The last day today, so a little down in the mouth it was off to hoshikins to see his beautiful kohaku, and beautiful they were, but way out of reach for us. So we thought we would shoot over to kaneco and have another look at his kujaku, i thought a little over priced and couldnt see any i really liked, but it had given me the taste for a box of kujaku, so the hunt was on!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Scond to last day, and straight off to Kawakami where i thought I could pick up some cheaper nisai for the smaller tanks, a bit disapointed as he didnt have the varieties he normally carries, so then off the torazo where we purchased this superb sansai sanke, I have to say this guy has been one of all our favourites. The sumi quality of this sanke is excellant and with roger and his bkks judge wife giving all the koi a once over we knew we were on to a winner!
From here it was off to fukashima for another look around ,a bowl of very high quality shiro utsuri was purchased, then a bowl of chags and ochibas and a strange find, a doitsu gin shiroutsuri, another box of goshiki and others and that was me nearly done.
high grade shiro and gin rin shiro
chag and ochiba and others
benigoi , kin ki utsuri , 3 step kohaku and goshiki
Today was a day we were catching up on things we needed to do, ie go back and look at good koi we had seen and make our minds up if still available. So with that in mind it was off to Torazo where one of our party had seen an amazing tategoi sanke, it was bowled and we looked at another one and then a couple of sansai, even more confused we left it and went to another breeder where someone wanted to look at another kohaku, got there kohaku was duly bowled and found to be male, so put back again, 50 mins out of our lives.
Two pics of Torazo koi farm, look at the quality of koi and water!!!!!
With everything going a miss we went to oofuchi main fish house, an amazing array of high class varietys but nothing for us. Then we popped in to the lower house and found nine sansai at bargain prices.
from here to yagenji (again) where one of the gang purchsed the gin rin kohaku he had been thinking about for a while now. In the bowl she was simply stunning and very imposing and was a good price to! so she was purchsed and will be shipped soon!
yagenji gin rin kohaku
It was then decided to return to torazo, roger bought his tategoi sanke, I bought mine and rod got him self into another mess by bowling another sansai sanke.
Roger and the owner of torazo
pic of my tatgoi sanke from torazo, but in bringing ths back.
last stop of the day was izumiya to pick up some yamabuki ogons, 2 male for ron, 2 female for me and one for rod. And one little sanke, starter for ten, postcards only, whats that sumi called????? well thats the end of the best day for me, everybody got a koi they were looking for, Roger over the moon with his torazo sanke, rod pleased with the kohaku, me? well finding that atarshi sumi sanke and buying a 4th tategoi at torazo.
With four days to go and most of the orders and shop stock found the pressure is a little less, it was felt that customers needed to return to torazo and again he had a fantastic range of koi, but we all loeved a little tategoi sanke, not cheap but very very high quality, a few prices on the sansai and it was off to izumiya. Although not there we just had to admire his yamabuki ogons and will return to buy some nisai ones later in the week. Travelling up to mushigame AGAIN to yagenji, where one of our party fell in love with a rather nice gin rin kohaku.
yagenji gin rin kohaku 65cm
next a visit to a guy called seijiro who we used to buy tosai showa off many many years ago, he had great nisai showa and kohaku but the prices were all over the range so it was hard to see what was what. Visit to a few more breeders who were not in and then to a appoinment at hosakai where we purchsed this great nisai gin rin kohaku and showa, both female and sansai. Then a few more fish for our mate ron and i slipped a couple in his box, nice kujaku and ochiba.
Hosakai , gin rin koahku
Looking through the nisai we came across these, nice mixture for ron and a kujaku and ochiba for customers.
