28

Jan 2016

Category: January 2016

With so much work to do , and as we finished very late last night , we started a an hour later . So by the time we got to Hasegawa I was around 10am . This breeder is very famous for his kohaku , and there was plenty there to choose from , but what was left now was seriously expenisve , his nisai tategoi , so quickly withdrew the net from the water , the only other pond of nisai he had were sold out , shame but that’s the way it goes ! While we were there , I checked on some kohkau that diddnt get shipped back in October , they were looking fine , so at least I do have half a dozen of his koi ! From here it was a quick drive through the back roads to Marudo koi farm . Today Marudo was away to Tokyo to prepare the show , we were left in the capable hands of his daughter . She did a lot of the pricing and things seemed very fair , so we started bowling up . Ive been asked for some smaller nisai , its seems to get harder with go sanke , as most breeders want their nisai bigger , so it was a nice surprise when we were shown some smaller go sanke . Soon had 10 nice sanke and one showa in a bowl , 30-40cm .Although not high grade , they were certainly nice enough and great value for money , nice place to start for someone who wants a Marudo koi farm koi . Next pond was higher quality nisai , and once again the price wasn’t too bad , especially for one of Niigatas bigger and more famous farms . Within minutes I had a bowl of sanke , three females and one male all around 50-55cm and of very nice quality . After this we had a look at some even more expensive nisai , soon had a bowl with a female sanke , female kohaku and what we all thought ( bar one ) a male kohaku , a little “ debate “ started , and to settle the argument the older son arrived and declared it was defintley female , from being interested , I went to super interested in about a millisecond ! But obviously these were not cheap fish , so ive reserved them until tomorrow night , sorry but I wont post these , as it would be fair to their next owners if I pass them by , but if I find no other kohaku tomorrow , they will be mine ! All pictures taken , we started to pack up and I noticed a very nice doitsu karashigoi . Since the videos of the breeder down south who breeds them keep getting posted , im often asked for them . Believe me Marudo ones will grow , and ive seen them up to 80cm and beyond here . I asked the price and she said expensive in Japanese ( one word you learn very quickly here ) , but we have some smaller ones in the other fish house , so over we went ! As soon as we in there , I bowled up a 78cm chagoi , only yonsai ( four year old ) , purchased this and an absolutey stunning doisu karashigoi , four year and 71cm .Very pleased with this , we were then offered some smaller chagoi , karashigoi and gin rin versions , and yamabuki 35-45cm , we were going to pick some , when someone declared their interest in lunch , it was already gone 1.30 , no one including myself could be bothered to start again , sounds lazy but sometimes you just get to the point where you just have to put the net down for a while . The daughter promised to pick us some nice ones , so we will leave it to her , and im gratefull as chasing chagois round a 8000 gallon pond isn’t my idea of fun especially at lunchtime . If any one in the trade want some of these please let me know asap and we can go back and pick some , or add some to our orders . After lunch , we went up to Mushigame and was struggling to find breeders around that hadn’t already gone to the show . The younger brother was at Yagenji farm , so we popped in for coffee , and checked on 8 sansai we had bought after the shipment was closed , They were fantastic , and one male doitsu sanke is already sold , and I know the owner will be very happy when he sees it ! The other 7 are on my website , but are way better than the pics and videos show ! While we were there , a few fish were still available , so we had a nose around to see if there was anything worth bowling . A very quirky kindai showa caught my attention , yeah it was ok I thought , them I looked again its nice I thought , two more looks and it was right we need to get this in a bowl .Once in a bowl she was superb , 62cm and still had that youthful look you want in a yonsai koi . I didnt want to ask the price , but mustered up the courage , it wasn’t cheap , not by any standards , but for what was swimming in front of me in a bowl , I couldn’t say no . Discussions took place about the best option , and it has been decieded to leave her in Japan for a year , if purchased you have the choice to leave her , or ship in the next week or two . This is a seriously nice showa , I think my favourite of the trip , between that and 5 kohaku lol . Time was moving on so we popped into Hirasawa , to see what he had , and although he wasn’t there , we had a little nose around and have made an appointment to come back tomorrow . By now it was 4pm and starting to rain and get dark , so we called it a day and headed back to the hotel .

