Monet Shrine (Nemichi Shrine) Gifu 根道神社
Nemichi Shrine, best known as Monet Shrine, is located in the depths of Gifu Prefecture in central Japan.
The shrine has become a tourist destination over the last few years after its appearance on social media and on TV.
Visitors come to see a large lily-pond stocked with koi carp. This is reminiscent of the series of paintings Water Lilies by the French painter Claude Monet, hence the shrine’s name. The pond is actually called the “Pond with no name” (名前のない池) and was originally a reservoir for the surrounding rice fields overgrown with weeds. In the 1990’s the pond was cleared by the owner of the nearby Itadori Flower Park. He also planted water lilies, while local people introduced the fish. The clear water that fills the pond comes from Mt. Koga.
The shrine itself consists of just one building on a small hill overlooking the pond and the valley below.
The water lilies bloom from May until October but the rainy season from mid-June until mid-July is the time to see them at their peak.
Access – Getting There
Nemichi Shrine is very much in the middle of nowhere and without a hire car is difficult to reach. Itadori Flower Park (Tel: 0581 57 9021) and Monet Shrine are on National Highway 256 north of Nagoya, Gifu city and Mino. The shrine is about an hour’s drive from Gifu and 35 minutes from Mino. The shrine can also be accessed from Gujo Hachiman. Travel west from Gujo on National Highway 315.
By public transport it is more difficult. There are infrequent buses from Gifu Station, Mino Station and Seki Station. Mino and Seki stations are on the Nagaragawa Railway.
The bus from Gifu Station’s bus stop 12 takes 70 minutes and costs 660 yen.
From Seki Station a bus takes an hour and costs 300 yen. From Mino the bus takes 35 minutes and costs 300 yen.
All buses go to Horado Kiwi Plaza. From here you transfer to a free Fureai bus to Ajisai-en Mae.