Leaving the hotel and out onto the high way we came to our first stop Nogami. I have to say there where some nice kohku but i was desperate to see some showas, although the quality was there, nothing really jumped out at me, and this was felt amongst the group so nothing for us and off to kazuto to find a nice sansai sanke for one of the group. After much soul searching one was picked while everyone else just stood in awe at the serious quality of this guys koi. i think we are going back to look at the tategoi as most of the group may consider leaving one out there. Flying visits to maradoh, marasaka, hirasawa, all proved fruitless but had great koi just nothing shouting out loud. Just after lunch we went to visit mr hasegawa, he had stunning koi, and not to bad prices we saw excellant kohaku, then our agent pointed to a little 30cm male showa, its qualitys were excellant and was certainly show quality. Seeing a few other tasty little showa i saw a very good box of koi springing up, but before you could say "show qaulity" ron put his hand up and stated his intension to invoke the customers first rule and so it was good bye to said little showa and with that ron took one of the best other showa, so none for me again!!!!!!!!!!!! From here to jimbe where we priced up some nisai and sansai, our agent explained that how expensive jimbei koi are and we couldnt probably buy here, well one jumbo nisai sanke later and garys a happybunny, at nearly 60 cm not so expensive and one agent put in his place.
Before it got dark we thought we would visit hosakai once more, again the naisi were a little disappointing, but then he took us to a pond of sansai, what looked like nice quality, we got some prices but will return again tomorrow when it is light and the fish can be viewed correctly.
sansai kazuto sanke
nisai jimbei sanke
Up to now we have had a great week with some great fish bought by all our party and with the news that the yen is on the up we felt confident to visit kazuto and sakai. The high increased when we went to see the fish i had left out there last year, the shiro utsuri was amazing and when in the mud pond at 45cm nisai and came out at 58cm so i was very very pleased, next came the showa, this was expected to grow very big as the frame and the size it had got as a nisai. So rather disapointed when it came out at 55cm, went in at just over 50, just as we turned the fish over we found some bad damadge lower down, this explained the lack of growth, the breeder apologised and said he would put it back in the mud pond to repair and grow free of charge. So all in all a good result, id have a kazuto showa at 4yr next year and the agent felt that the mud pond would do wonders and the damadge shouldnt show, and a sansai shiro that i was well pleased with. Next stop and off to sakai to see our customers kohaku that was left last year in the mud ponds. This time we couldnt believe our ears, the mud pond had drained and all koi lost, sakai immediatley started bowling koi as a replacement, some of the koi were very very high quality, but had faults that english judging would not forgive so easliy, but then he bowled a sansai with such amazing presence and great skin quality, it was hard fior the customer to chose the right one but if you look at the photo i think he has done well, i have to say at this point how honourable the breeders have been offering new fish, because please remember that usually leaving fish out here is at your own risk.
kazuto shiro utsuri
replacement sakai kohaku
A retun visit to kawakami found two gin rin kohakus for our customers
gin rin kohaku
After visiting a few breeders and struggling to find what we wanted i decided to go to mano where i knew i could fullfill a couple of orders, this guy had lovely kohakus at a very nice price and the patterns were great but they looked very male, so we went for shusui and matsuba ogon, so if you ordered either of these you can start looking over the pics.
shusui and matsuba
One of our customers is looking for a large showa so we went off to isa to look at the sansai and yonsai, quality was excellent, but not out of reach money wise. Customer has taken some pics and is thinking about some options including his best sansai !!!!!!!! Our agent recieves a call and says nagashima has harvested some more nisai, so it was off to meet him. As we arrived it was great to watch him unload, these showa were great and even roger was impressed and we both nodded as they were split in two and everything we liked went in the more expensive pond, and one that really took both our fancy was placed in with the sansai, so that price was going to be out of range............ After all was finished we bowled up three koi and roger bought the hi showa, I had another showa and a kindai showa.
As it was getting dark we decied to call it a day, with nogami, maradoh and masaki lined tomoorrwo looks a promising day.
Another day another dollar, or should i say yen, but lets not get on about the exchange rate!!!!!!!!!!!! First off to sakai who has a fish house containg nisai tategoi as one of our party wanted a show quality tancho sanke, photos taken and it was off to nogami who although was not there we could walk around and have a look and our party defintley want to go back there. A few miles up the mountain and we are at kaneco, the home of the kujaku, and with roger with us was kaneco in for a hard time!!!! May be not, in his best pond we all admired the kujaku and even roger was impressed, one of our party bowled this kujaku, everything was right except the sex, we were shocked to find it was male, great body shape so they have reserved the koi for 24 hours.