Pics in order , first ten are marudo nisai 35-40cm , next
four are better quality 50-55cm , first three are female , one male .78CM chagoi , 71cm doitsu karashigoi both from Marudo .Last pic 62cm kindai showa from Yagenji

27

Jan 2016

Category: January 2016

After crashing out twice for a grand total of 7 hours , I really did feel like taking on the world when I awoke this morning , which was just as well if I had known what was coming through out the day ! First appointment of the day was at an old favourite of ours , Yamazaki koi farm . On the way to the breeder , we were chatting away about how many fish were around , especially the nicer quality , some breeders sold out already , some with not so many left and although we had done very well this week , I did wonder how many more koi we would find ! Well , when we arrived at Yamazaki and the air was turned off , I knew we wouldnt get out of the place without spending a whole days budget ! Im serious , there were koi of every size and every quality and so many varietys it made your head spin . I started looking in a pond of sansai , asked the price and it was very fair , and ended up buying more boxes than I intended buying koi . All sansai , and the breeder sexed the koi for us as well , varietys included kohaku , hariwake , yamabuki ogons , goshiki ,goromo , hi utsuri , gin rin hi utsuri , kikisui and yamatonishiki , and that’s just what we bought ! After I had finished with the sansai , remarks were made about all the nisai tanchos swimming around with the sansai , I had just assumed they were in there because they were sold , nope , in correct , so back in with a net for another hour getting bowls of nisai out of a 30 ft long pond ! Ended up with nine very nice tancho , tancho showa , tancho sanke and even a very nice doitsu tancho sanke ! Next pond had some very serious koi in , I bowled a stunning asagi , 60cm and perfect or so I though , till I noticed a couple of small shimmies around the mouth , shame as it was of the same level as the one we bought from Yamaju in the Autumn , although tiny shimmies , I was worried that if had these in Japan how much future would the koi have in some UK waters , so back she went . A few more were bowled , but most others were a lot of money so we passed , except a friend of mine who bought an outstanding Tancho goshiki , I think ill see this at a koi show in Japan soon , it was a very serious koi , and one that will bring its new owner much pleasure . Any way , back to reality , next pond was some very nice nisai , amoungst the best ive seen at the farm . I soon had a box of serious nice nisai , doitsu sanke , aka matsuba , goromo , asagi , tancho goshiki and a stunning gin matsuba , seriously high level and suitable for koi shows ! I also got a box of gin rin platinum ogons around 35-40cm , seriously clean but as were chatting they were taken away to the nets before we had a chance to video or take pics , sorry about that , ill do it asap when the koi are in the uk . We then visited various koi houses looking at the tosai , and the breeder agreed to make up various boxes for me , and select at a higher quality ( and obviously price ) , some people don’t like doing this , may be they have had bad experience in the past , but the breeders I use , I trust to do this every year for me , and they don’t disappoint , Yamazaki tosai I think more or less sold out within a month of it coming out of quarantine and into the shop , I think that says it all ! Yamazaki joined us for lunch , and I finally got to taste the fried liver Rob had promised me all week , and oh my word , was it worth waiting for , no more curried rice in that particular establishment . Next breeder was to be Koda , usually as some very nice smaller nisai 30-40cm , but this time not many except goshiki , oh well I thought , think it would be rude to leave them for someone else , and soon had 22 goshiki and gin rin goshiki bowled and videoed . We looked in the sansai pond , there were some stunning kujaku , but time was running out and we passed and moved onto Isa . As most of you know , this is a serious koi farm , and the staff here are all very professional , but down to earth and like a laugh , as an incident with Robs car took place that I just couldn’t mention on here lol ! Any way , the fish were fantastic , and the whole pond of tosai were purchased , I think ill be having some of these , and also getting the breeder to pick me out some at a higher level as well . As the light was fading we needed to get back to Maruhiro as we had some fish there reserved for us , and he was due along with many other breeders to leave for Tokyo to help prepare the show there so needed to get back there asap . On arrival we were met with a little disappointment , the breeder said he would try and bring some 30-40cm kohaku in from his other facility , he apologised and said he had none yet available , so what do you do when you cant find small kohaku ? Yes you know , you buy bigger ones to cheer yourself up lol . So into the main pond we went , a few went into a bowl , and then a few out , then I really started seeing some koi I was seriously interested in , Hinori san must have sensed this as the bowl was lifted out of the pond with the koi on to the floor , for better viewing ,( which is no mean feat with a one metre bowl full of water and koi ) More koi went in , more koi went out , this breeder just gets better and better , and I was getting stressed now , as there were just two many koi I wanted , so we settled on five , one showa , and the rest kohaku . They will all stay in Japan this summer , unless some one wants them shipped , I mentioned earlier that we trust the breeders we work closely with , discussing the merits of each koi on the way home , it was decieded by all that the best koi by a mile , was the one the breeder recommended , when it was discussed what I was looking for , with one particular client in mind , he went back in the pond and caught it straight away, none of our group had even seen it ! Hinori asked us to join him for dinner , thinking of what I had just spent , I thought yeah why not , ive earnt it , and nowadays he can definatly afford it ! A nice end to a beautifull day. Pics in order , first 15 are sansai from Yamazaki , details on the web latter, next nine are nisai ,nxt 6 are koda nisai goshiki . THere are two aka matsuba available , lost the pic of the other one , next two are tancho mix from yamazaki , last five are of the koi we have pucahsed as at Mauhriro , to be left in Japan for the summer . Sizes are from 55-73cm . All details will be added onto the website in the next 24 hours

