Photo Credit to charlesmann
I found a book that features beautiful Japanese gardens so I became curious about this aspect.
Many thanks to Daniel Isaacs for this excellent article on Japanese gardens.
Above all, Japanese gardens demonstrate the Buddhist influences that were brought into Japan in 612; Ono-no-Imoko, an emissary from Japan, visited China and was able to absorb enough of the Buddhist way of life to recreate it once he returned home. At this time, gardens in Japan were solely created as religious representations of various beliefs - which established a comfortable common ground with the Chinese Buddhists.
Every element of a Buddhist garden bursts with religious significance; pathways lead to enlightenment, whilst the soil represents the fertility and nurturing nature of Buddha's mind. Nonetheless, whilst some of the Buddhist ideas were adopted in Japan, it was not to be at the expense of the ancient Japanese religion, Shinto
It has always been firmly believed that the two religions, Shinto and Buddhism, are able to coexist in harmony; rather than separate each other the two religious intertwine. This fusion of religion has been widely demonstrated in Japanese culture; reflected within the foundational design of Japanese gardens.
Information from : insidejapantours.com/japanese-culture/japanese-gardens