Japan Live – Day IV

Waking up to a bright and sunny Nagaoka city, our moods lifted after yesterdays buying and we aimed to carry on that fashion today. 

Taking the short drive to Hoshikin and Dainichi, we met Katsuyuki-san of Hoshikin in the Nisai Koi house. Viewing the Koi we harvested a handful of days ago along with the hundreds of other Koi he had for sale. This year Hoshikin’s Nisai Showa were a step above what I’ve seen in previous years. Typical luxurious beni that Hoshikin is renowned for, and sumi that had real potential. Selecting from a handful of ponds of varying price points, the overall quality was very pleasing. One by one myself and Lee pointed out Koi to Katsuyuki to net up. Getting a bit carried away, one whole pond worth nearly ended up in the various bowls we had scattered around.

Narrowing down selections, sizes averaged around 55cm, ranging from 48 to 58cm. Mostly Kohaku and a couple of Showa, a deal for all of the koi was struck. Really happy with these for the money. All different in their own right, yet all have good potential for future. Photos and videos were taken.

Moving from the main Nisai fish house to the Sansai fish house and where the bigger girls are kept, we enquired about any Tancho Kohaku he may have. “Yes I have” Katsuyuki said. Next thing we know he had water in a 1m bowl, and looked to be netting a rather large looking Tancho. In the bowl it went, around 70cm+. We couldn’t fault it. Perfect spot, good frame, white and a good structure for potential growth. Price was quoted. Scratching our heads over the Koi and price. Seeing as we were thinking of a Nisai/Sansai Tancho, bowling a 70cm+ Yonsai we weren’t sure if it was just going to be too big and expensive, albeit an amazing Koi. Later on that evening we managed to negotiate a little bit with Hoshikin, striking a deal by text message. It was ours. I’ll return later in the trip to properly photo and video it. For now a video taken on my phone immediately after netting. 

Another great haul from Hoshikin Koi Farm. Consistently getting good fish at the right prices. Having seen how Hoshikin fish develop in our waters, from Tosai to Nisai, and from Nisai older. They do perform and prove good value, especially comparing Koi at the likes of Dainichi auctions, Sakai Fish Farm etc.
We may be back later in the trip to see new harvests, and will try to attend one of his big girl harvests. 

Walking the short 50 meters to one of Dainichi’s fish houses, we tracked down one of the staff to find out where our azukari Kohaku was residing. This farm is so organised it’s pretty impressive. White boards everywhere with diagrams of the fish houses, with information as to what Koi are in what ponds from particular parent sets, for sale ponds, auction fish and sold fish. Within 5 minutes, the staff member pointed at the pond he believed it to be in. Yep! She was in there alright. Purchasing this Koi 12 months ago she was outstanding then, now she is on another level. So so pleased with the result of this Koi. Going from 47 to 59cm, with masses of weight gain in true Dainichi fashion.

In January Futoshi and Shigeru of Dainichi will decide if it’s worthy of the All Japan Young Koi Show or All Japan Show in 2020. Fingers crossed she stays in good condition throughout winter.

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A few more stop offs, we weren’t going to have the busiest of days as we wanted to get back to the pub to watch the Rugby World Cup final (I won’t talk about it don’t worry!)

Hunting at Hiroi Conias, I wasn’t overly keen on majority of the ponds. I wasn’t sure if I could make a big enough selection here, let alone fill a box of Koi. Not wanting to waste the brothers time, we meandered the steep roads to Shinoda, then onto Maruyuku.


Breeder of Tancho Kohaku, Kohaku, Sanke mainly he had some wonderful examples. We were still on the hunt for Tanchos of varying sizes, yet one pond containing around 30 Tanchos between 50-70cm, he explained that one asian buyer bought all of them! Crazy! Quoting us prices on a handful of Nisai Sanke and Kohaku, unfortunately too much for what they were. No doubt we’ll see some as Sansai next year and regret not buying any. To my surprise, It dawned on me I didn’t have my camera bag, I must have left It at Hiroi! Oops.


Back we went to Hiroi, how could we not buy at Hiroi. I can’t remember the last time we didn’t buy anything from here. So I gave the ponds another chance. The only pond I didn’t look in previously was the Nisai Male pond of varying prices. Spotting a handful of Koi, we netted them up and were pleased with the quality. Not knowing prices for these yet, I checked out one other pond. Out of around 200 fish, I caught two. Both Doitsu Sankes and both female. The brothers came back with my camera bag and we had a laugh that we now had fish in the bowl. Quoting us on the bowl, a little negotiation and a deal was done. We’ll be back in a few days time to photograph these along with a few Female Doitsu Showa’s that I managed to purchase before we arrived in Japan. 

Doitsu Showa’s below, the others you’ll have to wait and see!


Finishing up we went back to the hotel for a quick freshen up, then off to the Irish bar to watch England play in the RWC Final. 


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