Its 11.30pm and ive just set my alarm clock for 4.45 for the early cab ride to the train station . Bags are packed and the pc is the only thing not packed away so i can check emails etc etc before i leave . Every time i arrive i get a call from a certain customer that i knew who loves how things work out here and always wants to know how i feel about the whole trip so im going to sum it up at the end of every trip . This year i always new the trip was going to be differant , things have changed at Gatwick koi so much over the last few years with us now having three facilitys , supplying to the trade and now even winning major awards at koi shows .( Which reminds me , congratulations to Ian from the Worthing section of the BKKS for winning GC at thier closed show before i left with a Kaneco shiro utsuri selected by us in the spring before last !) . It wasnt long before this would have an effect on what koi we would buy out here . This year more than ever i hope that all of you can see we have increased the level of koi we have purchased , even the breeders are remarking that they are hearing from other breeders about the koi we are buying , but i guess thats up to you folks out there to decide , you are the judge and jury on that one ! As for the koi , personally i feel some of the the breeders have left it late before they started harvesting , with some not even having harvested before we left , but saying that we havnt had any trouble finding the fish we needed to buy bar some customers orders , I know alot of you are still worried about the yen and are holding on waiting for it to rise befoe coming on a buying trip , heres some news , it gonna come back to what it was for a long time if ever , but to be honest with the changes in the way things work over here and the breeders understand the need for us to watch the prices , things arnt that much differant to what they were . The only thing that has really gone up is the shipping , and you only really notice that on the cheaper koi . If you are just reading this , please scroll down to see saturdays blog as i have done 2 today . also dont forget that ill be travelling for the next 24 hours so cant answer emails , but i will monday mornings , or ill be in the shop tuesday morning , but give me till after 11am to catch up on things . So to sum up , a very good trip as usual .Even with an emrgancy dash to hospital , bag getting stuck between train and platform and breaking , phone not working over here , 11 earthquaqes in one night , a major lossed sale due to another phone not working in the mountains in time to reserve a koi , nine orders not being found , it was still one of the best buying trips ive ever had . High lights , once again so many to mention , Torazo selling us all some stunning koi at very resonable prices , Buying 4 very high class tategoi at Sakai ( which will appear in the KIJ section when i get home ) to leave in Japan for up to three years to grow to the right size for competeing for gc at koi shows in the uk . Shinoda , a breeder we havnt used for ages supplying some very good koi at very good prices , in fact so good i have sold half before i have even left Japan , the meal with Sakai was just unreal ,watching the koi coming off the truck at sakai and being able to select through them then and there ! finding amazing one off fish like the shiros at kawakami , yagenji and yamazaki .Getting some big chags at Marudo and two lovely showa , Finally my old mate Maruhiro san , all week i struggled to get the fish i needed out of him , we told him and then he came uo with the goods , even if it was right at the last minute , this guy gets bigger and better every year and mark my words , his gin rin Kohaku will be the talk of the world , all ready im seeing body shapes on them that not many can seem to match . So if you are thinking of coming to Japan , and read this and it seems that we are larking about and joking , we are , we enjoy what we do , every one who has travelled with us should tell you what a good time they had , but when the koi are bowled its all serious buisness and we work the onky way we can , to give customers no alternative to travel with any one else other than us around Niigata . Already we think we may have two trips booked for next winter so if yiu are thinking of it , get in quick while we have space .We are also looking at booking our trip for the all Japan show around end of January /February . Finally id like to thank the following people for making thsi trip possible , firstly Sue , and the Ginger chav and carl for keeping things going at home , all of the breeders who we enjoy working with so much , Rob , Chris , Alex and Ichi San , Ojiya hospital , Mark Gardener for being himself ! , Gary and Heather for helping make this one of the best trips ever ,7-11 shops , vitimin c and d drinks , and boss coffee for this late night entires on the blog , and finally of course you guys , the people who read the blog and face book who send the hundreds of messages that keep me going when im bloody tired and have doubts about my own sanity . Thanks to everyone , and i think the photo below sums everything up ..............see you for the All Japan trip !

