It doesnt matter how many times you go to Japan to buy koi , everything changes from one visit to the next , ie you plan to buy thisand that , and end up buying the other . Also , you plan to buy from set breeders then you find the quality is not so good this year , or the prices are not right , so you go elsewhere and find fish where you havnt bought before or for a long time . With the new facility we have built this year , the idea was to buy from fewer dealers and thus spending more money with fewer breeders to get better prices , also bearing in mind the massive growing on programe we have in place , standard koi are not really esential as we have many tosai now nisai growing on as we speak . So with his in mind i have totally strayed off the game plan , the reason for this is simple , everywhere we have gone , the better koi have all been affordable , and the yen rate really seems only to be effecting the lower price koi due to the shipping rate being in yen . So this trip i havnt had to go in all guns bearing to get the right prices , and today was a great example of this as we have again been buying indiviual fish and virtually all female . So on with the fish ................Today seemed a bit strange as the day started nothing seemed to go wrong , no broken phones , suitcases or Gary for that matter , kind of left me with a wierd feeling of what was coming ! First visit was to Marusaka , really like the father and son team here , they again have a wonderfull array of koi , including sanke from Jimbei bloodline . Some very well priced sansai outside were viewed , and although very resonably priced , i just couldnt find anything that i really needed to buy . After this we went up to the nisai fish house and looked at the koi here , very tempted for a box as the price quoted was so so cheap , varietys were doitsu kin showa , sanke , doitsu sanke and kohaku and many others , but the probablem of shipping cheap fish raised its head again and i decieded that although the breeders price was way more than fair , landed i didnt think i could sell them . So we thanked and promised to return later in the week , and then off to Shinoda . Shinoda has mainly doitsu and gin rin varietys , and as i had orders i forced myself to buy some , and so glad i did . Some of his nisai were the biggest i have ever seen here , a very nice gin rin showa approx 45-50cm , two female doitsu showas around 40cm , a doitsu sanke and kohaku both female and again around 35-40cm , and one male sanke around the same size as i liked the quality so much ! We then started bowling up some huge nisai hi utsuri , 45 -52cm approx , i purchased 3 along with another very nice gin rin showa , again all female so very very happy . Just time for another egg sandwich and the eternal cup of coffee , then we were of to Kawakami. This is one breeder we have started buying from again as the quality has got better and better , in fact his goshiki are of all japan show level ! When we arrived i was a little disapointed as a lot of the ponds were empty , but i saw a very nice shiro , and when the price was quoted i couldnt believe it, so that was bowled along with an amazing shusui and a stunning kujaku , which Gary Butterfield who is travelling with has already reserved . The three step kujaku was also given the royal seal approval by Heather a Zna and Bkks judge , so i knew we were onto a winner , all three koi were priced and sexed as female and purchased . Another breeder and more individually priced koi and once again all female . With an hour to spare before we were due to arrive at hiroi , we decieded to pop in and see Masaki , this was a sad bit off the day as many of you have heard he is calling it a day , and going to retire .The first site that greeted us was his lovely rock pond was filled in and plants growing there in place of the sansai that are usually swimming round . We spoke about his plans , and he hasnt bred this year , so he wants to sell all his nisai and above before the end of spring , and then he is finsihed . The main pond down stairs had some lovely asagi in , and as i did very well there we bowled up a great example , around 63cm and four years old , a price was agreed and we were just about to purchase the koi and noticed that a little end of the top ray of the tail finished half way round , only a small demerit i grant you , but although the price was good it still was a lot of money , so he asked us what he thought was a fair price , and for once i couldnt make an offer as he such a lovely guy and felt that i would be taking advantage of his situation , so ill post a pic and if anyone is intereasted get in touch , i may still buy the koi as its still good quality and suitable for showing . A quick trip down the road and we were at Hiroi , here the koi were stunning , and we purchased a showa and gin rin showa , both female and of very good quality around 45-50cm . Happy to ship two in a box as the value of fish , we found a smaller three step gin rin goshiki in a much cheaper pond , i decieded to purchase to help lower shipping costs , it was surprisingly nice and female to boot , so another set of cracking koi , and so ended another very enjoyable day in the mountains . Apologies for todays worse than usual photos , diddnt realise the relection was so bad untill i got back to the hotel ! First nine fish are all nisai from Shinoda and female except second doitsu sanke .Kujaku , shiro and shusui all from kawakami around 45-53cm and female . Showa , gin rin showa and gin rin goshiki from hiroi , 45-50cm and all female . Last but not least , the yonsai Asagi from Masaki , not purchased yet , but call me if intereasted .