Visits to miyatora and jimbei nice koi but not what we wanted, although we have to return to jimbei for couple of prices on the great sankes he had there. Across the road to tsuna and some great gin rin goshiki but we had to leave quick as we had an appointment with one of our agents friends. This proved to be great, bowling some fantatsic go sanke virtually all the group purchsed koi. 50cm plus gin rin showa, 50cm shiro and another showa all over 50cm, female and sansai. Just as we were leaving the breeder put in a very nice kin showa which i could not refuse, and we the bowled a sanke that someone had passed on the week before and that was just too good to leave, again both female and sansai.
As we were in mushigame and we had heard that yagenji had harevested it was round for ANOTHER visit. Well worth it as well as i found two very nice sankes and before i new it ron had a very clean gin rin beni goi in the bowl and said that makes a box doesnt it gary, he is learning and i finished a fish short .........lol. Then the cheeky wotsit decieded to make a box of his own with a very nice hariwake, gin rin showa and kindai showa. I think yagenji is now well and truly rons favourite breeder.
Rons box of koi from yagenji
New week new customers, Ron from kent, our nearly yearly regulars Rod and Diane and some new guests BKKS judge Heather and her husband Rodger. Now this was going to be interesting, as in the fact that roger has in my opinion so much knowledge and a great eye for koi i was worried that every time id bowl somthing would i be looking over my shoulder for an approving nod, or even a scowl and sharp whisling through the the teeth, the forth coming week would tell.
As per usual 1st visit was to see the agent and have a look around his facility. he really has an eye for the unusual and the varietys in stock were amazing including a whole pond of ki goi, doitsu kigoi, ki ustsuri, gin rin ki ustsuri and female and sansai, although not what we are looking for in the autumn, it was nice to see. A quick visit to Kase where we admired his lovely doitsu and metallics, then on to aoki who certainly knows how to charge for koi so we diddnt stay long. Then it was up to mushigame wherewe stopped to see Nagashima, this really is a nice guy and always has time to bowl a koi or two. I saw a nice showa with a near maruten head pattern to it before i knew it, it was bought from under my nose (thats right customer always has first option on our trips) feeling robbed i had a look at his bigger koi and found quiet a reasonable shiro utsuri, 65cm 4year old, when the price was given every ones head turned and said how much, it was one of those moments when the price was too low we thought there must be somthing wrong!!! but after checking the koi over and getting the seal of approval from roger and heather koi was purchased. Turns out the breeder sold the koi as jumbo tosai and the customer never returned to pick it up and he just wanted it out, well i guess one mans loss is another ones gain ! Afew fish in the main pond where priced and they really took your breath away, but with massive prices to match it was too early in the week for major purchses but i will try and get a few photos of these fish.
Higher up the mountains we found ourselves at Yagenji. I know i crow on about these place but it really has to be one of my favourites, there is always somthing for somone whatever the budget. Ron was first in with a great shiro with very good skin and again great price, even with the yen so bad still under 200 pounds out here! he then picked an unusual kindai showa and another shiro for his friend, so three koi in as many minutes ,another happy camper. Just as we were about to leave my eye caught an a 4 step kohaku, i pondered for a while as it had a large shimmie at the back, one group discussion later the koi was bowled and it was then dicussed that the shimmie could be dealt with, the koi was very nice and rogers 2nd, 3rd and 4th opinion where duly noted so the koi was purchased. if i make jokes about roger please exuse me as we go back along way and i have great respect for the man and his knowlegde but we have to have a laugh as well. Looking for somthing to go in a box with the kohaku ron finds a very very clean hi utsuri over 60cm, he really is on a roll and ticks another one off his list. As i look over his list i say, that wasnt on your list, you crossed off hi showa and wrote hi usturi and then put a tick next to it, he just replied i know it was just nice and i wanted it, cant argue with that can you! from there to sakai and another fav of mine, the dad is so friendly but now i think he is just there to cast an eye over the son whois know taking over. Im afraid this is where the trip took a bit of a dive and im including this so people realise. One of our group left an imposing kohaku in japan with sakai, we are now told that it has been lost, sakai im told will replace it, and im sure it will be as good or even better as i know he is a manof his word, this obviously doesnt help our customers disapointment but we have been asked to return and discuss when he has harvested later in the week.
