Today we were in for a treat. An awesome 6* treat !
Our first appointment of the day was Hoshikin Koi Farm. Hoshikin as I’m sure you all know specialise in Kohaku, they also breed some excellent Showas. Hoshikin are forever winning Kokugyo awards at All Japan Koi Shows, so many top class Koi that are highly recognisable from magazines, shows posters etc.
On the agenda from Hoshikin was high quality jumbo Tosai Kohaku and also a number of Tancho Kohaku.
Hoshikin always has an abundance of Tancho Kohaku, the numbers of Kohaku bred to achieve these numbers of Tanchos is quite impressive. Katsuyuki-san allowed us to select through a pond of a few hundred Tanchos. Up in the net, it was all a blur! Spot after spot, after spot, and another spot. We couldn’t stop and selected around 80 Tancho Kohaku’s. All beautifully white, good bodies, nice round central spots. We’re tempted to have a Tancho ONLY pond with these. Imagine the sight.
Here is a handful of the Tanchos selected.
Off to an eye-popping start we eyed up some of his Kohaku/Showa jumbo tosai ponds. Katsuyuki warned us his Tategoi were in these ponds, he didn’t have to say, but we knew what he was getting at!
The Sacho (boss) Katsuyuki-san with the assistance of Tomoya-san seine netted the first pond we were to select from. Grabbing the net we selected out dozens of Kohaku. We were really spoilt for choice in this pond and we could have easily bought a load more than we did. Seeing what we had bowled up, the quality was un real. Katsuyuki proceeded to sex the koi and place Koi in different bowls depending on sex. He also set up a bowl for his Tategoi that we managed to pick out. There are always good and bad points when you select out his Tategoi, the price you pay will always be a Nisai maybe even Sansai price but at least you know you’re picking the best fish out the pond! Charging say a Nisai or Sansai price is perfectly understandable as the breeder would usually keep the koi for the future and charge X amount for it anyway.
We selected around 30 koi from two ponds, mainly females with a handful of males. We discussed particular koi at length, learning about the Oyagoi (Parent koi) of the different styles of koi. Over the years Hoshikin has created his own bloodline originating from the old Tomoin lineage, and in recent years from the Sensuke lineage. Coupling the typical brilliant Shiroji (white) and the blood red Beni of both bloodlines, today’s Hoshikin Kohaku are some of the finest around.
Making our final selections, Katsuyuki-san priced up each of the koi and again splitting the koi up into the different price brackets. It was seriously hard to put back any of the koi, we hadn’t planned on selecting so many! “Zenbu?” we asked Katsuyki-san. He then made a price for all of the koi. Oops, there goes the plan.
16 Jumbo Tosai from one of the best Kohaku breeders in the world. All around 35cm, the ones destined for the show slightly smaller.
Among the koi selected we did indeed purchase one of the Tategoi initially selected. This koi will stay in Japan as Azukari for the year. Come Autumn we’ll have our previously bought Nisai to harvest, and now this Tosai. Exciting times. Along with 1 Azukari Koi, we bought 3 koi which will be entered into the International Junior Koi Show in April. Last year we had huge success, hopefully this year we can get close to what we achieved last year.
See more: international-junior-koi-show-success
Here are the photos of the koi selected, the first being the azukari koi. The other 3 individually photographed koi will go to the show. All koi except the Azukari Kohaku will be coming back to the U.K. late April (After the show).
Azukari Kohaku Tosai Female 33cm
International Junior Koi Show entry Kohaku Tosai Male 31cm
International Junior Koi Show entry Kohaku Tosai Male 31cm
International Junior Koi Show entry Kohaku Tosai Sex-Unknown 24cm
Just before leaving the Tosai House we also selected through one of the smaller Tosai ponds. Here we selected 55 Koi, these are all great little growing on projects. Below is one of the bowls selected.
