A chozubachi is a stone water-basin, originally placed outside Buddhist temples and shrines for cleansing the hands and wetting the mouth before entering. A bamboo ladle, or hishaku, was placed at the basin for this purpose.
Today the chozubachi is often the distinctive element in Japanese tea gardens, along with the stone arrangements and raked sand characteristic of traditional Japanese garden design*.
*Mansfield, S. (2009). Japanese Stone Gardens. North Clarendon: Tuttle Publishing. pp. 54-69.