The Gifu You Never Knew Existed


Tucked inside of Japan, hiding beautiful gardens, and gorgeous flowing rivers is Gifu prefecture. Due to it's proximity to Aichi prefecture, Gifu is often over looked, which is a loss to many. The Gifu that I know out shines the beauty of the rest of Japan. One sight that many tourists unfortunately never hear about is Monet's Pond.
Monet's Pond

Monet's Pond is tucked in the mountains of Gifu and it takes a scenic ride on country back roads to arrive. From Gifu station the drive in total takes about an hour and a half. Though once arriving you are greeted by the crisp breeze of the mountain air, and the sound of a clear rushing river.   The pond itself is actually originally nameless, but was nicknamed after the Claude Monet, a painter, because it is so breathtakingly gorgeous that is looks like a painting. The brightly colored koi fish swimming through the blue color of the pond, and the tangle of lily pads make this sight a must see for photographers, and artists in general.  In order to take the best pictures of the pond it is best to go in the morning. 
Area nearby
Koi

This area is not just home to Monet's Pond, a river flowing down from the mountain nearby, and it is very fun to step in and enjoy. (Although beware, the water is a bit chilly, but perfect during Japan's humid summer days!) You might even get the pleasure of seeing one of the local fishermen catching fresh ayu, or sweetfish.
River nearby
Local fisherman

After enjoying the river nearby, there are a variety of restaurants nearby that offer fresh ayu. The restaurant that I went to brought the fish out--still alive, and put them on a grill on our table. (Not for the faint of heart.) The taste is absolutely indescribable, nothing beats fish that fresh! The fish was accompanied by a variety of savory side dishes as well.
Ayu

If you go in June there is an added bonus of nice temperatures and a hydrangea festival in Seki city, where the pond is located so you can enjoy the flowers as well as the pond. There is also a small shrine a two minute walk near the pond!

Check out this video on Monet's pond!
[VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wDOmgUPRrQ">

Happy exploring!!

 

Lacey Gerdes