Ikeyama Pond: Phantom Waters Where Mystical Views Unfold
Thu, Nov 30, 2023
In the Moto District of Muroto, there is a mountain called Ikeyama.
The reservoir found at the summit of that mountain is known as Ikeyama Pond.
In today’s article, we will introduce the pond and the legend behind it.
Please think about why it’s sometimes called the “Phantom Pond”.
What is Ikeyama Pond?
Ikeyama Pond is located at the summit of Mt. Ikeyama.
One of the Muroto Geopark’s sites, it is registered as an “Eco-Site“.
In the past, when times of droughts and such persisted, local people would climb the mountain and offer dances and song.
Nowadays, during the the annual Autumn Festival season, locals ascend the mountain to clean and pray at the shrine located there.
The Reason it’s Known as the Phantom Pond
Ikeyama Pond has even been referred to as the Phantom Pond on television.
The reason for this is that it is very rare for the pond to have water in it.
Ikeyama Pond forms as a reservoir of water surrounding the Ikeyama Shrine, and thus, during periods without rain, the area becomes like that of a wetland instead.
Even many locals say that they have never seen the pond while it was full, so it’s truly befitting of the name “Phantom Pond”.
In the middle of Ikeyama Pond, located on a small island rising out above the water, is Ikeyama Shrine.
With a torii gate and guardian dog statues standing watch, the scenery that suddenly appears into view is very mystical.
Moreover, Ikeyama Shrine is also known as Kongochoji Temple’s, one of the 88 temples of the Shikoku Pilgrimage, hidden sanctuaries.
The Legend of Ikeyama Pond
The legend of Ikeyama Pond is passed down as follows:
It is said that nearly 500 years ago, a group of samurai came to Ikeyama Pond for duck hunting.
Among them, one samurai successfully shot a duck, but it ended up falling into the pond.
With a dagger clenched between his teeth, he dove into the water to retrieve the duck. However, his mouth loosened and he dropped the knife into the pond.
At that moment, something wriggled where the dagger had fallen.
There, the Lord of Ikeyama Pond, a giant snake, appeared. Startled, the giant snake leaped out of the pond, creating a column of water as it flew away.
With its departure, the pond dried up. It is said that the snake flew all the way to Monno Pond in Kagawa Prefecture.
Even today, it’s said that no water plants grow where the dagger was dropped.
How to Get to Ikeyama Pond
The typical route to reach Ikeyama Pond is through the inner district of Moto.
For those wishing to hike to Ikeyama, we kindly ask that you contact the following beforehand.
Contact Info for Ikeyama Pond
Muroto City Tourism Geopark Promotion Division
For more information about Ikeyama Pond, please refer to the following posts or the Regional Revitalization Cooperation Team.