Take a quiet walk into famous painting

"Monet's Pond" with Koi carp swimming elegantly in the clear water (in Seki City, Gifu Prefecture)

“Monet’s Pond” with Koi carp swimming elegantly in the clear water (in Seki City, Gifu Prefecture)

GIFU, May 9 – It’d been an ordinary pond in the forest right next to Nemichi Shrine in Seki City, Gifu Prefecture, but now it’s a popular place known as “Monet’s Pond.” Fresh green trees are reflected on the water, and beautiful water lilies are floating. It looks so much like a “Water Lilies” picture by French Impressionist Claude Monet. Then, naturally, people started to call it “Monet’s Pond.”

The pond is about the size of a tennis court, and it’s a reservoir for rice paddies in its neighborhood. When the tourist farm next to it, “Itadori Flower Park,” opened in 1999, some residents started to weed and clean the surrounding area and planted Suiren (waterlilies) and Kohone (Japanese pond lilies) in addition to the native Hirumushiro (pondweed). Another local brought koi carp to make the pond more colorful.

Mountain water springs under the bridge in the center of the pond, and the water flows out slowly at both the left and right ends. That makes the pond extremely transparent. Some people posted its beautiful pictures on several social networking services, making the pond so famous that it sometimes has more than 1,000 visitors.

Saburo Kobayashi, a 49-year-old owner of the tourist farm, is one of the locals who planted the water plants. “You’ll be able to enjoy all the different ‘faces’ of the pond when you walk around. We put a photo on our homepage every day, so please have a look and enjoy the view while avoiding 3Cs,” he says.

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