Stepping stones are called tobi-ishi in Japanese. Walking on a stepping stone path requires much more attention than walking on a paved surface - the visitor has to pay attention while walking. This influences the way a visitor experiences the garden. A stepping stone path forces the visitors to go in line, one after the other. This is one reason why tea gardens often have stepping stones.
Tea master Sen no Rikyu is said to have introduced the tobi-ishi path .He did not like that sandals and shoes became dirty when walking on the bare soil. He also recommended that the stepping stones are 6cm higher than the ground. Furuta Oribe preferred them to be 5cm and Kobori Enshu 3cm.