Life Imitating Art: The Beauty Of 'Monet's Pond' In Gifu | CoolJapan

Japan is filled with many picturesque sites. But if you’re looking to visit a place that is straight out of a painting, Monet’s Pond in Gifu Prefecture will surely leave you in awe. Officially called Namonaki Ike (meaning ‘nameless pond’), this nature spot was given its nickname, inspired by French painter Claude Monet’s masterpieces, around 2015. It continues to grow in popularity on social media for its breathtaking beauty.

Monet's Pond Gifu history, location


The power of social media provided this site with well-deserved recognition

In the 90s, the pond wasn’t exactly kempt until nearby locals launched an initiative to cultivate the area. From then on, it has been maintained as an irrigation reservoir. While it wasn’t really intended to attract tourists, the location eventually started gaining traction because of social media posts. It’s still considered an off-the-beaten-path destination but it’s slowly getting more and more visitors in recent years.

No filters, no frills, just nature working its wonders

Monet’s Pond has clear waters from Mount Koga, which is made from rhyolite, a type of volcanic rock that is believed to produce incredibly clear spring water — so clear that even the slightest change in sunlight or any element it comes in contact with can alter how the water looks. Because of this, the pond’s water makes the colours of the natural aquatic flora really pop, giving it a painting-like appearance. On some occasions, the moss underneath the water grows abundant, giving the waters a hazy illusion that makes it even more mysterious and intriguing to look at.

How to get to Monet's Pond Gifu


Located near a humble shrine surrounded by water lilies and koi

Monet’s Pond is situated in the vicinity of Nemichi Shrine, which is known for being quaint and serene and overlooks a surrounding valley. Visitors usually go to the shrine to witness beautiful water lilies bloom from the end of May to the end of October. The pond looks even more delightful with colourful koi (carp fish) lingering around aquatic blooms and resemble Monet’s Water Lilies painting series.

A stunning spot transformed further during autumn

Monet’s Pond is at its peak in the summer, but visitors during autumn are also treated to a gorgeous view of the pond. The red, orange, and yellow foliage that fills Nemichi Shrine’s surroundings provides the perfect backdrop for the pond’s clear and serene waters. The koi swimming on the pond also mirror the colours of the season, creating a whimsical sight.

How to get to Monet’s Pond in Gifu

One of the most convenient ways to get to Monet’s Pond in Gifu is to start at JR Gifu Station where you can take a bus and alight at Ajisaien-mae Bus Stop. The pond is a two-minute walk from there. Would you be visiting Monet’s Pond to witness its exceptional beauty in real life?