Monet’s Pond, Seki, Gifu prefecture
MemberJanuary 3, 2018 at 12:41 pm
Monet’s Pond, which isn’t the official name because it doesn’t have an official name, is a very picturesque pond with clear blue-green water, lily pads and carp, in the middle of the mountains in Gifu prefecture. The natural setting makes for photographs that look like the paintings of Monet, hence the name. The popularity of the pond has exploded in the past few years through SNS but it is not a tourist attraction in the way most tourist attractions are in Japan, as there are no staff, no entrance fees and very little infrastructure. Unfortunately, even though the area around the pond is relatively flat, it is a bit tricky for wheelchair users to navigate. The gravel path around the pond is narrow, has numerous tree roots and no ramp to get over the small step over the bridge or between the torii gate and main path. If someone can give you a push up or guide the wheels over the difficult terrain area, you are rewarded with some magnificent pictures of the pond. I borrowed some plywood lying around the parking lot area and put it down to make it easier to get over a particular bumpy area.
There is a bus in the area, but most people arrive by car. There is parking lot (gravel and difficult to maneuver for wheelchairs) for the disabled right beside the pond, but we didn’t see it until after we parked a little ways away in the main parking lot (paved) across the road.
Recomended, but due to lack of infrastructure, need a bit of a sense of adventure and someone to help if you use a wheelchair.
ModeratorJanuary 8, 2018 at 12:09 pm
Thanks for this great information! Had never heard of this place, but it looks beautiful! Hopefully they improve access soon.
MemberJanuary 9, 2018 at 9:32 pm
After we visited I wrote to the caretaker of the pond to ask if they could consider making more flat surfaces when they undertake future maintenance. I got a relatively positive reply so hopefully in the near future the place will become even easier for all to visit.
Translation from the reply of the caretaker:
Thank you for your important input. Regarding the uneven ground by the torii gate and the small step up to the bridge, that area has been brought to our attention by the local community as well. Before this pond become popular the ground was flatter, but with the increase of visitors the wild grasses and pebbles have been reduced and the ground has eroded. We will use your input and strive to remove the bumps from the pathways. In the near future we hope to improve it so that wheelchair users can enjoy the area, so please be patient with us as we make these changes.
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