Starting off at Yamamatsu we had a good catch up with Toshiaki-san and father. Discussing our azukari he was excited to show us how they had over wintered. First though we hunted down a few show fish to enter into the International Junior Koi Show. Two stunning Kujaku at 35cm and a very attractive Gin Rin Kohaku at 26cm. Finding Jumbo Tosai Kujaku of this quality is borderline impossible in Japan, unless from Omosako, yet prices there can be eye watering. Even more so than these! Negotiating on price we finalised the three Koi, all going to the show and staying as azukari for the summer. Toshiaki says the Kujakus should be well over 50cm come autumn. Very exciting prospects. First we will see how they fair at the show in 2 weeks time.
Photos and videos done we proceeded to bowl up our azukari Kohaku and Sanke we selected 12 months ago. Majority had done really well and were all now 50cm plus. Unfortunately one died in the mud pond and two turned out Male. One of the males was so good though we didn’t want to have a replacement for it. Individually bowling each Koi we all discussed the attributes of each fish. All of these will stay another year in the mud pond. Skin quality and colours are phenomenal. Please bear with us while we sort pricing out for these which will include shipping as Sansai and all azukari fees. Toshiaki estimates these will be around 65cm come Autumn. (Rounder spot Maruten Sanke is male).
Show fish done, azukari fish done. We then started to view what other Koi Yamamatsu had on offer. A wonderful Soragoi made its way into the bowl, an unusual variety for Yamamatsu to have, it was so clean and a full female body. We snapped Toshiaki’s arm off for it. Having to make up the box we bowled two more Sanke. One big bodied female and a gorgeous Male. The Skin quality on these were of the highest order. Luxurious glossy beni and sumi, the prices were very attractive for the quality so we did the deal.
Now lunch time, we had to make haste as we had an appointment at Marusei. A quick 7/11 sandwich, we didn’t waste any time getting back into the mountains of Niigata.
To our disappointment there wasn’t anything of interest at Marusei. Thousands upon thousands smaller cheaper Nisai available, and hundreds of Jumbo Koi in all shapes and varieties but nothing really inbetween. Unfortunately we couldn’t satisfy anything on our shopping list this time.
Leaving Marusei our heads were a little down, after the high of this morning at Yamamatsu, we had good expectations for Marusei but it just didn’t happen. Not to worry, that’s the way Koi hunting can go.
The atmosphere in the mountains and around the breeders was a strange one. We were yet to come across any other Koi dealer, and rarely even saw breeders driving around. Usually there is a buzz in the air, you can drive past breeders koi houses and see flocks of people in there choosing Koi. It seemed like everyone was having a day off!
Managing to get in touch with Sakazume, we drove to their koi house and viewed the Tosai and Nisai available. No Nisai of interest unfortunately, but we did manage to select a box of Tosai. Mostly Kujaku, Kikusui, Goromo and Showa. Some lovely little Koi here for the money. These will be available in the shop to select and pose excellent value for money.
A busy day with the camera, yet not many Koi purchased.
Tomorrow we scout out more breeders, making appointments and view some Koi that we’ve reserved at a handful of places.