Monet’s Pond(モネの池)、Seki City, Gifu

I saw the photos of Monet’s pond in 2015 for the first time and hear from one of my Japanese friends that it is a very beautiful place to visit. It is situated in the Seki city of Gifu prefecture at around 2 hours driving distance from Tajimi. At last, I got the chance to visit that place in 2018 November. I was really excited(overexcited).
The best time to visit this pond is May-June or November. In May, waterlilies of the pond will bloom and it increases the beauty of the mirror-like pond with koi fishes. June is the rainy season when the long-lasting hydrangea flowers bloom everywhere in Japan. The area near to Monet’s pond is famous for Hydrangea flowers and there is a road named ‘Ajisai no michi’, with Ajisai(Hydrangea) flowers adoring both sides. November is autumn in Japan, with lots of Momiji(Japanese maples) around the pond and all along the roads of Seki city.

Nemichi shrine

Before going to the place, my expectation was great. I checked photos of the pond on the internet and could understand that it is a small pond. But, once I reach there, I was really disappointed. The pond is associated with a small shrine, Nemichi shrine situated on the hill above the pond. And it is really shallow, with some water plants and waterlilies. Some Carp fishes(very less in number than we could find in most Japnese temple/ shrine ponds) of various colours were swiimming around. (I am not sure if they have removed fishes to some other place due to the cold weather.) In front of the pomd are vast paddy feilds, which together presents a nice scenery from the shrine.

But the pond is really clear as a mirror and hence we can see the water plants inside it. We can also watch those colourful fishes resting at the bottom of the pond. Mone no Ike is known in Japan as ‘The Nameless Pond’, which is now popular as Monet’s pond. The picturesque beauty created by this pond resembles the famous painting by the French impressionist painter Claude Monet.

This shallow irrigation pond reminded me similar water bodies in my place with lots of water lilies and other water plants and sometimes small fishes( obviously not these colourful carps). But those may not be this much clear like a glass through which we can see the base. It resembled some common village pond(In Kerala) as I was waiting for this for the last three years.

There is a huge stall selling plants at a very cheap rate and a souvenir shop. Also, some small shops selling fruits, veggies and some Japanese confectioneries were there.
The best part of visiting Seki, in my opinion, is the beautiful scenery all the way up the Monet’s pond. Autumn adorned the mountains with various tints. We stopped at Kaore valley (25 minutes drive from the Monet’s pond). It is a calm place with very few visitors. There was a river with emerald green coloured flowing down the valley which is free from human intrusions. We saw Japanese monkeys, reindeer etc. in that mountain. The entire beauty of the surrounding nature was indescribable.

We stopped at many places on the way back yo click photos. There were so many camping areas all the way. A summer camping at this place will be really worthy to enjoy fishing, swimming, hiking, and spent some great hours mingling with mother nature.