This is me, walking through Zōjō-ji, a Buddhist temple in the Shiba neighborhood of Minato, Tokyo, Japan.
We didn’t know what these little statues represented. However, they looked like children and some were decorated with toys and clothing. It felt sad and I couldn’t figure out why.
Later, I researched the garden and found out that these were Jizō statues at a cemetery. The rows of stone statues of children represent the unborn children of Japan. Parents can choose a statue in the garden and decorate it with small clothing and toys. Usually the statues are accompanied by a small gift for Jizō, the guardian of unborn children to ensure that they are brought to the afterlife. Occasionally stones are piled by the statue, this is meant to shorten the amount of suffering a child has to go through on the way to the afterlife.