Japanese yards, gardens, designs, and planting ideas
Japanese, Asian, and Oriental style garden plans generally follow several basic design principles. Reduced scale, enclosure, angle of view, borrowed scenery, balance, and symbolism.
While most of us usually don't see or understand all the symbolism in Japanese and Asian landscaping ideas, it's easy to see the other principles in how these designers can plan and create entire "worlds" within a contained space.
Most Oriental style gardens tend to copy nature in miniature. You'll also notice that, in contrast to the Western garden style, the plans don't place as much importance on symmetry. Nature is natural.
The pictures and links here should give you a real good understanding of the basics behind the Japanese, Asian, and Oriental landscaping styles.