The Momoyama period was short, just 32 years, and was largely occupied with the wars between the daimyōs, the leaders of the feudal Japanese clans. The new centers of power and culture in Japan were the fortified castles of the daimyōs, around which new cities and gardens appeared. The characteristic garden of the period featured one or more ponds or lakes next to the main residence, or shoin, not far from the castle. These gardens were meant to be seen from above, from the castle or residence. The daimyōs had developed the skills of cutting and lifting large rocks to build their castles, and they had armies of soldiers to move them. The artificial lakes were surrounded by beaches of small stones and decorated with arrangements of boulders, with natural stone bridges and stepping stones. The gardens of this period combined elements of a promenade garden, meant to be seen from the winding garden paths, with elements of the zen garden, such as artificial mountains, meant to be contemplated from a distance.