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Mishaka-ike, or Mishaka Pond (御射鹿池), is a hidden natural jewel located in Chino City, Nagano Prefecture. The pond’s tranquil beauty inspired a famous painting several decades ago, and Japanese visitors have been increasingly traveling off the beaten path to view its waters for themselves, as it’s a place where the four seasons are distinctly and perfectly expressed.

Escape from the city for a relaxing moment with the following photographic collection of Mishaka-ike in the Japanese countryside.

The crystal-clear waters of Mishaka-ike were immortalized in Kaii Higashiyama‘s 1972 painting Midori Hibiku (緑響く; “The Green Echoes”). The famous and immediately recognizable painting to many Japanese people pays tribute to the mirror-like reflecting qualities of the pristine pond.

Midori Hibiku, Kaii Higashiyama (1972) 

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Veteran Japanese actress Sayuri Yoshinaga popularized the painting when it was featured in a TV commercial with her for Sharp Aquos, and the pond itself was selected by Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in 2010 as one of the top 100 ponds in Japan.

Once you see actual photographs of Mishaka Pond, it’s easy to understand why Higashiyama painted a near exact mirror image of the trees’ reflections on the water’s surface–it’s because the water is actually that clear in real life. On top of that, the atmosphere surrounding the pond is different depending on the weather and time of day. Visitors will never tire of gazing at the waters no matter what the season, as evidenced in the following scenic snapshots taken by Japanese Instagrammers:

. #朝活カメラ #御射鹿池 . 色々あって若干出遅れて行ったのですが、 物凄い人笑 . 20人弱… . カメラ女子4人組にビビりながら撮影笑 . 御射鹿池はというとある意味最悪でしたね。 行ったことある方はわかると思うのですが 御射鹿池には閉ざされた橋を渡った所に立ち入り禁止の土手があります。 そこに何人もの撮影者。 だけならまだしも 2歳位の子供まで連れて入っている人がいました。 本当に不愉快でしたね… みなさん、明らかに分かるマナーは守りましょう。 . 写真はまあなんとかベタな一瞬があって ほぼほぼ完璧な写り込み。 このサイズだから見れる笑 逆さでも見れます!笑 . Canon EOS 6D_EF24-105f4L . #パパカメラ #Canon #EOS #6D #Japan #Hayato #諏訪カメラ部 #リフレクション #長野 #Nagano #Lovers_Nippon #igersjp #jp_views2nd #Loves_Nippon #icu_Japan #team_jp_東 #tokyocameraclub #Japan_focus #Instagramjapan #ptk_japan #icu_japan #water_captures #bd_trees

A post shared by Hayato 諏訪カメラ部 部長 (@hayato_rin2) on

#秋 #紅葉 #御射鹿池

A post shared by R.Baba (@11baba) on

* * 雪なしバージョン★

A post shared by Joey Inaba Photographer (@souslecielpur) on

A quick search on YouTube brings up any number of videos dedicated to the pond, but the following is one of our favorites:

Unfortunately, getting to Mishaka Pond using public transport is a bit tricky. If you don’t have use of a car in Japan, Nagano’s tourism website lists access to the pond as a 30-minute taxi ride from JR Chino Station on the Chuo Main Line. It may take some time and money to get there, but the spectacular scenery will be well worth the trek.

Source: Grape
Featured image: Instagram/hayato_rin2
Insert image: Rakuten