Finally got some sleep last night , but when i awoke i realised that i really was ill and not burning the candles at both end ( still guilty of that though ! ) , So today ive really struggled to get through the day and ended up at Maruhiros with a one box of koi , then one rest and cup off coffee policy ! Everyone said it was the most relaxed and quiet ive ever been , i dont know what they mean ! So back to the koi , or rather not , before i left for Japan i recieved a phone call from Steve Gibbo , seemed that Oomo San had organised a coupe of little trophys for the Bkks national , and they where now stranded at the NND facility , no prblem Steve , leave it to me ! When we arrived at NND Oomo San was all over the place with big smiles and hand shakes and cries of thank you , thank you . Not being one to take advantage of a situation i thought well he seems like he is in a good mood , lets have a look at some koi , he had some jumbo tosai in two ponds , they were not high grade but certainly pretty enough , and bearing in mind theat the majority were sankes from Makoto Tanaka , i knew they would grow and could get people into the growing bug. So i asked the breeder and he said very cheap as a thank you , still thinking im doing the deals in Niigata , i accepted the price and both ponds were netted and we bought 32 jumbo tosai mainy sanke from 27cm to near on 40cm with a few showa . Feeling very pleased with myself and haveing a slight twinge of wondering why they were so cheap , Oomo San asked us into his office to collect the trophys and take pictures , all the time still laughing and still saying thank you , thanks you , i saw the trophys and then it dawned on me , i had really been dropped in it ! They were boxed up and stood nearly 4ft tall and when wrapped up they were nearly a foot square . Well i couldnt say no now could i , so i reckon someone , somehwere , and im looking at Gibbo and the rest f the BKKS owe me beer ! We laughed all the way up the mountain from NNDS facility , wondering how the hell i was going to get half way across Japan with two bags , standard issue of customers calenders and two bloody great big trophys ! , guess ill cross that bridge at 5.30am tomorrow . So from here we went to see Tanaka Maruju to collect our certificates for our speical offer , they were all done and looking good . From there i said my good byes and headed down to Maruhiro to look at some new koi he had brought in and a nice 60cm sanke .By now my eyes were streaming and every bit of my head and neck was hurting and it was as much as i culd do two take pics let alone catch up koi ! We caught up the koi he had offered us the night before , and they were evry nice , so some more tanchos , were bought including a tancho showa and tancho sanke . We then bowled up a ssnsai sanke which we looked at yesterday , and decieded it was too good to pass up on so it duly purchased along with a sansai kohaku around 55cm which will be left in Japan this summer . Then we had to take a few pics of some fish that i seemed to be missing the photos for , and it was time to draw a close on another succesfull trip to Niigata . Although feeling very porely , i was happy as this season we had been tp Japan three times , so fingers crossed for a busy season .................... 32 tosai from Oomo and Tanaka , 8 high grsde nisai from marahiro , sansai sanke around 63 cm , and 55cm kohaku staying in Japan one year . May be some more news ib the next couple days so log in again soon ...................

