This blog posts combines our final two days in Japan. Momotaro Koi Farm and Narita Jumbo Tosai Event.
Saturday morning we took the short drive from Okayama city to Momotaro Koi Farm. Not expecting to buy anything here we were only really there to see our Azukari Showa. Buying her as Nisai, she was now Gosai and approaching 85cm. Looking the best she’s ever looked, the sumi in particular was now starting to really consolidate. New sumi had also developed on the head, finally! Offspring of Red Tiger which was in excess of a meter long, this Showa should get to at least 90cm in the next few years. Maybe one day she’ll see a show vat, be it in Japan and/or the U.K.
Not being able to bowl the Koi due to temperature and the feeding regime we could only view her swimming in the pond. Through the excess foam on the waters surface, she glided past us a handful of times. A sub-standard iPhone video is all I could get of her.
Walking around the numerous fish houses, we managed to locate many well known Koi, including multiple Major award winners and Kokugyo winning Koi. Notably two Showa which names elude me, were looking mighty and were comfortably over 100cm in size. A serious achievement for Showa and of course Momotaro Koi Farm.
Not spending long at Momotaro we went back to the train station and made our way to Nagoya where the Narita Koi Farm Jumbo Tosai Event takes place. A quick train on the Nozomi Bulletrain it took around 90 minutes from Okayama. Getting there late afternoon we spent the rest of the day relaxing in one of Nagoya’s many bars watching the local team lose in a football match! The locals weren’t best pleased.
Now Sunday, today sees the Narita Jumbo Tosai Event. A short drive from the city center we arrived nice and early to get as much viewing time as possible. Plus a car parking space! A busy event with people travelling from all corners of the globe to attend.
Officially starting at 10am everyone had two hours to view the Koi on offer. I had around 20 koi on my short list before arriving so the first thing to do was look in every vat of Koi to see if there were any I had missed off my list. With the catalogue in hand I inspected individual Koi and made a note of which ones to attempt to buy.
All of the fish in the various vats had certificates on them with a set price. With your allocated number you would write your number on a post-it note and place it on the fish you wish to have. When the draw takes place if there is more than one number on the Koi then chopsticks would get pulled out of a box. With only one chopstick having a strip of red tape on it.
Narrowing my shortlist down to 11 Koi, I placed post-it notes on the certificates and making note in the catalogue of which Koi we were going for.
At Midday, Narita and staff started the draw.
How many post it notes on the Koi was how many chopsticks went in the lucky box. Reading out the first number on the certifate, a chopstick was drawn, it was blank. Another number was read aloud, another chopstick was drawn, again it was blank. This carries on until the chopstick with the red tape is pulled out of the box. The winner then goes to the front to receive the certificate and pose for the camera.
Many Koi had dozens of numbers on, some had one or two numbers on. Some Koi even went unsold. If I recall the Koi with the most numbers on was a Momotaro Showa, 63 people were in for the draw on this one. Very slim chance of winning it ! Nearing the end of the chopsticks, no one had been picked yet. It was clear something wasn’t right… With 2 tickets left on the Koi to be read out there was still 10 or so chopsticks left! A miscount by the staff, the crowd chuckled and Narita apologised. The chopsticks were recounted and Daisuke of Momotaro Koi Farm then had to draw all of them again, the correct number this time, a winner was picked about half way through.
Opting for 11 Koi we managed to win 5 of them, not too bad. One Koi in particular I was gutted I missed out on but that’s the way it goes sometimes. We bought 1 beautiful Tamaura Showa, and 4 Sakai Fish Farm Sankes. The Tamaura Showa and 2 of the Sakai Sankes will stay as Azukari as this was included in the price. The other 2 Sakai Sankes will be shipped home.
Once the draw had taken place we took a walk around the rest of the farm. We already have 2 Showas here. 1 Sekiguchi Showa and 1 Hoshikin Showa, both purchased back in December at the R’s Collection Event. Having not seen them in the flesh yet we managed to locate them in the Farm. Both looking in very nice condition.
Pleased with our new purchases we made a quick getaway and made our way to the train station.
Our Koi buying for this trip was now over. A great end to a rollercoaster couple of weeks. Having sourced some excellent Jumbo Tosai for the shop and also smaller Koi to sell exclusively at the BKKS National Show in June we were set up for another great year.
Tomorrow we spend a day in Tokyo, then the following morning jump on a plane home.
I hope you have enjoyed the blog from this trip, thank you for reading!
If you have any questions regarding Koi sourced on this trip, please get in touch by email or phone.