There are 59 Japanese gardens confirmed in modern China. This study focuses on these gardens’ current situation, utilization, cognition and role evaluation from local residents, intended to study how the garden’s features affect its utilization. According to priority standards, 29 gardens were chosen to carry out field surveys. Hearings and questionnaire surveys were implemented on managements and users. As a result, some gardens are highly used, but aren’t considered as Japanese gardens. The utilization forms of Japanese gardens are directly influenced by the location of the garden, the setting space type, the landscape, and its admission fee. The results showed five usage types. The first is for daily use, light activities such as walking, breaks and physical exercise for elderly. The second is for viewing, where the main purpose is enjoying the cherry blossoms and taking pictures. The third is a combined usage type of daily use with viewing, people would not only enjoy the gardens on April, but also in daily life. The fourth usage type is additional use with low attention paid from facility users. The fifth and final usage type is long-term closed gardens, which are caused by operational management or influenced by China-Japan relations.