26

Jan 2016

Category: January 2016

After a restless nights sleep , about three hours in all , I awoke with a massive headache , and it just got worse throughout the day , then I started to become quite ill , and really struggled through out the day to even net koi . Dunno what the hell was wrong , but by the time I got back to the hotel I was in quite a state , took some tablets . laid down and crashed out all evening until gone ten .Now writing this a few hours later than would normally be done , but feeling much better  so many apologies ! On the good side , at least ive got a genuine excuse for any poor photography today lol ! Todays trip started out to an old favourite of ours , Kase koi farm , I really do like this fella , he is always genuine and cant do enough to help . Also he has a helper , who is equally as helpful , and speaks a little  English , which is a little frustrating when your trying to learn Japanese ! So im asking questions in Japanese , and he replys in English . Any way , back to the fish , its no secret that we are now suppling to the trade , and was asked by many to get some metalics here for them , so was a little disappointed when the ponds were full of sold koi , so being a half glass full kind of guy , I asked if he had any more nisai , (trying to stay positive ) , we were taken to the sansai house , thinking my Japanese wasn’t as good as it was ( and Rob was talking to the breeder ) the helper took  us across and there was a couple of ponds full of nisai , and guess what , goshiki ! Thank you I thought and wihin minutes had a nice bowl of goshiki 30-35cm  photographed and videoed ………….nice ! Next was a pond of showa , Kase breeds from a line of Sekiguchi and Dianichi , a fairly good pedigree im sure you would agree ! I bought some of these in the winter , and thought they were fairly expensive , but very nice , today they were a better price so picked another 7 , nice again ! Had a look in the main pond , and found an unusual doitsu showa , sansai , female and around 50cm , pricey I thought , the beni pattern was very nice , but not much sumi , so I hoped the price might reflect this , it was bowled and it did , needed a few more koi to make the box up , and noticed  last nisai pond was full of what looked like kumonryu , until I turned off the air , then realised that it was doitsu shiro utsuri , found four I liked and again was very happy . Nisai and around 30-35cm ! Now im feeling better , looking back I wish I had bought more ! After here a quick trip over the mountain found as at Aoki , he had some very nice priced nisai , but after falling over on my way into the breeders fish house on his steps , I relalised I was seriously going down with a bug of some kind , I let Rob pick a couple of boxes while I had some time out with my old mate bottled water and looked at the sansai goshiki , there was some amazing exmples , but although the prices were fair , just a little too much for the UK Market , so I decieded to pass , but may return later during the week , for another try . After a brief stop at Mc donalds , it was off to see Hosakai , another one of my favourite breeders , we selected two boxes of his better quality nisai , first one aigoromos , goshiki and a few showa , next box was even better , more or less the same varietys except a very nice tancho showa . Saw for the first time one of my customers shiro utsuri,  purchased at 51cm last April , now at 65cm , it looked huge , someone is going to be a very happy customer when it gets shipped in February ! Looking at it swimming around , I decieded I had to leave another , very nice female , 46cm , but a little thin , breeder explained that it hadn’t been fed since the harvest , so I decided to take her and leave her for one summer . On the way back to the other side of Ojiya , we decieded to visit Torazo , bowled up a huge nisai kohaku , 55cm and a body to die for , not a bad price , till he checked the fish and it was declared male , was still very tempted , as we have clients for such good quality males , but it had an issue with the sashi in one place , so deceided to leave it and moved on to the tosai house . Here he had some stunning tosai , unfortunately , these were not for sale yet . We then ventured up to Mushigame , roads were treacherous , but at least it wasn’t snowing , popped into Sakai , he was busy with a client so we had a drink and chat with the father , and hope to pop back during the week . Last stop of the day at Kaneco , he has some very nice tancho showa , nisai and sansai , but by now I was so ill , it was as much as I could do to stay on my feet , I like the fish but really wasn’t feeling well enough to start buying from his main pond , but again some nice fish , and I might venture back later now im feeling better . A great day all in all ,but when your feeling ill , its very hard to concentrate , and Im sure if I was feeling better , id have bought more ! Still ,i feel  a little recovered now , so hopefully tomorrow will be  even better ! Pics are as follows ..............10 nisai goshiki from Kase 30-35cm , 7 nisai showa 35-45cm , four doitsu shiros around 30cm and nisai , 50cm female doitsu sansai showa . 11 nisai from Hosakai 35-45cm . stoill waiting for a picture of th Azukari shiro utsuri , will post that tomorrow

