Japanese Gardening Tools

Japanese Gardening Tools

japanese gardening toolsThe Japanese garden is designed to replicate the natural environment; rocks represent the mountains; water, the lakes and streams; and the various plants and the color of flowers are symbolic, relating to ideas and attributes in a tranquil and meditative landscape. To maintain this natural style garden, the Japanese designed versatile garden tools. More than one tool can do the same job but differ in their design to adequately accomplishing the same task on a different type of plant.  The Japanese gardening tools are multipurpose crafted so that one, like a garden knife, provides a variety of functions.


Quality Japanese gardening tools are crafted beautifully, with a history steeped in tradition. Strength, precision, and durability are carried over from metalsmiths who initially forged the swords for Samurai Warriors. After the outlawing the forging of these swords, metalsmiths kept their trade and techniques alive by crafting, among other things, garden tools.


Their quality products are excellent tools for any style garden. Japanese gardening tools forged with carbon steel and stainless steel will last for years if kept in good condition. Stainless steel tools are easy to clean, stay sharper longer than carbon steel and do not rust. Carbon steel tools need a coat of oil after they are wiped clean.


Purchase Japanese gardening tools from stores and online sites. Some commonly used tools are listed below and are available at Amazon.com.


Japanese Garden Knives

In Japanese, Hori means to dig. The popular Hori Hori knife has various uses in the garden. One side of the slightly curved, sharp blade is smooth the other serrated. Embossed measurement markings are on the inside of the blade for determining the depth for planting bulbs or large seeds. A durable wood handle provides an excellent grip, especially useful when extracting deep roots. Various uses include weeding, cultivation, dividing plants, transplanting, digging, cutting, andcaring for bonsai. The serrated side cuts down the sides of root-bound plants, too.


Japanese Hori Hori Garden Landscaping Digging Tool with Stainless Steel Blade & Sheath by Nisaku

Highly rated, the knife’s stainless steel blade is strong enough to handle cutting into hard clay soil and removing stubborn, deep-rooted weeds. This gardening knife also functions as a hunting and fishing tool. A vinyl sheath is included with the knife when purchased.

Japanese Garden Trowels

Japanese garden trowels accomplish a diversity of garden tasks. The shallow dish shape aids in planting, weeding, dividing plants and mixing growing mediums. It comes with short and long hands. Differing from garden knives, the edges of the trowel’s blade are entirely smooth. Though it does many of the same garden tasks as the knife, it works well with easier, less intensive applications. It is similar to other types of garden trowels, having a narrow body and measurement marks on the inside of the blade.



Japanese Hoes

The hand-held Nejiri Gama Hoe efficiently weeds and slices. It is especially useful in flower beds.

Nejiri Gama Hoe – 18” Long Will Give You More Leverage for Jobs That Need a Little More Strength /Made in Japan, by Japanese Garden Tools

Excellent for weeding, digging holes, and planting with ease, this hoe’s blade is angled to allow cutting below the soil. The tool comes with a sheath. The blade is extremely sharp, so care should be taken around children.


Tomita Triangle Garden Hoe with MB HANA Leather Cover – Japanese Gardening Tool for Weeding, by MB HANA

This tool is highly rated, especially among senior gardeners. Take care when cleaning as the blade is extremely sharp.


Other Japanese hoes are available with unique qualities. The triangular hoe has a pointed end that curves inward efficiently cutting unwanted vegetation when pulled inward. The tool rips out small weeds, digs seed trench, aerates the soil, and digs deep seed trenches. The Sankaku hoe blade is curved to a sharp point and is used for crowded areas and to dig furrows and eliminate weeds. The BachiGata Hoe is thinner and slightly tilted inward. The Japanese Kuwa Hoe is a rake with a broad blade on one side and four prongs on the other with a wooden handle. It has a multitude of uses and is a favorite garden tool.

Japanese Rakes and Cultivators

The hand-held Ninja claw rake and cultivator has five prongs and breaks up the soil around plants and loosening up dirt around weeds.


Asano Japanese Ninja Claw Rake and Cultivator, by Asano

Good reviews testify to the quality and uses of this tool. It mixes compost into the soil, prepares ground for planting bulbs, and works efficiently in hard, clay soils. It is an excellent aid in digging deeply around the roots of weeds, like Star Thistle, so that the whole root can be pulled out.


Japanese Grass Sickle

Theses sickles have a sharp serrated blade; that cuts edges on walkways, beds, and lawns. It is used to harvest long-stemmed plants, like lavender. It cuts dead stalks and blackberry canes.


Japanese Steel Grass Sickle w/ Wooden Handle KAMA 180mm No.130, by Tomita Hamono

This tool is easy to use, not requiring a lot of strength, as the blade does an excellent job of cutting. It is used not only for grasses but for removing weeds around trees. Ideal for removing weeds in raised beds.

Japanese Pruning Shears

Pruning shears cut tree branches and roots. Different sizes and designs are available.


SokeHidehisa for professional pruning shears YP200 (japan import), by SokeHidehisa

Excellently crafted, these shears ship directly from Japan.  It has a 2-inch blade, proper tension, and cuts with ease.




SokeHidehisa versatile pruning shears (japan import), by Hidehisa

They are perfect for tight areas for light pruning. It cuts ½ inch branches and shoots and works well for deadheading plants.

Versatility of Japanese Gardening Tools

The variety of Japanese gardening tools available offers everything you need to upkeep any style of garden. Many more types of Japanese garden tools forged of quality materials are available besides the hoes, trowels, cultivators, rakes, sickles, and shears listed. Bonsai scissors and pruners of different styles and designs are useful for flower cutting. Explore the many Japanese gardening tools available to put together a complete set of tools that meet all your landscaping needs.


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