… as many Japanese and foreign authors still seem to.
For one thing, it depends who you are comparing them to:
“The plane from Shanghai flew low enough over Japan for me to see the landscape clearly. Japan seemed incredibly green after China, where trees were a rarity. In fact, the trees visible from an airplane in China were usually those planted around Japanese shrines” Chronicles of My Life by Donald Keene pg 53
and while a Japanese garden might seem very artificial and contrived compared to an English one, it is certainly more natural than an Italian or French style garden or park.