As for now, Japan’s cutest pond near Nemichi shrine is not attracting a lot of foreigners. It is now about to be quite famous among Japanese people. For a couple of years, the small pond – of about 60ft on its longest side – has been known as Monet’s. Why ? Simply because its clear waters remind the Japanese of the impressionnist paintings by the French Claude Monet.
In the middle of the mountains near Seki (Gifu prefecture), a few carps are swimming quietly. And the visitors are now far more numerous than the beautiful fish…We have been contemplating Monet’s pond clear waters about a year ago, in november 2015. Our friend Seigo had been willing to visit the pond for several months at that time. Since we discovered the place, we have been noticing that it was captivating the Japanese medias and social networks !
Once we arrived at Monet’s pond, Nemichi shrine’s car park was filled with cars – it was about 9 in the morning ! The Japanese were coming from different distances and sometimes far away. From Nagoya the place is about two-hours driving. The first Japanese had already taken the best spots and unfold their tripod on the pond’s edge and were scanning the depth of the ponds through their cameras’ lense.
Few people climbed to the humble shinto shrine, uphill. And others were heading directly to the waters. In the morning calm of the mountains where it was kind of difficult to find a good spot to gaze at the carps we could hear all the “wonderful!”, “unbelievable” and “magnificent” of the day’s visitors. “I can’t believe such a place is real” was laughing a visitor that day.
Monet’s pond social celebrity
From what we understood, everything begun during summer 2015 with a few photos uploaded on Japanese social medias. The people soon became fond of these pictures : the colors of the clear waters was really reminding the Monet’s paintings called “Water lilies”. By word of mouth, more and more people were making the trip to the small pond. Posting more and more photos to the social network like Instagram, and so forth.
But what could one see in the beautiful waters ? Swimming quietly through the water lilies, lovely carps are delighting the numerous spectators – carps are a national hobby in Japan. The fish scales are offering the whole range of their colors, from shining gold to red and white, through mat black. The bottom of the pond, a wide variety of green tones, and the incredible transparency of the waters are offering them the perfect frame.
A lot of Japanese medias also came : we have been noticing reports on the pond in several news-magazines and on TV.
Last spring, I already made an article about Monet’s pond here (in French).
How to get there?
The nearest station from Monet’s pond is Mino-shi’s on Nagaragawa line (which is running along the beautiful Nagara river). The train operated by Nagaragawa railway and mainly touristic can be reached from the JR network at Mino-Ota station, through JR Takayama and JR Mino-Ota lines. But Minoshi station is still 15 miles from Monet’s pond’s clear waters… The easiest is to get there by car from Gifu, aiming at Nemichi shrine on the sat nav or entering its coordinates: 35.651742, 136.821417.
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On Instagram, #モネの池 is really popular among Japanese !