Nearing the end of our trip we still had a fair bit to do. Still in need of Koi sub £1000 we made it our mission to get Kohaku, Sanke, Showa and non-gosanke. It was a tough ask with only a couple of days to go. I think we managed to get a good selection, I’ll let you be the judge in a couple days time.
Kicking off today with Oofuchi we scoured the Sansai pond for a range of varieties. Managing to find Sanke, Showa, Tancho, Kujaku, Soragoi and Goromo. I really tried to find one or two really nice Hariwake, but none fit the bill unfortunately. Keeping negotiations with Oofuchi simple and easy, he accepted my offer and deal done. Nice and easy! It can sometimes be a nightmare getting prices. Saying our thanks to Oofuchi we then made our way to the top koi house where we usually buy most of our Oofuchi Koi from. In this fish house there are two large ponds of higher quality pieces. In Spring in here you can find some stunning examples. It was a bit thin on the ground though this time around. Hopefully in Spring there will be more to choose from.
Leaving Oofuchi we had to get back down the mountain to Hoshikin as we were going to help in harvesting his parent fish mud pond. Katsyuki, Son and Mother were very grateful! How they would have done it without the help of Jon and Lee I’m not sure. It would have been extremely hard work for Katsuyuki-san carrying each Koi up the steep bank. Dragging the net around the pond we could see there was some big Koi in here, up to about 90cm. Mostly Kohaku, a couple of Showa, Shiro and Sanke. Lee, Jon and Katsuyuki lifted a handful of Koi into the bowl of water, they would then push the bowl to the edge of the pond. Here Katsuyuki bagged the Koi, then Lee and Jon would carry the Koi up the steep bank up to the truck where Katsuyuki-s son stood and placed the koi into the holding tanks. I was tired just watching them! Around 25/30 Koi were harvested.
We made our way back to the koi house and helped unload the Koi into their pond. Here they would reside over winter ready for next seasons spawning. Grateful of our help Katsuyuki-san invited us to dinner the following night to show his appreciation. There was one hot topic I wanted to discuss at dinner, for that you’ll have to wait for the next blog post!
Having spent most of the day with Hoshikin, we didn’t have masses of time to go elsewhere. Heading back towards Nagaoka we stopped off at Maruboshi to check out his Nisai again. With good daylight, we grabbed the bowl and started bowling Koi. As I’m sure you all know by now, Maruboshi breeds Kohaku and that’s it! Known for their silky Beni and gleaming white skin I bowled a dozen or so Koi. Pleased with the Koi I had in front of me, I knew the figure I wanted to pay for these. Maruboshi-san priced the bowl up. He wasn’t impressed that I managed to get his favourite one in the pond, a wonderful Yondan. He wasn’t quite there with the price I had in mind, out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of a smaller Kohaku. Chasing it around the pond numerous times I finally caught it and we bowled it. I gave Maruboshi a new proposal. We struck a deal on the lot. 13 koi selected, all red and white. Tomorrow I’ll have to be back to photograph as we had lost the natural daylight.
Tomorrow we plan on going back to Otsuka, Oya for the first time to check on an azukari we have there via Narita, photograph the Maruboshi Kohaku’s then dinner with Hoshikin in the evening.