Our first appointment today was at Kawakami , this made a nice change as we were only round the corner from the hotel . This farm does many many varietys , but of late has become famous for its stunning goshikis .There was a very nice sansai example in amoungst the larger koi but as i had already bought some form hiroi i decieded to pass and give Stephano a hand as he was catching up small nisai . With that done it was off to Torazo to see what we can find there , on arrival the breeder seemed in a very good mood and not wanting that to change Rod and Diane set about trying to find a Nice sansai kohaku , within a few minutes we had a very nice koi bowled up and the price given was exceptional and our customers were very happy . Some times a fish will not behave for a photo , and this was to be one so heres a short video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wKiuK-wv3s With a quick coffee we were then off to Shinoda .Usual stocks of gin rin and doitsu , this time we found a very nice gin rin shiro utsuri , sansai but on the small size it just oozed quality so was duly bowled and pruchased .Then we decieded as we hadnt been to Yagenji for a day or two , we ought to visit them ! There was a reason for the visit , as a customer had asked to purchase the showa we were going to leave in Japan for one year .Just some paperwok had to be changed and i had to find another koi to leave in the mudponds instead . We bowled up around five sansai , two were dismissed and that left us with a sanke , and two showas . As we had Mark Gardener and Rod with us i decieded to cast a vote . The agent voted fot the maruten showa , as did me and Mark , Rod went for the sanke , i then asked the older Yagenji brother who said the other showa , and said those fatel words again ...........gamble may be .Now bearing in mind that last years gamble turned out to be our best koi returning fom the mudpond i felt myself starting to sway , Then Mark jumped ship and said the sanke is the safest bet , now my head was spinning and it wasnt from the lack of food and water this time !!!! Two votes each koi , and the breeder voting for another ( in mindthat counts as two votes ! ) Stalemate ! So what to do ?? Someone then came up with the idea of leaving all three , the argument being that the sanke would do very well in the mudpond , the maruten style showa most people liked and we had the gambling option of the other showa ( thanks guys !!! ) Yangenji agreed and thought this was a marvelous idea , well i guess he would , wouldnt he .So as usual went the rounds of arguments about the price , and all three will now stay in Japan untill next year .These can be seen on this video , pleae ignoe the two little dots as these were just some anchor worm marks and have been treated and will be fully ok in the next day or two .Maruten showa 63cm , other two 60cm http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fs3vgGHz4M. For our last appointment found as at the madhouse known as Maruhiro , i love this guy to bits , always has plenty of healthy koi , and many varietys .When we arrived he was his usual crazy self and grabbed me by the arm and led me to the main pond , " Azukari Gary san " he had harvested the sansi showa i had left last year , she looked great and had grown well , i said we would bowl it later as i knew Stephano was keen to catch some nisai , in fact so was i , and we all got so carried away catching koi i forgot to take a picture and measure the showa before we left . Stephano and myself had spoken at great length to try and get a pond of plenty of variety in so we could buy a large number together and get a good price , It worked , the price was given for 50 nisai that suited both our budgets and not only that , the breeder seine netted the pond ! 25 nisai later we were both very happy , i went for plenty of chagois , soragois , kogakni ochiba , mukashi ogon and ochiba , then i can try and get these to 45 cm by spring as i did last year , size now around 30cm , some smaller , some bigger . After that Stephano went for some bigger nisai , and as he was cacthing these i went for some better quality smaller nisai , Now for some reason today had been a whole bag of laughs , jokes and funny anidotes had been flying all round all day , but the best was yet to come .As Maruhiros wife was taking my gin rin tancho away to the holding nets , she slipped and went right up to her waist in one of the ponds just stopping short of a full dunking , from the angle she was at i could see she was laughing and no one else could and everyone was very concerned , i couldnt resist it , "is my gin rin tancho ok ????" The breeder heard this and laughed his socks off , he thought it was hilarous , when everyone else realise she was ok they all joined in laughing , and the breeder for the next few minutes kept repeating , is my gin rin tancho ok , he thought it funny than any of us ! The wife then taught me how to call her husband a crazy monkey in Japanese and i felt a new nick name was born .I said to Rod and Diane that the breeder really was crazy , and how well i seem to get on with him , Rod replied , is it any wonder ? They left me thinking all the way back to the hotel ............1st pic is of the showa that will now be shipped to the uk , next three are the yagnji showas and sankes , four pics of maruhiro nisai , nisai gin rin tancho , four nice quality nisai , gin rin shiro utsuri tategoi left to go back to the mudponds , tatgegoi shiro utsuri we are thinking about keeping in Japan from Maruhiro , for got to mention those in the blog , thats how mad it was today ! Last but not least the Torazo kohkau , thanks to Mark Gardener for some of the pictures today , Marks based more or less based in Ojiya all the time nowadays , his exploits can be followed on http://www.niigata-nishikigoi.com/