Moving on from the Tosai, we went to view the Nisai Koi house. A number of outstanding koi here. On the theme of parent koi Katsuyuki bowled a 70cm (ish) Kohaku. This Kohaku he is hoping to use as Oyagoi in the future, possibly next year. The Shiroji on the Koi is like nothing you’ve seen before. The Beni also was out of this world. The contrast between the colours, coupled with the awesome body shape. This koi still has years ahead of it. Possibly we’ll see her again at the Jumbo koi harvest next Autumn. You could easily see why he would want this type of DNA passed down to the offspring.
Looking through one of the Nisai ponds for sale we spotted a sublime Showa. An eye grabbing pattern, it was easily identifiable in the murky water of the pond. Duly netted and bowled, the skin, colour, body shape all really good quality. It really had the whole package. A rather nice Male Showa to add to the purchases! Seriously good for koi shows with a little time for the Beni to tighten in a small area and a touch more body. Beautiful.
Of course there were Kohaku to choose from too. 4 very good Kohaku made it into the bowl, with Hoshikins typical vibrant Beni and snow white. Extremely good quality koi for the money, all female, Nisai and between 48cm and 55cm. Knowing how Hoshikin’s koi develop in our UK water, these all have very good futures back home.
Breaking a sweat from the hot koi house, we stepped outside into the fresh cool air. A crazy morning seeing un-real quality Koi with the great company of Katsuyuki and Tomoya. Waving goodbye we walked across the road to Dainichi, quite literally.
Two of Japan’s best breeders located literally 5 meters away from each other. Koi house on the left is one of Dainichi’s many koi houses, to the right one of Hoshikin’s smaller Koi houses.
On the agenda for Dainichi was more higher quality Jumbo Tosai Go Sanke. Who knew what Shigeru had lined up for us, but we were soon to find out. We quickly ran across to one of the koi houses that contained larger koi. Here we have a Showa, Yonsai now, and around the 75cm mark. Looking in lovely condition, we can’t wait to bring her home in a few months time. She’s certainly going to sail through 80cm in no time.
Back to the Tosai koi houses Shigeru showed us the ponds he had prepared for us to select from. One male pond, and one Female pond. It was more red and white for us at Dainichi, with a sprinkle of black on a few of the koi selected. 7 really high class Kohaku and Showa, female and of serious quality. These ranged from 31cm to 36cm and you can see the powerhouse Dainichi body ready to be unleashed ! Oyagoi descendants of “Kagura”, the rich glossy beni seen here is easy to be seen.
Moving on from the Female Tosai, we also selected through a pond of very good male koi. Again mostly Kohaku with the odd Showa. These are great little prospects, that will pack on the weight once back in the UK. Very reasonable prices for Dainichi koi we were over the moon with the koi selected. Shigeru and his staff were of great help and it’s always an interesting insight to the history of their koi.
Below are the koi selected. Individual photos of the female Kohaku and Showa, the bowl photographs are the male koi selected.
To finish off the day we headed over to Izumiya Koi Farm to meet with Mano-san to select more of his world renowned Yamabuki Ogon. Back in Autumn we selected 3 from here and we thought we ought to purchase 3 more. All female again and all beautifully clean with strong powerful bodies. Up to 60cm as Nisai !! Huge. The last few years Mano-san has really improved the growth potential of his Yamabuki’s, in an adjacent pond he showed us a Yonsai Yamabuki in excess of 80cm. The colour was insane, while taking a video with my iPhone the camera on it couldn’t handle the change in vibrant colour as it was netted from the murky waters. Unbelievable sight. Izumiya Yamabuki’s typically darken and become a more vibrant gold colour as they age.
Koi selected below.
Video of 80cm+ Yonsai Yamabuki.
An eventful day that saw us select exciting Tosai from Hoshikin and Dainichi, then selecting Yamabuki Ogons with Mano-san.
Just when we thought our day couldn’t get any better we spent an evening of food, beer, karaoke, and everything in between with Katsuyuki and Tomoya of Hoshikin Koi Farm. Also there, was Naoto Kobayashi of Marusen/Kobayashi Koi Farm who had driven up from the Koide region so we could all have a night out together.
Crying with laughter at many times during the night, it was the perfect end to a cracking day.
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