For those who know , Azukari is what is asked when a koi is wished to be left in Japan to go to the mudponds .A few years a customer and i had a bad experiance with leaving koi in Japan , and last year i decieded it was a bit like falling off a bike , ie you need to get straight back on ! So with this in mind i left 7 koi to be returned to the mudponds , and im so glad i did . The koi at Sekiguchi and Tanaka came out so improved , but today was the big one , the Maruhiro shiro utsuri . But ill come back to that later , lets start at the begining ........So far the rain had stayed away , but last night there was a big down pour and as we set off for Kase at 8.30am the sky had a grim and misty look to it ( wish i had nabbed the towel from the bathroom ) , but not to be deterred we arrived at one of the nicest guys around , Kase koi farm . The small ponds were teaming with nisai of every doitsu or metalic variety , including some lovely doitsu goshiki . After having a good look round we moved on to the sansai house were he had a pond of lovely doitsu ochiba , but more intereastingly a pond of sansai showa . Two koi were bowled and the first dismissed as it was lacking in body shape for future growth , but the second was another story , with a fairly high price tag we decieded we would think it over , while doing so we forgot to take a picture so we may return there over the next few days . After seeing such an imposing showa we decieded we needed some comparison , so as Suda was near by we thought we would pop in and have a look . There was some very impressive fish in the yonsai pond . But even more in the sansai one , Suda wasnt around so we will have to come back later as well . As we were in Showa mood there was only one place next and that was Isa koi farm . The main pond was absolutley amazing , and scary price looking , so we moved to the smaller pond where the quality there was also excellant , between Rod , Diane and my self we picked around a dozen fish out of around 150 we were intereasted in , only to be bowled over by the statement , sorry all sold , one customer bought them all !!!!!!!!! At the nisai house we couldnt find anything and then the phone rang , it was Maruhiro , he had harvested the shiro utsuri . We were there with in 12 minutes with me jumping up and down like a lunatic ! As we walked in the breeder had a solom look on his face and looked down on the ground , i though this doent bode well . Then he looked up and laughed his head off and said " its beautiful Gary San , high class " , the thought of the Mad hatters tea party came back and i couldnt help have a little chuckle . The koi was bowled up and grown 5cm to 59cm , a little less than expected , but it was the skin and sumi development that excellant . The koi had improved beyond all expectations . So while there i was compelled to buy somthing else , so the breeder just started bowling up koi , and the prices were so good i just kind of got caught up in the good mood thing that was going on , result was a superb gin rin shiro , gin rin ochiba , ochiba and gin rin saragoi , all of a very high quality , nisai and female . I then decieded that the only decent thing to do was leave another . so within a short while we had found a nice showa around 55cm and sansai , a deal was struck and off it went , not to be seen for another year ! We then stopped for guess what ? Curry and rice again , then off to Yagenji once more where we where to meet Mark Gardener from http://www.niigata-nishikigoi.com/ , having some nice fish and rubbish pictures we asked mark if hje would kindly join us for a while and take some photos . There was some great fish at Yagenji including a stunning gin rin benigoi , and a great 3 step sanke which looked like one we purchased last year , unfortunatley there was a slight deformity on the gill so we passed and are still thinking about the benigoi . With Mark in tow we stopped at Sakai to get a professional photo of Rods shiro and then returned to Maruhiro for the same with shiro that has come out the mudpond , and the showa that is going back .When taking pics Mark seems to wait for what seems to be an etrnity to start , then click , click ,click "finished " , dont you just hate people that are gso ood at what they do ! Ill wait for marks photos to put up on here . But while im waiting for those , here are the nisai from Maruhiro . The pictures of the showa , and two shiros are courtesy of Mark Gardener . Also forgot to add we bought another box from Oofuchi today , Tancho sanke , ki-kikikoryu , ochiba and doitsu platinum ogon , all very good quality , nisai and female around the 45-50cm mark .