By now , most of you will know that we have started a sister comoany to Gatwick koi called Nishikigoi sales .This is to supply to the trade hand selected koi , not normally readily  availablein whole sale facilitys  such as tateshita , hand selected and larger koi to selct through .. To enable us to do that we have had to change the way we buy our own koi here in Niigata , that is to say the days of rushing round buying here there and everywhere have now changed to using a reguler group of breeders where we can get better deals as we are buying so many more koi in one place , makes logistical , financial and relationship building sence ! This doesnt mean how ever we wont visit other breeders when taking customers round , it just means when i need to buy better quality koi , i dont have to pay top end as we are not just buying one or two koi there . This is why we keep revisiting certain breeders and why so many are letting us hand pick tosai for ALL grades. Its also is noticable how things have changed for us when visiting breeders .Great example of this was at our first appoinment at Yamazaki , usually buy nice quality koi there , as we did today , but also now shown koi that always seemed to be in sold out ponds ! Today was no exception , asked for some aiigoromo /koromo , and he took us straight to a sold pond and he caught up around 14 koi , tancho , goshiki tancho ,aigoromo and many others .Little bit dear to start off with , but when i annouced intention to buy all that changed everything , No haggling required as seems the normal nowadays , a way better price was given and all of them purchased , Please note many many things are said about negotiations , i now find i am given a good price , if i am happy with that price then there atre no need for further discusions ,  this proved the case as he went in the net nd pulled out another good example and was placed into the deal foc  , great really as i had already agreed to buy them all ! We then purchased 10 more from the reguler ponds and really excelled myself at my rubbish photography ! From here it was off to Sakai Yamamasu koi farm , i had a set plan of what i needed from one of our favourite breeders , but that was soon to be thrown out of the window ! On arrival we had the usuall coffee and chat , everytime we visit this guy we are made so welcome and its hunbling remembering that this is one of he most prestigious farms in Japan , Even more so when we asked how busy he was and how much time he had , the reply was astounding , yes , but have all day for Gary San , just what i wanted to hear . First of all our sansai showa was bowled ,  measured and the certificate made , She was an impressive 61cm and looked as good as ever ! We then saw some astounding nisai , we asked if they were for sale and he replied going back to the mudpond , i felt it was time to push the issue , and a price was given , not cheap but not outragious so we started to bowl a few , before we knew it we had been left with Ken the helper and had 11 in a bowl , Sakaireturned and  seemed a bit anxious and said he wanted some to go back to the mudpond please , so i said no problem and returned wto back to the pond , He thought this was funny and laughed  , but soon stopped when i said ok , ill buy them all ! I could see he wasnt exceited about the prospect , which did surpise me a little , so i guess he really diddnt want to sell them all , but he shrugged his shoulders and said ok little discount and that was it , 8 very nice sanke and shiro utsuri , all female except one that he wasnt sure on , but at that level with what i thought to be a great deal i wasnt going to ask to swap one ! Relation ship building ! Ffrom her we moved onto the tosai house down the road , and he netted a pond and said tategoi , i laughed and said always tategoi , he didnt laugh this time , just looked t me and nodded . When they were netted a price was given and it was all i could do to take a sharp intake of breath , realising that a box of these could seriously drian a day or twos budget i asked how many in a box , getting impatient i asked the agent again , he replied , its not a case of how many we can get in a box , its a case of how many he wa going to let me have ! Six was the reply , as was the same when we netted another pond , then we were allowed to choose another to leave in Japan for a year . Picking tosai at this level is very hard , make a mistake and its an expensive one , and looking through these i could see that the tategoi dont always look like you think they would , made my choice after some time and then looked for one  to leave , everthing i always tell my clients went straight out of the window and i selected one on pattern alone basis ! Why you ask , simple , cos i liked it !! With this done we moved onto another fish house where we netted up another pond and a deal was done for 40 jumbo tosai , unfortunatley when they come to the net they wernt really what we were looking for so we called time and packed up nad left . Somtimes its very hard , i really wanted to buy lots of jumbo tosai from this breeder , but it diddnt work out that way and i ended up with nigh on tategoi level nisai , and a hand full of extremely expensive tosai ,nothing like what i had wanted , but very  happy nether the less ! Driving around the mountains we had 30 mins to kill, so it was obviously time to for coffee with our friend Hinori san . On arrival the coffee was waiting and the usual merriment started , after coffee he took as to another pond with what looked like very nice tosai amoung them , he netted them and said i could select , i lookd at the agent and just laughed and sat down and started selecting , who was i too argue , two more nice boxes of hand selected tosai with a few larger ones up to 30 cm in as well ! It was starting to get dark so we retired to our 20th coffe of the day ( it then dawned on me , is this why i cant sleep ???? ) Hinori seemed a bit sad that tomorrow was my last day , so he smiled and bolted up right and said stay here all day , i said we were looking at some higher quality koi at another farm , talked about what i was looking for and he said i have some ,i said no way as i thought i had seen everything here , he then rushed off to the fish house and showed us a very high quality , kohaku , tancho sake , tancho showa , gin rin kohaku and said if you come back tomorrow you can have these at this price , had i just been bribed , or is he a very good saleman , oh well , we will just have to wait to see what tomorrow will bring ! Also forgot to add that we have a client who is buying all males ,but high grade ones , whilst we were at Sakai he showed us this sanke around 55cm , unbelievable quality ,nine nisai around 50-55cm all femle except one he wasnt 100 percent  , 16 nisai fom Yamazaki higher quality 12 tatgoi tosai from Sakai, another one staying in Japan , three pics of Maruhiro koi selected tonight.

