First visit today , was to Maruhiro koi farm . Spent a good time looking through the nisai ponds , but couldn't really find anything that jumped out at me , which was slightly worrying as I was looking for the koi for our two show and grows we are talking about running . Don't get me wrong , there was a lot of nice nisai , but not better than we had back in the uk . We explained this to Hinori san , who said he will bring in some more later in the week from his other facility . We then spent a little time looking through the other ponds , again some nice koi , but nothing we were looking for . Then we went to last pond , and started catching up some better quality koi, here I was looking for Azuakri koi , that is koi to leave with the breeder for the summer in the mud ponds . This time we had no problems finding suitable candidates . In fact there was so many , it took a good hour to sift through them to find a couple as the choice was good indeed , and every tie we thought we had finished , Hinori found another one . Whittled my final choice down to 4 . There were a few rub marks from the harvest , but the breeder assured as they would come good in the mudonds  and bearing in mind the success we had last year with his fish , I wasn't unduly worried . The first was a nisai kohaku with  an interesting pattern and measured 55cm . The next were three sansai , all with good bodies for growing , and we know the pond they will go in gets very good results . Three step kohaku was next and was 59cm , this had a real presence in the vat , and was a definite for the mudpod . You may see a slight mark at the tail in the video , this will be fine by next October . Two more kohaku and sanke both 56cm were next , although slightly smaller ,I know these will still grow to a good size , sometimes ponds can have a bad summer , ph drops , or spawning by unknown male ( happens at all breeders sometime or another ) . The skin and the body are very good on the sanke . Also the kiwa and sashi should start coming good this year . These koi are very nice quality , but at this time of year arnt looking their best , no food for several months in very cold water and indoors . These will be totally different in October when harvested !

Nisai 55cm Kohaku

 

56cm sanke

 

 

56cm kohaku

 

 

59cm kohaku

 

Next call was to Maruhiro s father  , all part of Marusie koi farm , but we still call him Hirasawa . There was a nice pond of nisai around 40-45cm go sanke and kujaku , but when priced I thought they were a little high for the show and grow , shame as they did fit the bill quiet nicely ! Moving onto the bigger ponds , there were loads of go sanke 50-65cm , ponds and ponds full of them ! I selected two very nice sansai , one around 65cm , and the other around 60 . Skin on both were very good , and the larger one was very good qualiy indeed . Photos were taken , and video done , but I didn't relaise how strong the light was as the screen kept misting up , so my apologies , ill re do then when they arrive in the uk . There are many sansai here at seriously good prices , if any koi dealers want some , please contact me as we can return and buy some more .

 

60 and 65cm approx. sanke .

 

 

After lunch we visited Yamazaki koi farm ,this guy has to be one of the most nicest people in Niigata , nothing is too much trouble .  I spent some time looking through the nisai , but didn't find anything that I really wanted , not that they wernt good , great selection , but we bought some in the Autumn . We wanted to look at the tosai house , but we were running out of time , so we decided to return as we needed to have spend a fair while there  and didn't want to miss appointments already made . Next on the visit list was Chogoro , famous for his platinum ogons , and of late some nice metallic varieties . I went here as he has bred a new variety , platinum ogon crossed with a kumonru , the off spring look like kikokoryu , and gin matsuba , scaled and wagoi ! I have to admit they were different , i might get some later in the week . Last visit of the day was to a breeder called Miya . we have have had some great nisai from this breeder , but not for a few years , so on the way there i was expecting what we had seen , lots of koi that we don't really need . We went to the nisai ponds and there where some nice kin ki utsuri , and other varieties , and he asked if we wanted better quality , mmmmm let me think about that , err go on them lol ! We went to the main ponds , which is a little bit of an obstacle course at the best of times , with a leg that doesn't bend , made it even more intrepid lol , readers of this blog may remember when me and Mark Gardner visited a few years ago , both of us broke boards , i hoped he wouldn't remember ! ! I saw a lot of stunning larger koi , thinking of these are nisai , they arnt going to be affordable , and then he called us over to the far end of the big pond , here was a net going under some wooden walk ways running the width of the pond , and about 12 " wide , you wouldn't have even noticed it ! Here he stared pulling koi out and placing them in a bowl , some nice go sanke , doitsu and gin rin .What really caught my eye , was the amount of gin rin sanke he had , you don't see many of these , i guess they arnt easy to breed , and these were also very nice , the addition of  rather large hi showa with amazing skin , we soon had a box , and then went back to the other pond for the kin ki utsuri . This was a nice surprise as we hasn't really bought much there over the last few years , and really didn't expect to see much today , just shows you have to keep going back ! Apologies for the picks , once again the camera steamed up , and the light was going so had to rush a little bit .

Nisai 35-45cm ,   gin rin hi utsuri pic lets it down , very nice ,  hi showa , skin very very good , ni dan gin rin sanke , gin rin hi showa again very nice , very nice gin rin sanke , good kin ki utsuri but pec is a little frayed  will be fine after q/tine . gin rin shiro utsuri , gin rin kindai showa , 4 x kin ki utsuri , doitsu showa , gin rin sanke , kohaku , showa and gin rin sanke .