Once again , i had pretty much a fair nights sleep . 4-6 hours is not too bad at all , as those who have been to Japan will tell you . So i got dressed and went down for breakfast and saw the group of Belgium dealers a i see every year . They looked like they were dressed for the arctic , so i joked about how tough we are in England , one of them pilled back the net curtain , and to my horror it was snowing , when i mean snowing , not the hour we get , thats melted about an hour later . I mean it was really falling , and i couldnt even see the buildings opposite the hotel . The snow , although managed well in Japan , brings its own set of problems . The car has to be clear of snow , to drive with snow on the roof is illegal , as when you break it could totally block your windscreen , the journeys everywhere are much longer , as everyone drives slower ,and there are snow ploughs every corner  , and some roads are closed until April time . 20 minute  journeys can become up to an hour . Still , mustnt grumble , onwards and upwards , so i grabbed my bag and we headed off to Kase . Most who follow the blog , will know this breeder is a big favourite of mine . He is known for his doitsu and metalics , and of late shiro utsuri and showa . On arrival i went to the nisai house  , and it was full of stunning tosai , i thought , hello were in here . My thoughts were interupted by Kase coming round the corner , and shouting " Gary san , tategoi !!! " ,   and shaking his head , i knew there was no going in there with a net lol ! So round to the next fish  house , and we looked through the nisai he had in there , along with the older koi . It was the first time i really coudnt pick a fish to bowl up , there where some nice koi there , but nothing that i needed , or hadnt bought better quality in the Autumn . We were then taken  round the tosai , one pond interested me , a whole pond of stunning metalics , everything you could think off . I was interested in buying the whole pond , but he wasnt moving much on the price to do so  . This doesnt mean the breeder is being greedy , or uncooperative , he knows the value of his fish , and they will be gone one way or the other by March , so he doesnt have to worry about someone coming in and taking the all at a lower price . So ill see how i get on this week , and i may just order some anyway . We shook hands and said our good byes and left to go to Ozumi koi farm , i had hoped for goshiki at Kase , so was  banking on Ozumi having a few , especially as rumours of aoki selling out of nisai . 

This morning , we were to have a late start , as its Sunday . So i walked down stairs for breakfast , saw the hotel owner , nailed my Japanese greetings , and asked him how he was , and he shook me warmly by the hand . A real nice guy , and runs a great hotel. I went in for  breakfast , which i know some  of you are worried about in Japan , no need , theres always something for everyone  Today was poached egg , meatballs , salad , fruit and bean shoots . Also tried something new ( which i try to do every time i am here ) , it was vegetable mixed in with tuna and had a bit of kick to it ! Half way through the meal , the hotel owner entered and presented me with a bag of Japanese cakes , perhaps my Japanese wasnt , is not so hard on his ears nowadays lol ! When i got back to my room , i had an email , from the South of Japan , with some very nice offers , which i am now mulling over as i write this . The first offer i couldnt refuse ,were some nisai Ueno showa , all female , with certificates and 50-55cm . I agreed to take three , and these are below . With time already marching on , i think ill be taking more of these offers from the South , as i dont think i will have time to go down there at the end of the week . 

A few stops on the monorail , same on a local train , and i was soon at Tokyo station to catch the bullet train to Nagaoka , in Niigata . I arrived at 2.30 , so there was time for a quick visit to Maruhiro , before checking in at the hotel . The usual tradition of coffee ,  rice biscuits ,  quick catch up , a little abuse and a lot of laughs , we were then ready to go out to the fish house . When i did , i was amazed at the stocking level , he was full to the brim ! A lot of people are asking me for female koi , with not such a high budget , i explained this to Hinori San , he took me to a pond , i asked the price and was given the Japanese word for various , with him holding one hand really low ,

As usual , i flew into Tokyo Haneda airport . This is great , as its close the the Ryutsu centre , where the show takes place . So within 30 minutes of landing , i was walking into the show .

Its 7am , and im at the airport nice and early . In the next 24 hours i have to make an important choices about my time in Japan . I had planned to go down the south , but with shop starting to get very busy , and the work load all burdened on poor old Sue , im thinking of my options .This choice is being made easier by the pictures im being sent , from my agent down in the South . Tosai , can be hit and miss at the best of times , and the South with all the travelling , doesnt make it any easier . Our agent down these has already made us lots of offers , and with a saving of £700 on trains and hotels , may be trusting him to select some koi for us is an option . Its still early for gettig high grade tosai , with lots of breeders still to make their final selections of tategoi , i may go back to the south in March , if our agent can find us enough koi this week and next .