25

Jan 2016

Category: January 2016

After a good nights sleep ,( when i say a good night i mean four hours straight through is good by my standards on my first night  in Japan ) we set off to visit Hoshikin koi farm , famous for his kohkau , and more recently showa as well . We purchased some over the winter , and were very pleased with them , so wanted more for our customers who like his fish . On arrival at the farm , the quality was absolutely stunning , plenty of great kohaku and showa to choose from , the higher grade pond had some serious koi in , and was pleasently surprised when some of them were in our price range . A 50cm female nisai was selected , amazing skin quality , and very suitable for showing . This was purchased along with two showa that i just couldnt leave behind .After purchasing at Hoshikin i was feeling a little brave so decieded to visit Isa , a little disapointed as when we arrived he had more or less sold out of nisai , a conversation was held about purchasing some tosai instead , and once again i was suprisd that there were koi here that were affordable .We were shown a pond of tosai , that had very nice quality , but couldnt select , and to be honest , i diddnt care as saw very few in there that i wouldnt want in a box of koi shipped to me in the UK . So we will buy some of these koi , but again asked about some even higher quality , and was taken to another pond , these were even better , sencing an oppertunity i asked if the whole pond could be purchased , no chance , as usual at this time of year , the pond still contained tategoi had to be selected through .But he did offer to hand select some out of this pond , and a price was agreed , so this year we will have plenty of Isa tosai , at an affordable price . ( Affordable by Isa standards any way lol ! ) Two grades that should be able to supply most showa fans , and even at this time of year , they are already 20-25cm . Next to visit was Kawakami , this breeder has very impressive koi nowadys even to all Japan standaards , especially his goshiki and shiro utsuri . This time he diddnt have that many goshiki for sale that were of the standard we are looking for , but still managed to find some shiros . As we were driving Rob planted the seed of a hot meal in my head , normally we just get a sandwhich form the 7-11 , but it was so cold the idea of a hot meal sat quite well with me , especially when he spent the next five minutes driving to the resteraunt  describing his favourite dish the serve the, fried liver , now i was really looking forward to it , as he finished his description we pulled into the resteaunt to find it closed , oh its Monday i forgot the are closed , talk about anti climex , oh well onto the next place for curry and rice  which was handy as we bumped into the owner of Marusei koi farm , so agreed to vist there after lunch. I am never failed to be impressed here , there are so many varietys at all kinds of level of quality , and prices are very fair , so its never hard to buy koi here . We spent the next two or three hours bowling mainly sansai , sanke, kujaku and aka matsuba  . I think the lack of sleep finally caught up with me and i have totally lost count of what we purcahsed there , all i can say is the pictures are once again the pics are not as good as the koi . After buying from these ponds , we were taken to another where they were  littlle bigger , around 55-61cm , once again the pics diddnt do the fish much justice , and to be honest yoshiuke was in a good mood , and giving great prices so i diddnt want to spend too much time taking pics , so got videos as well . So many koi were bowled and purchased , it was late in the afternoon , so we decieded to drop into Miyatora , there were koi available , but everything i liked was sanke , and after going mad at Marusei , last thing i needed was more sanke  , so we moved onto the tosai house , and was given some intereasting options to think about .It was then time to return to the hotel after a very productive day . Sorry about the pictures , please take time  to look at the videos .First three pics are the Hoshikin showa and kohaku , nisai and 50-55cm . The second and third are female, but be sure abouthe first one . The next ten koi are all sansai 45-50cm plus , very good value for money . Next six are also sansai from Marusei . Last six are larger sansai from Marusei .

24

Jan 2016

Category: January 2016

Ill forgo the usual explanation of travel across Japan , and what seems compulsary pics of planes and the bullet train , with exception of a mntion of the snow , its been a mild winter by Niigata standards , that is untill i arrive , seems theyve had more in the last 24 hours than they have had all winter !!!!!!!!!

After being picked up at the train station we went straight to Maruhiro koi farm , it was good to be back after missing the Autumn trip due to my leg injurys , the breeder as ever had a smile oh his face as we met , which turned to a frown when he saw me take two crutches out of the car and hobble across the snow . After explaining its just to take the weight of my new knee injury we had the compulsary 3 cups of coffee , and then it was time to start some bowling . Have i ever told you how much i love this place ?? Well i guess i may have mentioned it a couple of times before , well once again the breeder diddnt disapoint again , selected some nice nisai , andthen went into the better quality ponds and wihin a short time i had more koi than i needed , so selected out the ones that wernt required and returned them to the ponds. Then i had startedbowling some very nice nisa and sansai . Ended up buying some very nice showa , and three sansai kohaku , and one yonsai i have reserved , apart from the last one , all other koi were purchased .So a quick afternoon and around 35 koi purchased already , signs are good that this trip will be up to our usual standards ! Pics are mainly nisai , except last three kohakus which are three sansai and one yonsai