Waking up to a miserable wet day in Okayama, there is news that another Typhoon is on its way. Not expected to be as bad as Typhoon Lan last week but any tropical storm is bad news for obvious reasons!
Making our way to Omosako we knew it may have been a bit hit and miss given that they are still early on in their harvest schedule. Not a great deal to report from here unfortunately. Apart from larger Sansai/Yonsai Shiro Utsuri there wasn’t a great deal to select from. Omosako is of course famous for his Shiro Utsuri, very well respected for his Koi and no one else really does it better, especially Shiro in large sizes. Being such a specialist there aren’t koi in great numbers, narrow that down to the good Koi then it can be slim pickings.
Leaving the grey and wet Omosako we hit the road. Next stop Taniguchi. Excitement building as we get on the Tosai koi hunt.
Arriving at Taniguchi we were greeted by dark intimidating clouds on the hillside. Very humid and wet it felt tropical. Grey overcast days can often make selecting Koi a little bit easier, given there is less glare/reflection on the ponds surface. Also it helps when photographing/videoing Koi.. Taniguchi recently finished his new fish house, a short walk from his house he has built large extensive ponds for growing Koi. A very impressive set up with many beautiful Koi. Taniguchi hopes now he can keep more fish year on year and will have more Nisai available for Autumn selections. Up until now he sells the majority of his Tosai and only keeps around 50 Nisai per year.
Taniguchi has a knack for producing top quality Kohaku, Sanke and Gin Rin Kohaku. The farm is quite unique reason being is that he makes his Tosai available in Autumn, which allows you to select through thousands of koi and pay reasonable prices. Keep the Koi at Taniguchi over winter then come spring you’ll have a Jumbo Tosai. At this point they can be sexed. If Male they should be shipped, if Female you have the option of leaving them as Azukari for the summer. Come the following Autumn you then have a Female Nisai. Of course there is an element of risk be it Tosai of only 5 months old however the risk is outweighed by the benefits and fun involved in it.
Selecting through the various nets full of a Tosai we selected 22 in total. A mixture of Kohaku, Sanke and Gin Rin Kohaku all with good shapes and patterns. Agreeing to leave them till Spring, a deal was done.
Really pleased with these little gems. In the perfect world in Spring they’re all female.
Yes. Pigs can fly! These Koi won’t be for sale just yet, more information to follow.
More photos of Taniguchi Koi Farm and the scenery below.
Leaving Taniguchi we popped across the road to Oishi, literally a stones throw away we had a quick look around and enquired on a handful of Koi just to gauge the price vs quality. Running short on time we couldn’t hang around for too long. While we were there I pointed out a Kohaku, Oishi laughed and looked behind him to another customer that was there. Turns out he also wanted it and was first in line. Oishi placed the koi into a vat, silence followed. Yonsai of around 75cm, it was simply perfect. We were all awestruck. The silence was broken by Oishi telling us that he is going to enter it into the Hiroshima Nogyosai Koi Show next week. Another word followed, “Takai”. The Breeders only use the word Takai (meaning expensive/high level) when serious fish are in discussion. This type of Koi are the ones the breeders spend their entire lives trying to breed.
Oishi started discussions with the other customer. Shortly after we allowed them to talk in private. As much as we adored the Koi, In our minds as soon as it was placed in the vat, it was always going to be too expensive for the U.K. Not wanting to be rude, I didn’t want to get the camera out to take a proper photo so I managed to get a quick discreet snap on my phone.
Impressed with a number of Koi at Oishi we’ll certainly be back there in Spring to try and purchase some Sanke and Kohaku. We had to get back to the train station in order to catch the train to Tokyo time soon ran out. Tomorrow we spend the day in Tokyo, then make our way to Nagaoka, Niigata. The day after that, Dainichi auction !
Leaving Oishi we now had a 90 minute car journey back to Okayama, then a 4 hour train to Tokyo.