In the city of Seki, within Japan’s Gifu Prefecture, a small pond lay ignored and unkempt. No one took selfies with it as background and it didn’t even have a proper name.
Originally built as an irrigation reservoir that fell into disuse in the 1990s, the pond became overgrown with weeds—not something tourists would want to see and recommend other people to visit.
But thanks to the owner of the nearby Itadori Flower Park, who had the initiative to clean the entire place up, the lake slowly came back to life. The neighborhood council also helped, aiding the flower park owner to fill it with clean water and plant pretty water lilies. Local Japanese carp owners soon donated their excess fish, and for 15 years, the pond took shape as a potential tourist attraction. It even got an interesting name, Namonaki, which meant “nameless pond” in Japanese.
|Monet's pond in Seki, Gifu, Japan / Photo by: Hmori1960 and Wikimedia Commons via Oddily Central|
In 2015, people started taking photos of the already attractive Namonaki, with its colorful water lilies floating all around the pond and various koi fishes (a breed of Amur carp often seen in Japan) swimming in the crystal clear water. The pond somehow reminded a lot of people of the works of French painter Claude Monet, who was known for his colorful depictions of landscapes and nature. Soon they were referring to it as Monet’s Pond and posted pictures on social media. The photos went viral and the name stuck.
Since it became an internet sensation in 2015, Monet’s Pond has been visited by tourists from all around the globe who have come to Japan. As early as the latter part of 2015, over 3,000 people have been there. Halfway through 2016, it was reported that the pond gets 3,000 visitors every day.
|Koi fishes in the pond / Photo by: Masako Yamura and Facebook via Oddily Central|