Awoke today to a slighlty cooler 16 degrees , but that wasnt going to bother us any , as today we were starting off at one of my favourite breeders Sekiguchi . Its a fair old trot from Ojiya , so we went on the motorway watching the morning mist roll down the mountains and taking in the stunning scenary . On arrival we joined up with a Dutch dealer with the intent of buying together to increase buying power . Two ponds were netted , and the Dutch contingent annouced they wernt buying and moving off . The desicion was made to hand pick my way through the more expensive pond and ended up with 12 very nice tateshita showa around 30-40cm , and one smaller but certainly not lower in class . In the other pond a discussion was taking place on buying the whole pond again , i was in and so the bounty was split between us and another whole load of tateshita purchased . We spent a while taking photos and filming videos . By a slight misunderstanding we ended up in anothr fish house after talking about some smaller tosai , i noticed a pond full of way better and bigger showa , asking of they were tategoi , he replied no , they are for sale ! So we started bowling and the skin quality was amazing ( taking away nothing from those puchased earlier ) , but the price was a little above what i wanted to pay , then after looking over them again i asked more out of chancing my luck , how much for the whole pond and was very pleasantly surprised by the answer , but it was still alot of money so i needed to think about it . I can now say that after thinking all day and evening i will now purchase the pond which will leave the breeder virtually sold out except a few we returned after picking . Happy breeder , happy koi dealer ! Realising we had been there all morning it was full steam a head back down the motorway to get to Marudo for our next appointment . We were due to select out a whole lot of nisai chagoi , and jumbogo sanke tosai . From here it was to be a very hard afternoon and things went rapidlly down hill . On arrival we struggled to find enough chagois in the pond which were ordered by one of our trade customers , but managed to find one box that met the requirements , little disapointed as i needed three times as much ! So then onto the jumbo tosai tateshita select , again this diddnt go to well , they were very good quality , but i struggled with the landed price so had to decline on some very nice koi . Feeling a little in i need dome fish mode , it was off to Marusei as you cant fail to buy there at ANY time ! Well that is unless the breeder has put pp in the pond so you cant see a thing , now realising that i was way over due for a bad day in Japan , it dawned on me that it had finally arrived in style . Onto Iwashita who had some stunning gin rin kin showa , but not enough varietys to make a box .Tthen into Tanaka Maruju whose only nisai were tategoi level and with prices too match it really looked like no further koi were going to be bought today . We then discussed the point of selecting tosai again and were taken to a differant pond that looked slighly higher quality than before , but told we were buying at the same price . This time the mix was a little differant , go sanke and koromo , so we will return tomorrow to select these ! Up untill then i was also very worried about Sunday as no appointments could be made as a breeder was getting married . So what with the lack of koi in the afternoon , and lack of appoinments the day after i was getting very concerned , as we loaded up the car the phone started ringing like mad .First Marusei promising that the water will be cleared for a 9am appointment the next day , them Maruhiro for hand selecting tosai at two differant ponds , with Maruju high class hand pick of tosai at lunch time , and a whole pond of better quality showa at Sekiguchi to photograph , things were now picking up quite nicely , to add to that by dinner time another three breeders had phoned back to say they were available tomorrow as well , so looks like a very busy day !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=ZwGMBvpOZos

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=2uc89xhRWf4

First 26 pics are all Sekiguchi tateshita , then nisai chagoi , soragoi etc etc

