Monet's Pond in Gifu and Why It Got Its Name
Monet—the name of a famous artist, and it just so happens that it is the name of a beautiful pond in Gifu. As you may have guessed, it got its name because it looks like one of Monet’s paintings. It is rapidly becoming a popular destination for both Japanese and international travelers alike. Fun fact: this pond used to not have a name, but it received its name once it became a popular tourist destination.
The pond is covered in lily pads and filled with koi fish. Please note, you are not allowed to feed the koi fish because it makes the pond dirty. I was very sad because I brought food for them, so please don’t make the same mistake…When the light hits just right, the water appears to be a beautiful blue/blue green color. As you can imagine, photographers love this spot, you can tell by just typing the name of the pond into Instagram to see the tons of posts that appear. In order to get the best lighting for photos, it is best to go in the morning. Not to mention, you have a better chance at beating the crowds if you go early.
Near the pond there is a small shrine. If you take a little walk, you can find a river flowing with clear water. And of course, where there is a river and mountains, there are waterfalls too.
The water comes from the mountains, so it is nice and cool. I brought it upon myself to take a swim and cool myself off.
If you do the same, just make sure to watch out for fishermen.
Speaking of fisherman, many of the restaurants nearby serve fresh ayu, or sweetfish. Gifu prefecture is famous for ayu, so I highly recommend you give it a try. The most popular way to eat ayu is grilled with salt.
If you time your trip just right, you can see some beautiful hydrangeas as well. Unfortunately, I missed out because I was uninformed, but hopefully, you won’t have to.
Monet’s Pond is located in Seki City, Gifu. It is very much in the countryside, so if you can, I recommend going by car to give you more freedom to travel around. The pond is free, and there are no official hours. (The only thing you will have to bring money for on this trip is for your meal! And maybe 5 yen for the shrine!) As for timing, I spent from about 9 am to 2 pm on this trip, so I would recommend about 5 hours, give or take depending on your travel style. If you are coming for the hydrangeas, you might want a little more.