Today was all about a mopping up operation , going round trying to find bits and pieces , may be find a few orders that we haddnt completed . First thing this morning we got another email from a hobbiest in the uk asking about a certain Kujaku at Hosakai , in fact i had now two emails about the same fish , not having a printer here i emailed the agent who turned up an hour later with photo in hand and a first thing appointment with Hosakai koi farm As we arrived thier was already a few in there so we waited and the young breeder shouted out , oooo Gary san , slim size , come in come in , I laughed as i had so many times before as the breeders had commented on my wieght loss all week . They all seemed intereasted so i can know rattle off 75kg down in Japanese quicker than i can in english ! We asked some prices and looked for the kujaku , he saw the picture and he laughed and asked where we had seen it , i said it was an email from the uk and he laughed , i got the impression that i wasnt the first this week .He took us to the pond and pointed , this koi i tought was gonna be around 50-60cm when he gave us the price , to my shock and horror it was more like under 40 , i studied the koi for a long time and couldnt see the value in the koi in my mind , so iasked the customers travelling with me , Heather is a ZNA judge and a Bkks judge , we both agreed it was a very pretty fish .I think this will sell to a hobbyist that enjoys this sort of size koi , but not to a serious uk hobbyiest who wants a big Kujaku with all the qualitys that come with such a high price tag . With this in mind we decieded to buy some nisai that i had orders for . Three female kujaku , two ogons , tancho showa `and two ogons . As i had struggled to find enough koi to make a box up , i was very happy as a few were pre ordered , Then we noticed the best kujaku has a bent head , this was bad as i now feared id have to return all the koi which not only does my head in , the breeder kind of hates it as well . Looking round i gave him a budget for a sansai and he showed me many koi that i diddnt like , i pointed to a doitsu ochiba and he said more expensive , so i gave him my best puppy dog eyes and he said ok ok Gary san but please put one nisai back for safe packing , very happpy with that idea as the Ochiba was the first koi that jumped out at me in the first place and i thought it to be too expensive ., so another result , 50cn and female . As we started out back to Ojiya a small rodent ran across the road and the agent said its a young beaver , to which someone said ( ill not mention the name ) is it a beaver , if so thats why there arnt many trees around here , the car fell silent as every one looked round , we were surrounded by tree laden mountains as far as the eye could see in every direction , every one fell about laughing with this poor person now doomed to be ridiculed for the next 24 hours , including why did the beaver cross the road , to get to the trees on the other side !This kind of summed up the week , we had certainly bought some serious koi this week , but had a great time doing it . Due to a late start as it was saturday , by the time we reached Ojiya it was nearly time for our lunch , egg sandwhich and today i pushed the boat out and had a creme caramal , which five minutes later i tried to eat as we were driving and realised i forgot a spoon so every one in the car was treated to the sound of me slurping it out of the pack doing my best to sound like a Japanese person eating noodle soup . We then were going to Yamazaki as i had to sort out the paperwork on a shiro utsuri that we had featured on the blog , someone from the uk had emailed me so we bought the koi over the phone , Yamazaki called and said dont worry if its just for that , the agent can come and do it after you leave , that was good as Maruhiro had called and said he was back from the harvest and we had our usual azukari buiness to sort out . These are koi that are to be left with the breeder and returned to the mudponds for more growth and development . On arrival Hinori san started bowling koi at prices that where way out of my budget , but still way cheaper than we had seen elswwhere . Two that caught our eyes were both sansai showas .One was very nice but very expensive , the other was very intereasting , the beni was very thick but still soft .The thing that attracted me the most was the sashi on the head , it was very very good quality indeed , all of us noticed it straight away , he said "koi shows two years , sumi down sumi down " This koi was also expensive so we needed time to think .So i started to bowl all sorts of koi and was struggling to find the quality i like here .Hinori san said somthing to the agent , he translated as being dont buy that , you dont want it , buy what you want /need .He was right , i couldnt buy what i wanted so was settling for a box of koi way below what i have been buying all week . He took me to another pond and started bowling up nisai between 40 and 50 cm , and they were a nice quality and only two to a box which made then expensive with the shipping althought the price in Japan was very good indeed , when he was told this he laughed and said "no shipping , azukari !! " My god this bloke is such a good salesman you dont even realise it untill its too late . With 7 koi in a bowl he asked if i wanted to buy all , i laughed and called him a crazy Japanese monkey , on which he laughed so much he nearly fell in the pond , which gave us all a chuckle .He then asked us which was the four best and we went through them and for once we all agreed on which four was the best , i really mean it , the breeder , the agent , me and both customers .Bloody hell