Today was a great day , but unfortuantely ive not been able to sleep again since i arrived , in fact i worked out i had only fours sleep since i left the UK ! This combined with the heat out here nearly ended me having to go back to the hotel , but the decsion was made to muddle on and im so glad i did . First appointment was at Marusei , the water had cleared since the pp it had yesterday , and we set about getting some unuausl varietys for our nisai pond that is priced up at £150each or two for £250 , this is an important thing for me as it is bringing in a lot of buisness from the garden centres , and as someone once told me "todays koi keeper is tomorrows hobbiest ! " . So the idea is unusual , clean and may be some tidy go sanke to get people into the fact that Japanese koi are not as bad value compared to others that are imported from around the world . In these ponds we went through there were Mukashi ogons , chags , mezo ogons , sanke , kigoi , yamabuki , kogani ochiba and many , many others .The breeder was out today so the old man stepped in and it was great working with this legend of Niigata , but we will have to go back as they have a lot of biggetr koi that the father couldnt price up . As we hadnt seen him for nearly 12 hours it was decieded that we should visit Maruhiro to make sure he was ok , and the fact that he was going to let us hand pick through some tosai .Within minutes we had selected one box of sinhgle colour koi for growing on , and a box of all varietys . We were then offered another hand select of higher quality go sanke but had to decline as we had an appointment with Tanaka , so promised to return in the afternoon . Tanaka was once a really big name in the uk ten or 15 years ago , but seems to have been forgotten about , but lately becoming better know for his amazing brood stock for tanchos ! For those in the know , will know he is also know for budo goromo and go snake at extremely high levels . As part of his push for promotion , he has made us a very good offer to select high quality tosai , the price is not cheap , but then quality never is ! We selected 50 tosai to be shipped in two boxes , they were simplay amazing and we are not going to sort them out into differant prices , simply reason is we dont have to as the level throught all of them is very high . Also what he will do for us is selct what he thinks are the best ten , and he will certificate them , but i wont know which ones they are untill they arrive as we diddnt have time to do it today . So a little bonus for one in five of you ! The varietys were mainly kohakau , few snake and the odd koromo .After finshing , the selected tosai were moved into clean water and then i realsied how good these little gems really were , the sizes were about 18cm to 23 cm .From here it was straight back down to see our old friend Maruhiro , he was asking about what we had bought from his brothers farm and i explained about what we were trying to do to sell Japanese koi into the non Japanese market , and he got all exceited and said you need some go sanke cheap then , he pointed at the first pond and said new koi , before we could stop him he had a siene net and a pond of standard but nice nisai had been netted . Some pretty go sanke were caught up so could be added to all the kawarimono we bought this morning . We were then moved onto the next pond ,and i do mean moved on as we havnt asked and thats what its like here , but we wouldnt want it any other way ! This time he started catching up koi without asking us , and i said what are you doing now you now ? , before we knew it he had caught up half a dozen tanchos and gin rin tanchos laughing his head off as he went , Gary san Gary san he kept shouting gettiong more excieted with every one he found ,I then took iover and got some gin rin go snake as well . Whie i finshed off this task he was off again and this time placed some very high quaity go sanke in a bowl , we purchased a sansai sanke from Sadazo blood line with amazing skin quality , the photos dont show this but im hoping the video will , a larger nisai gin rin kohaku , and an amzing female nisai showa produced from Dianchi blood lines . Then we talked about larger koi and he placed a 60cm sansai sanke in a bowl , a long converstaion then took place about how good the koi was to leave in Japan for a coupe of years , the koi is ours to decide wether to ship or leave for Azukari . This koi was no way cheap , but i had to ask for some more at a higher level to compare and may buy more than one ! He said come back tomorrow and i said we may not have time , he shrugged his shoulders and muttered somthing as he walked away , i have a limited understanding of Japanese so had to ask for a translation , it was exactly we will see about that ! As we packed our cameras away and finsihed off our paperwork the fish house was unusally quiet , whats he up to now the agent asked , he come back laughing , carrying a sock and shouting Gary san Gary san , come back tomorrow and make a box up , with that he emptied the sock into a bowl where two small nisai emerged , a stunnig gin rin kohaku and an amazing shusui , we both looked at each other as if to say where the hell did they come from , the craft bugger had done it again , looks like we would be back again tomorrow . Sorry i cant add all the pics today as im kinda in need of somtime time in bed , ill try and get the website up to date as i wake up .Last pic is the 60cm sansai sanke from Maruhiro , once again the pic does it no justice !