This is the risk when you leave a koi in japan, when this happens its nobodys fault and everybodys loss, we just have to work for a good result for our client, which knowing sakai im sure we will.
Arival of the new gang!
4 step kohaku at yagenji
rons hi utsuri
Last stop was to suda where i saw a nice showa may be even kage , female , sansai .2 nisai to fill the box , a nice showa also female and a male aigoromo but with an amazing shape , great end to a great day.
Sunday started off with a bit of headache as we had the new group arrive so they all wanted to go to the nogyosai show, so one hire car with 5 and a mini bus with 7 it was off to the show, as usual superb koi with an amazing kohaku taking gc.
Great to chillout and walk around the koi and meeting the breeders so many varietys and and most koi of very high quality.
After browsing around the fair for a couple of hours we then moved of to Dianichi and was surpised to find that some of the koi were affordable, expensive but affordable. I think this was one of the best breeders we had visited and being a showa lover i couldnt be any more at home!! A few hours were then spent around many differant breeders premises waiting for them to come back from the show to give us prices. Then it was time to return to Torazo to see the koi we had reserved in the day light, we were not to be disappointed. The quality was what we had come for and the prices were not to bad. First in the bowl was the little 3 step at around 35cm she looked superb, and duly purchased for the shop. The larger sister came in at around 50cm and just glistened and again was purchsed straight away.
We needed one more for the box when i remembered the tataegoi that one of the lads had been offered, so i asked if it was still available, that was bowled and i asked about any more tategoi and a massive 60cm nisai maruten was placed i front of us, the maruten had so much presance i loved it but we now had to many for the box and i was being greedy and none were going back, so I thought if these two are genuine tategoi he wont mind growing one on and ill take the three home with me, he instanty agreed and the deal was done. Which one stayed well, id have liked to have left the maruten at 60cm it had the chance to go through past 70cm and that would suit me, but it was agreed that the smaller one was better quality and would gain more value with a trip to the mud pond.
The smaller tategoi kohaku that is going back to the mud pond.
The larger two step like her lttle sister both show quality
Maruten tatgoi kohaku coming back to the uk.
The three step kohaku from Torazo, just oozed quality.
70cm shiro utsuri from miyako.
Feeling very pleased we headed up the mountains to miyako where one of party bought a 70cm shiro utsuri, sorry the pic is not very good she would not behave herself.
then last call for the essex guys was to izumiya to but one of his sansai ogons, after going through half a dozen we found the best one we could, at nearly 60 cm she was lovely ............
As i write this log now, the Essex boys have been put on the bullet train that will take them to Tokyo and from there to Narita and a plane home, it was a great week with highs and lows and some times i laughed so much i thought my sides would split , (literally i think i have a hernia !!!!!!!), but as usual everyone had a good time and i hope they have all taken a little of that Niigata magic home with them, and only those who have been here can know how that feels ..............
Got up this morning and decided that today was going to be more positive! First stop to the hochino brothers who breed superb kohakus, fish were bowled and priced and we were very surprised at how reasonable they were. As some of the people were new to the group they wanted to look around before making any purchases so we left to see maradoh who was busy so onwards to the legend that is hoshikins for kohaku. I had to say that this was also very impressive and had fish that were affordable but everything we liked was sold, but the place just stank of quality and was great to visit. I`ll try and take more photos to brighten up the log in future. Out of ojiya found us at hiraswa who had beautiful kohaku at a reasonable price, but again they had just gone off to harvest. Marasaka was the next on our list but they had been out harvesting and not retuned so time for a coffee and unwind a bit. Fuelled up and ready to go it was off to connias where some nisai ginrin showa, showa and a very nice sanke were purchased.
Someone wanted to look at Asagis so we were near otsuka the home of niigata asagi, he had stunning examples but again was out so we popped into Torazo and were not disappointed, one of our party bowled a stunning sansai kohaku, myself I found a tiny 3 step and a 2 step that looked great but it was too late in the day to make a choice so we have reserved all untill the next day when we can return in good day light to see the koi properly. Although a few koi were bought there was a definate sign that the koi were getting cheaper as the week went on and i think from now on there should be lots of pics on the blog.