count 1/3 more than the thickness of your slab. Then if the earth is not flexible, add a layer of sand (between 3 and 5 cm).

Step 5: Take each step

Then lay each of the tiles in the planned location by packing them well on the edges. You can even use a hammer very gently on the surface of your tiles to drive them in enough. To complete your installation, use a spirit level to make sure that your Japanese step alley is perfectly flat and horizontal.

Step 7: Finalize

To finish the job, it is enough to sow grass seeds. When they sprout, they will add a more natural touch to your driveway. The interstices damaged by this process can be re-greened.

Step 8: Congratulate yourself!

This Japanese step garden path is ideal for protecting the lawn from your footprints and at the same time, it allows you to give your garden a truly decorative path.