After a very favourable flight landed us in to Narita airport 30 minutes early , i found myself on an earlier bullet train than normal , getting us into Nagyoka before one o clock . This gave me virtually a full afternoon to start selecting koi instead of the hour or two i get normally . We always start at Maruhiro in the afternoon , but this time we took a detour to a well known go sanke breeder where we were shown some nice tateshitatosai go sanke around 30-40cm , an appointment was made to select through these tomorrow so looking good on the better grade koi already ! From here we went to Kazuto , we havnt bought koi from here for many a year , but was surpised to see that he had some very resonably priced jumbo tosai , so we may be returning there on Monday . Then it was on to Mr dependable Hinori San of Maruhiro koi farm . Always greeted with a lot of banter that i could never under stand as he is one person in the world who talks faster then me !!!! After coffee , biscuits and more joking around , we netted two ponds and some quite nice nisai were bowled up and duly bought . After a while i started looking around wanting to buy koi just as like this guy so much .Once again he asked what i wanted and again i replied with a shrug of the shoulder .This seems to give this particuler breeder the thumbs up to run around grabbing koi from any pond to make a sale , and the strange thing is that it normlly works very well ! He started with some better nisai and two larger koi, then he started bowling up sansai , i tried to protest as i really diddnt want too many bigger koi , but you cant stop this guy when he has his mind set to somthing . Within minutes he had some single colour sansai around 45-52cm in a big bowl , i felt awkward as it wasnt what i really wanted , but when he gave the price i thought , surely we can find some room for these in the quarantine somewhere , so some nice benigoi , midorigoi , aka matsuba and gin rin ones are heading back to the UK in a week or two . We then discussed the possibilty of buying some higher grade koi , once again off he went , a very nice sansai shiro , stunning gin rin chagoi where bowled and purchased both around 50-55cm . Then he was off again with a net bounding round the farm with net and sock in hand , once again he bowled 2 shiros , this time nisai and a little more expensive along with a VERY nice aka matsuba and pretty kindai style showa . Then we were worred about the packing rate as these were not cheap koi , as if by magic he comes up with the soloution , ship one , two and three , and leave the forth with me in Japan ! I swear the man is a bloody genius , either that or a very clever salesman !!!! So we now have anither shiro staying in the mudponds this summer . First 16 pics are hand selected nsisai ,seven sansai , sansai chag and shiro around 50-55cm ,three very nice quality nisai , showa , shiro and aka matsuba all around 49-51cm , and all three female . Last but not least a nisai shiro thats staying out in Japan this summer , only 42cm but stunning ! Well thats not a bad start to the trip , 29 koi where we would normally would had just a cup of tea by know , including some higer grade as well . As for tomorrow , its hopefully jumbo tosai day , but if i tell all now , there will be nothing left for tomorrow .......lol , for me now its off to find a beer and try to beat the jet lag..........fat chance !!!