if this wasnt an omen nothing was !!!!!! Hinori san started going in about us being friends , not when we are negotiating we are not and i laughed , he didnt .He walked off , i thought oops gone too far , but he picked up a net and caught a very nice nisai gin rin ochiba , placed it in the bowl and said if you buy all , this is the price .........., i was gobsmacked , the agent nearly fell in the pond in shock , i bit his hand off and started taking photographs and set about measuring the fish , i heard laughing behind me and turned around to find his sidekick using the tape measure to size the fish , we had left the measuring bowl at the other facility . Please dont get me wrong , this farm is a very serious koi farm indeed , every year , the quality gets higher and higher and id go as far to say he will be a very big player in the future of the Japanese koi industry , but you dont have to take it serious , in fact just go there , have fun , and buy koi , isnt that what its all about ???? After much hand shaking and promising to buy and sell many koi over the coming years , i couldnt stop thinking about the other two showas , in fact i had to look at the one with the great sashi again so i could find some excuse for not buying it , i couldnt so i did , another gentlemans agreement , more hand shakes and that was it , no more koi today i promised myself , this time i really meant it ! We left to go and see our old friends Yagenji and had a last coffee and to say good bye and come down the mountains to the hotel for the last time . Ill add my usual thoughts and views later on as i need to finish the website before bed ! Id like to take this opertunity to congratulate myself on the worst set of photos i think ive ever taken , in order .......................First six pictures are the new nisai 30-40cm at Hosakai , and then the next is the doitsu ochiba , sansai and around 50cm ( female ) this is a cracking koi bred from a female doitsu karishigoi hence the stunning colours that the picture certainly hasnt captured , The next six are the koi that im leaving at Maruhiro koi farm , if i dont sell any from these pics ull understand the koi are way better than they look and some have mucus after going into the colder water from harvesting , first nisai gin rin ochiba , nisai kohaku from senske bloodline , nisai sanke from sadazo bloodline that in no way looks as bad as the pic implys , nisai gin rin kohaku , nisai showa , sansai showa that has all the qualitys of being a great fish in the future . Couple of pics of the crazy gang october 2012 . Last but not least , an intereasting sanke i found at Yagenji , yonsai and 66cm approx , stunning skin quality and brilliant for showing , id have love to have bought this as the price was very resonable , but i really have bought too many koi , so if i sell loads before i return ill make a call and she will be mine ! If anyone else is intereasted in this koi , please contact me .....................Gary PS also still have alot of Maruhiro nisai to go on the webste of virtually dozens of varietys , this will have to wait untill i get home now , these will all be bewrween £195 and £295 , with a few bigger chagoi , soragoi and ochiba and gin rins as well in the nisai c section , sorry just too much work to get done before i get to bed

May be a strange title , but after the day ive had i cant even begain to put into words how one of the best days for me in Japan just went , it was nothing less than incredable . Like all stories we start at the begining , first appointment was at Nogami .This breeder has a fantatsic reputation and i really need to spend more time with farms like this .When we arrived there wasnt alot of koi available so it was a little dissapointing as we expected to see way more and my hope of buying a Nogami kohaku were slipping fast , one was bowled which you will see below and although the skin was very impressive , i just diddnt feel right for me so we passed and moved on to Izumiya .Here Heather was looking for a sanke , and as this breeder uses Jimbie bloodline we were hoping to see somthing special . After looking through all the sansai , nothing was found that fitted what she was looking for .Plan B , give the breeder a budget , we did this and he took us to a yonsai pond and pulled out what we coinsidered to be the best fish in there by far ! Stunning skin and gloss shiny sumi , it was the best we had seen for a while , but i could see that it still wasnt what Heather was looking for . We thanked him and left and went on our way to Kase . Although today was mainly about finding a sanke for heather , she admitted that she diddnt think she would find one this week so resigned her self to a showa . Now although Kase is known for metalelics and doitsu , he also has some very nice showa , this has been developed using dianichi and sekiguchi bloodline , i have bought a lot from him over the years and was expecting to find some good quality koi here . Once again the dissapointment bug was with us , i really like this farm , he is such a nice guy and we always buy from him , but this time the there just wasnt the quality we were looking amoung the showa . His doitsu and metalics were out of this world , but this time we wernt looking fior these so once again it was on our travels . Rushing back to Mushigame to get my book i had left at a farm yesterday , we noticed that he had harvested again so we will go back there later, but for now we had an appointment with Kanno , a new breeder to us so i was keen to get there as i really needed some sankes , and he is also known for goshiki . At Kanno we were taken to a pond and offered some nice nisai at a very good price and picked five females , two goshiki , two sanke and one tancho showa .His bloodline is very intereasting , momotaro and sff , so it should be intereasting to see how these will grow ! Lunch time was upon us , and so it was off to 7-11 again with a happy Gary but slighly sad customer who had now resigned herself to buying no sanke . After scoffing the usual aray of egg sandwhich and crab sticks we flew round to Maruhiro and give him the bad news , we couldnt attend the harvest tomorrow that all my koi are in as we had to find a sanke for Heather , you could see he wasnt happy as he had kind of planned his day round us , i felt really bad as this is one guy who we really have struck up a bond with , but customers come first as we were running out of time . To try and make amends i had bought some nisai over the weekend and hadnt added to them to make a box to ship , so hoping this might cheer him up i dived in a pond as it looked like there was plenty of new koi , within a minute we both had a net and everyone was all smiles . Very quickly we had a nice bowl of small nisai around 35cm, the day was really turning around . From here it was off to Shintaro , Mark Gardener was waiting for us when we got there and was soon joined by the breeder , Saito san had offered us some nice quality nisai at a very resonable price , now these are certainly not high class koi , but very attractive koi at an affordable price for people to see how they develop and grow . We soon had way more than we needed and sorted out two sanke and a kohaku , as we were in a rush and had an appointment i looked at three sanke Mark had put in a bowl , i passed on them and then did nothing but think about them for the rest of the day , oh well , snooze you lose as i so often say to my customer ! As we passed by Sakai the agent said dont forget you have a koi reserved there , and they are there now do you want to go and sort it out . We all agreed but diddnt really want to as Sakai wasnt going to harvest untill friday there wouldnt be much more than our last visit .How wrong we were ! The little truck was there brimming with koi from a new harvest , they had changed shcedule , result ! They asked us to join them and we watched the high grade nisai come out into bowls and be sorted .Sakai and his father were both there and greeted us very warmly , the father stopped working to come and talk to us and i felt like an old friend revisiting .I know many breeders make us welcome , but this farm is one of the busiest and they always take time out to make us feel welcome and we are by no means any where near to being a top customer of thiers ! Sakai asked us if Hreather and found a Sanke , she shook her head and before we knew it she had been told to look at the bowls and the father was also joining in placing new koi in front of her , for her to view . Once again we just asked for koi around a certain price mark and were shown many stunning sankes , the one i was looking at during the week was also placed in the bowl and a great amount of discusion then took place with what seemed all the workers and everyone in the farm joined in . Again this was wierd to me , i did a rough calculation of fish in bowls and on the back of the truck , and they had stopped again to help Heather , when they really should have asked us to wait while they finsih or for us to return a little later , i really did feel a little humble but was enjoying the time so much this soon passed ! After much discusion and moving koi we had three very high end sankes in a bowl , including mine , heather then asked for a showa to be added which we saw unloaded .It couldnt be found , we were all sure that it went into a side pond , after everyone looking for it i spotted it in his main nisai pond .I shook my head and sakai said ok ok and it was bowled before you could say i cant afford that . With four now very expensive koi in a bowl , Heather announced that she was intereasted in both , i said i coukdnt decide between the sanke i had reserved , and a new one that had "found "its way into a bowl . Before i knew it i had asked for a little discount and we would buy all four ......hold on , whats that all about , i had toyed with the idea of leaving one sanke at a level i had never bought nisai before , suddeny im trying to buy two , have i got caught up with the moment , is the breeder a better sales person than i thought , or it is just time to raise the bar a little ??? So more discussion , cries of Gary san quality up up , and hoots of laughter , then the serious face of Sakai , buy all four , heres the offer , but leave them all here , they have a very good future and will only improve , so thats it , the most two expensive nisai i ever bought and will only bee seen briefly for the next few years , Heather will leave hers as well and was smiling like a cheshire cat , and with that we had another surpise .Sakai said he would take us out for dinner tonight when we last visited during the week , he asked if it was still ok , i said we would have to think about it , yeah , for about a milli second !!!! The master class continues . The only thing that bugged me was spending all this money and having nothing to show in the shop for it , so he took us to another pond and showed us some nice quality makes .I really diddnt want to buy any males as i had avoided it on most of the single koi , but when he told me the price once again it was a case of it would be rude not to . So three sankes later and a gin rin tancho we called it a day and moved on to our last stop knowing that we would be having a great night later on . Over the last few days i have had nothing but emails about a certain sansai showa at shinoda , its so high grade its unbelievable , but with the peck slighly clipped the breeder finally reduced the price the day before last and i was soooo tempted but spending is starting to get out of control i thought best not to . After 5 more emails today i went back to him and explained that im sure i coukd sell it if the price was a little less , he agreed and a deal was struck , two more nisai selected to tavel in the box and we were done and dusted on what must have been one of the most enjoyable days ive ever spent in Niigata .The evening was pefection itself , just Gary , Heather , Chris , myself and Sakai . So much talk about koi , the mans hopes and dreams , secrets that we cant mention to any one , stuff about his breeding pairs , it wa really was a fantastic night , one full of education , laughs and great food . I get the the impresion that we were told alot of things that sakai wouldnt normally tell people , and i fely very honoured that the man would take us into his personal world , and im afraid thats where it will stay ! Pictures in order Nogami kohaku ( not purchased ) , five Kanno nisai all female 45-50cm , three bowls of maruhiro nisai 35cm approx , Guess who ??? Next three Shintaro nisai 45-55 all female , showa and three sankes from sakai going back to the mudpond all around 55cm , four male nisai 45-55cm from sakai , two nisai gin rin showa and two pics of the sansai to show clip of peck , now purchased by us

Im not really into watching harvests , seen one net dragged through the water ive seen loads . What i do like however is arriving at the breeders premises as they are unloading as we did at Sakais the other day , watching all the new koi being brought in and sorted with out the long wait and the mozzie bites and usually get first crack at the new koi ! How ever when a breeder who you work closely with says he is going to harvest a pond with four of your koi in it , and you have customers with you of one that hasnt seen a harvest , then thats a differant matter . We arrived at Maruhiros mudpond at 8am , the water was already down and the two lads went at it and within 20 minutes it was all done and dusted . I was very pleased to see all of the koi koi coming out , as they are all owned by uk dealers .One by one they emerged and i could see th growths had been great , the new mudponds had worked its magic so off to his old facility to decide what to ship , what to leave for another year and measure and take photos . When the fish came out into cleaner water it was clear that some had grown nearly 14cm from nisai to sansai , quite impressive as they had not been big nisai . My kohaku from Senske bloodline was very nice and that is being shipped , the tancho showa had done well and the sumi had not covered the spot so we were well happy . One gin rin showa was very improved , but had a little secondary so it was decieded that would be sorted out and returned to the mudponds for another year . The biggest turn up was a gin rin kohaku , this had grown to an impressive 57cm with a stunning body shape , after much discusion it was decieded as it looked so good it would be shipped for sale in the shop . The breeder then placed the last koi in a bowl , it was a shiro usturi that i had nearly bought last year , but thought a little expensive , it had grown well but the sumi wasnt showing through as strong as i had liked , especially when told the price .He really did rate this so much that i decieded that i had to give in and listen to him , it was also relevent that i had bought a shiro form him from the same parents whose sumi was excellant . we growled over a price for a little while and settled somwhere or no where near middle ground .Hinori smiled and gave me one of his it will come good looks , and sumi up speeches and i caved in .Sometimes you just have to listen to the breeder , and he hasnt wrong footed me yet !!! At the new facility we looked around and i for once couldnt get in the swing of things here , in fact all week i had onky bought a few boxes of koi .He bowled many koi for me but i just diddnt really like anything .With a lot of people asking about smaller nisai we walked around a couple of ponds and then he took me to a pond with some yonsai and gosai and started catching up some smaller kohaku around 35cm that we hadnt seen , An awesome little three step came up , and then another two step with an inazuma pattern , now we we were talking , He then went to two or three differant ponds picking out about 20 kohaku .Four were given a very high price indeed , but its where i wanted to be so picked another few from the bowl and i was pretty pleased with myself . These koi will be on the b and c section of the nisai pages .Now we both seemed happier i asked for somthing , he said what do you mean somthing , i dont know , i just want to buy somthing . He laughed as only he could do and come back with a 64cm sadazo bloodline sanke , yonsai with very good skin quality and a pip nose head pattern , no haggling on the price on this one and i gave him a list of koi i still needed , may be tomorrow as im harvesting he told me , so hopefully that will finish us off nicely for the week . After realising we had been there all morning we went off on our way to Isa . Stunning showa in all the fish houses , but nothing for us , so we popped into Hiroi , Shinoda and Yamazaki but nothing for any of us today , i think we were all very tired and losing concentration ( or may be just i was ! ) , so at just after 4 we returned to the hotel . Tonight we have been out for a meal with Maruhiro and are going back after he has harvested again tomorrow , as he says he is sure has some of the things i am looking for . The meal as ever was very funny , he is one of the most comical guys ive ever met , and time spent with him are just so enjoyable . Before he left he had heard that we had bought some serious go sanke at sakai to leave in Japan for a few years , he laughed and said come and see me tomorrow , we will find you a few more

