31

Jan 2011

Category: February 2011

This now being the third day in Japan , im getting real twitchy to bowl some koi , so i was getting a bit worried about the news that alot of breeders cannot be visited yet due to the excessive snow . Last night our agent was ringing like mad as surprisingly alot of breeders have been caught out about how many dealers there are in Niigata and have not cleared the snow from thier premises. ( This might seem strange , but remember how much can fall in a day , and if no one is going round Niigata whats the point of doing it every hour/day ) We arrived at our first appointment and i couldnt be any happier as it was at Maruhiro , this is the guy who i usually refer to as going to the mad hatters tea party .This is no offense , its just the guy is always laughing , has boundless amounts of energy , and is just great fun to visit .I always enjoy going here and today wasnt going to be any differant . Visiting Japan many time over the last few years , i have noticed that the dutch dealers seem to go round together and pool thier buying rsources , normally in the autumn i have customers so it wouldnt really work for me , this time not needing many koi and bearing in mind you only need to visit breeders once i thought it might be time to give it a try . A few weeks ago i called the agent and sugested it , and he laughed and said at last , you listen to me ! So enter Freeso and his customer Robert . Within 5 minutes of bowling koi i could see that we would work well together and soon while there were many larger two year ready for pricing .We started on the better quality koi as thier were many very nice ochiba and gin rin ochiba , and as i had sold all of mine from the previous trip this where i started . Working with my new Dutch friend i couldnt believe how the quantity we were buying affected the price , and we soon had quite a few boxes of better quality koi . The ochiba /gin rin ochiba were all 45-50cm , and all female except one . Being all individual prices it will take some time to get the prices on the website so please bear with me. Sorry about the photos , but i had left the flash gun in the car and although some snow had been cleared it was still a mission getting in and out of the breeders fish house . A quick look through some smaller nisai of equal quality and , some options to think over on some much higher grade nisai , and a handshake on a deal to be finalised later during the week it was time for lunch.

31

Jan 2011

Category: February 2011

After lunch we visited the tosai house of Marudo , we were invited into his tatgoi house and was amazed at the quality of his go sanke , and the size , these were already 30-40cm and with another 3 mths in heated water and heavy feeding before they return to the mudpond . We then went round to the main fish houses and he offered us some smaller (18-22) very nice tosai showa , so between us we took them all as at the moment getting to sekiguci is proving to be very difficult due to the snow ! The photo is just some of the koi that will be arriving . Finally after getting some tosai ( one of the main reasons for the trip ) i felt that i was having a good day and i had controlled my self quite well and not bought anything too big or expensive , that was about to change . Fresso expressed an intereast in buying a nice shiro utsuri for his own pond so Marudo took us to a pond of yonsai shiro utsuri . The shiros were excellant quality , a koi of superb grade was bough by Fresso and i couldnt contain myself , within seconds i had what i thought was the next best koi in a bowl , she was fantastic , a great body , nice skin and high quality sumi . Only one hurdle , i thought this was going to be the most expensive koi i have ever bought , at 70cm , female and from Omosaku bloodline , this was not going to a be a cheap koi ! The price was not too bad at all , but way over budget for me , but i was prepered to move as i wanted this koi , the breeder explaned that she was good to go through 80 cm and came back with a slightly better price and that was it , sold to the large bloke with an angry wife ..............lol .For a short video of the shiro go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h9wa8qzHnU

30

Jan 2011

Category: February 2011

Thought id mention some of the winners of best in size . Best 15cm , a cracking lttle tancho showa . Best 55cm , a flowery patterned kohaku . 25CM was given to this superb little sanke , this fish grew and grew on me everytime i looked at it . Maruten kohaku best in 50cm .60 cm was another kohaku of outstanding quality , i really loved this koi . Best 85cm , this kohaku was again of a superb level , skin fantastic , and increably good kiwa and sashi , would hope hope for even better things for this koi in the future. One koi i forgot to metion , this outstanding kohaku took superior champion ( male )80cm , absolutley incredablle fish , the fact that it is a male adds another dimension to the male and female argument , one im certainly not getting into here ! A great day at an event that is a must for all hobbyists ,and was nicely finished off by a very intereasting conversation wiith whom i think will very soon ( if not already )become one of the leading hobbyists in the uk . It was a very refreshing conversation about the koi industry and how supportive he is off it , kind of made the day for me as im tired of the bashing that the koi industry seems to be taking , i wish him all the best for the future as he is aiming very high in his hobby . Then it was time for the trian journey to Ojiya city in Niigata , to the hotel which is to be my home for the next six days . On arrival i was shocked to see the hieght of the snow , 12 feet in the town , and ive been told its higher in the mountains , this could be very intereasting .........................

30

Jan 2011

Category: February 2011

These next photos show the sort of koi that were over looked in the major awards but would still be considered very very serious koi .The three step kohaku was of incredable quality , im not sure that it diddnt win anything if im honest its easy to forget as there are so many koi in the show . The skin was as white as can be ! Next photo is of what we would call size one and two , nice smaller fish but still of very good quality . " Saw this and thought of you " , 3 kujaku i thought steve the cabbie might appriciate , at the moment i am going through a bit of a thing with kujaku and spent spome time watching these little beautys ! My next picture does not do the Doitsu Goshiki any favours at all , a stunning example of a very difficult breed to find . The last two photographs are of a snake and kohaku over 80cm that didnt get a mention in the honours list , just shows how serious things are at this level !

30

Jan 2011

Category: February 2011

Arrived yesterday in Tokyo early afternoon , but by the time we were booked into the hotel everyone was so tired it was decieded to go to the show early Sunday morning . The breeders banquet on Saturday night sounded very attractive , an eat and drink as much as you like affair for a set fee , but not so good for somone on a diet who is trying not to drink too much ! So a night in the hotel room with an egg sandwich and bottle of water led to me falling asleep at 7pm with the usual jet lag problems of waking every hour on the hour ! In the morning we set off to the show full of excietment for a day of looking at what could be desribed as the best koi in the world , it wasnt to dissapoint .Sakai Hiroshima was once again crowned grand champion with an impressive 95cm kohaku , runner up was the Nogami four step kohaku , superior champion went to what i personally think is one of the best showas i have seen for a long time !