Being a day off for many breeders, we didn’t think we would be able to visit many. So first thing we took a drive out to the coast and visited Niigata City. This city is nearly 3x the size of Nagaoka, and very similar in size to Okayama (population). The weather had improved in the last few days this meant the Sakura (cherry blossom) had finally come out in full force. We visited Hakusan Park, famous for it’s cherry trees. It was a great morning, albeit busy!
As you can imagine, the camera went into over-drive, here are just a few snaps to enjoy.
Making our way back to the Koi world, excitement built in the camp as Isa Koi Farm was on the hit list. Mixed emotions in Autumn here, our timing wasn’t the best and all of the good Koi were in the sold ponds. Prior to arriving Mitsunori-san made another selection of Jumbo Tosai for me to select from. He had added an extra 50 Koi to the pond I saw the day before. Around 100 fish now to select from, I could see from looking in the pond there was going to be some impressive Tosai to be bad. The bodies and size of most of these were phenomenal.
The staff seine netted the pond, then placed a sock full of koi into a bowl. I’d then select out the ones I liked and placed them in a floating net. In each sock full there was one or two koi worth putting in the keeper net. This process took about 90 minutes, with a break half way through. In the first selection I had 30 or so koi. The water in the bowl was then changed and the koi in the keeper net were placed in clean water. I’d then inspect each koi, checking for issues like damage, badly split fins, body issues, and assessing the overall fish. Placing the best koi in another bowl I was up to 18 final koi. I really needed two more to make the box price more economical. These weren’t cheap Koi so saving on shipping was a must to make them a more sensible price when back in the UK.
The staff then kindly netted the pond once more. I then went on the hunt for two more Koi. Once the fish were in the seine net I grabbed a small pan net and guided fish I wanted to have another look at into a sock. It was really slim pickings which was good as it meant I had cherry picked well. 6 koi went into the bowl, out of these I picked two more to make up the boxes. Finalising the 20 koi they were then priced up.
Serious Showa from Isa Koi Farm as you’d expect, plus one interesting Kohaku. Isa’s Kohaku’s are getting better and better, he is now taking many awards at shows up and down Japan. Tomorrow I’ll go back to Isa to sex these which will allow me to price them up. All come with certificates and many of these are eligible for growing on at QK HQ in one of the 8,000 gallon ponds.
All in all a good visit to Isa.
We didn’t have much time on our hands now so we took a drive to into the depths of the mountains to see Hosokai. One of the friendliest breeders, it’s always nice to visit here even if we don’t purchase anything.
His Nisai and Sansai were pretty much sold out so I took a look around the Tosai ponds. Hosokai offered his advice and showed me a particular pond that he felt had the best selection. I was in agreement. So we netted the pond and I hand picked 100 Tosai. Unfortunately these are all for a customer order so these won’t be available. But it would be rude not to show you what I managed.
Great mix of varieties here.
Two last fly in visits, the first to Kanno in search of his sought after Goshiki. I didn’t waste any time here, I had selected and videoed the Koi within 15 minutes! The water was freezing cold, I could barely touch the water. Holding my breath as I reached into the water, i picked up each Koi to sex them. All male, except two that I was unsure of. Kanno is the type of breeder that will price his koi, regardless of sex. A good fish is a good fish he’ll say. I’ll have a think about these over the next few days as to whether or not to buy them.
Another quick stop before heading back to the hotel was Marukyu. Breeder of Kohaku and Sanke. He had Tancho Kohaku in numbers. The Sanke’s weren’t quite up to the standard I was looking for, but the Tancho and Kohaku posed excellent value for money. These are all now sold.
Tomorrow is our last day and we’re hoping for a very successful one.
Marudo first thing, Isa, Secret Sanke man, Yamazaki, Kaneko and possibly a few others.