I don't even know where to start! After planing the project, finding somebody to build it, actively participating, now just more work to finish the landscape around it, I can say that the Japanese gate is finished.
We had lots of problems. The builder we used can work in construction, but he isn't a woodworker. I emailed sketches, pictures to him, but he didn't look at it. I had to be there, correct him ( you can imagine him to be happy!), change the damaged boards he wanted to use, etc. He missed to measure the fence panels correctly, we had to move the gate further, into the rhododendron bush almost, otherwise the two panels next to the gate would have to be different size. For everything I criticized he said "oh, you wont see that". I assured him that I see and notice everything. But we survived it, at the end I just got tired to argue with him or ask him to redo things. The same guy made that dark brown fence what I posted at the beginning of this tread. It is so different if you can do it for yourself, give the time to do correctly.
Now we have to work on the stairs, stepping stones, plants he destroyed. As you can see from the pictures, we loved the cedar, didn't want to stain yet, we will see.
Had a wonderful time in July visiting my son in W.Australia, fishing, traveling. Now heading to Europe for 4 weeks, the landscape can wait .