Niigate will always be the place for me , i know there are some fantastic breeders down south , but i just find everything i need here . The old myth that Niigata fish dont grow so quick doesnt ring true anymore as there are some breeders whose nisai are around the 60 cm mark , the varietys available are so varied and with so many breeders around there is no time spent travelling around .Also , i am starting to feel that i am building good relationships with more and more breeders , and as a small company that has to be a good thing .Todays blog will appear in stages as im so tired i keep deleting things and losing browsers , thank you for the emails about the blog , im glad you are enjoying it .Todays outing was to start at Nogami , we havnt really bought there much before as there are so many breeders its hard to get to see them all .As Nogami was in China he was late harvesting so the stocks were very low , very disapointing as i really do like this guys koi , he did have a stunning inazuma kohaku but alas a little to expensive . So from there it was off to Kaneco , this guy never fails to impress , this time the nisai quality was not so good and i diddnt think this was reflected in the price , so we went round to the main pond and the quality was outragious ! Shiros and kujakus , nisai and sansai that looked so expensive i diddnt want to ask , but i did and regretted it as these two varietys we had already bought enough off , the prices were very very good and and made his cheaper nisai look expensive , but i might sneak back later if i have enough money , you cant have enough good shiros ! While travelling up the mountain we popped into Tanaka Yoshinori , the fish here where again amazing , goshikis that were out of this world and once again the main pond was very resonably priced . I bowled up a 60cm gin rin matsubakawabake and nearly bit his hand off at the price , untill i noticed a bad rub on the nose and she wouldnt be ready for shipping , shame .Two other fish caught our attention , a 3 step doitsu goshiki , and a doitsu goshiki sanke , very unusual but our party were looking for gin rin goshiki so on we moved .Another breeder we have visited before but never bought from is Yamanaka Ohya , main variety is shiro utsuri but he also does stunning bright yellow hariwakes . The quality of his shiro are amazing , and he has a lot of them , dont know why this guy is not better known in the uk .But as we had enough shiros we diddnt buy today ,the ones i needed were small nisai and the pond i liked were all sold ! With some orders for hi utsuri our next port of call would be Shinoda , the hi utsuri pond had been well picked through and i wasnt happy wit the level left , so ill try again when he next harvests .Today was intereasting as we got to see a few breeders we dont visit much and some ive never been to at all , this the case with a breeder called Miya , very impreesive koi indeed , some outstanding showa , gin rin showa , very high class indeed , a 64cm kohaku was bowled , it had a beautifull flowery pattern and a resnable price , but unfortunately the sashi on the koi was a little poor and so we passed. 7-11 For lunch , ie egg sandwich etc etc and we were on our way to takahashi , ive been buying this breeders tosai for years but have never been there . Once again i found the prices kind of up side down , the cheaper nisai wernt so cheap , but the higher quality sansai were very resonable , a sanke for me and a showa for Rod was bowled, the showa was good and a great price , and the sanke excellant with a pattern that was out of this world .The showa wasnt as good as one we were looking at again later at Kase, and putting the sanke in the box on its own made it expensive so we passed . But we will go there next year for definate , very impressed .It was then decieded that we needed to go back and look at a showa that we had bowled earlier in the week , so we drove through Ojiya city to Kase . This showa was great , the fact Kase would return it to the mud pond was impressive alone , it has a great frame and at 62cm Sanai he thinks it may come back from the mudpond at 70cm next year , that did it , we needed to buy this koi ! It was way over budget but a deal was done and both sides shook hands and looked very happy . As we left i felt the need to buy more koi today as one wasnt enough , so where do you go ? Yagenji , its obvious .On the way we called and had some good news , my shiro utsuri had been harvested , two minutes later the phone rang again , it was my friend Jerone from holland and he had been at the Yagenji harvest , he said tell Gary Kanoco showa is very unusual and we will see him later . Showa ? , that didnt sound good , with visions of my little " Nicky " dripping with secondary beni i laughed and said oh well , three out of four is not bad , and we all laughed as it wasnt an expensive koi .On arrival the brothers set about bowling the koi down the far end , i thought is it that bad that they dont want any one else to see it ? Any was as i peered into the bowl my blood boiled , it was another big joke , why does every breeder and dealer seem to find it funny to push my blood pressure up 20 points , the koi was beautiful , a massive strong body , great skin and she had grown well , cant remember exactly how much but she looked great , as i said it wasnt expected to come out no where as good as this so i was over the moon , 4 out of 4 , outstanding , the father even said it was the best out of that mudpond . So feeling happy i decieded to buy some more koi , i asked for the brothers help to find some more femake go sanke , and they did , 3 great sankes , one of which they wernt sure of the sex , but the quality was so good we bought it any way , and a stunning kindai showa .Great end to a great day , well , that wasnt quite the end , yagenji and maruhiro joined us for a meal and a drink , but the details of that Mad Hatters Tea Party are not really for the blog . As i said before , just a perfect day .