Over the last few years we have tried / gambled on leaving koi in Japan . Its always a gamble and i have to say so far we have had alot of fun and always had good results , and hoped it was a way of building up a good collection of larger koi suitable for showing in the uk . With Satoshi Tanaka koi we have even got firsts and seconds at the nogyosi show in 35 and 45 gin rin with his showa that we have left in Japan . So it was off to this breeder first thing this morning as last year we bought a high class nisai gin rin showa and , and his number one sansai . We arrived to a big smiley face and entered the koi house and was pleased to hear that both koi had come out of the mudpond . The nisai/sansai was alittle dissapointing as some secondary hi had emerged along the top of the flank , and the sansai /yonsai hadnt grown at all . I was told that due to the lack of rain the water had dropped and the koi not fed properly so no growth . I had heard this already from other people who had left koi last year so was prepared for this , Satoshi apologised and said he would return the yonsai back into the pond again next year free of charge , a very nice gesture , so i asked him to keep the other showa as a present .This may have seemed harsh , but with shipping costs so much it wasnt worth shipping the koi , You have to remember that leaving koi is always a risk , and you have to take the good , the bad and the ugly ! , some of you reading this may be a little surprised and expecting me to blew a fuse and rant and rave , may be ive grown up a little , or may be i undertsand koi a little more every year and somtimes you have to take whats happened and move on , for those of you who remember Bill Mcquirk , he had an expression i could never agree with when he said it , Gary thats koi , and one day you will get it , i guess i do now !. With the yonsai showa going back to the mudponds and Tanaka having very low stocks we shook hands and moved onto Seijero , another showa breeder .The breeder wasnt here so we had a look round the facility and again stocks were very low so we popped round to another breeder called Kobayashi who has white tiger bloodline shiros , and my god they were white ! Only three sansai took my fancy , one being sold and the other two a little too pricey . Oofuchi then called and asked when we were coming round , having visited three breeders and buying no fish , how about ten minutes was my reply ! Oofuchi is one of my favourite breeders , you can get many many varietys for a fair price , and every year its the same , fill your boots and four to a box .Somtimes a couple of bigger koi and its all good !This visit was a little differant , i found myself really being fussy , the reason s that was i could , the quality and quantity was pretty good . After many many visits to Japan , you start to get a feel for how the breeders work , I know Oofuchi likes you to get there , get your fish , and go so he can harvest again , the more koi you can buy ther better as well ! As most of you know i try to take pics as i go along , this time i knew oofuchi was really busy , so i decieded to spead myself up , within ten minutes we had nearly 20 koi in bowls , may not sound alot but these were all sansai and yonsai with some fish near and over the £1000 mark . I spent a minute or two checking and sexing the koi , most were female ( i cant tell you which is which as i have left my book at Yagenji which i will get tomorrow and fill in the missing details on the web pages ) after a small amount of haggling a verry good deal was done and the fish seperated into bowls , two more fish were needed to make a box so i got two very nice Kujaku and the breeder gave a price which i thought was a little high , he pointed to the larger kujaku and raised his hand up , this seems to be the international sign for better quality / expensive etc etc etc , i looked at him at him and said thanks for explaining and pointed at all the bowls full of fish and he made a new price that i was happy with . He then looked a bit glum and asked if i wanted to do all individual photos , looking at an hours work i said no , ill take a quick one of the bowls and he seemd to get even happier and said much better , much quicker , a man of few words . All done and dusted in 40 minutes and the fish were taken away to be prepared for shipping . The agent came over and said Oofuchi was very happy and said that Gary was very quick today , that was the general plan as i had customers with me that wanted to get up to his better quality pond and wanted him to be in a good mood . At the other facility we spent ten minutes looking and looking , we then bowled a 65cm aigormo which was great , a showa bred from isa and dianichi parents and a stunning 70cm shiro utsuri that as it come up in the water i nealry asked him to return as i expected it to be an outragious price(, just becuase this breeder is a volume breeder you must also remember that he is very famous for his kujaku and shiro utsuri and has some stunning examples ) All three were then priced , and i have to say were amazing value for money but were still alot of money , two were returned and we where left with the shiro utsuri , which was nothing less than stunning . Oofuchi made a couple of offers and i nearly bit his hand off , and i knew i already had some very good shiros on this trip already , but couldnt leave this one behind , i think he knew one more offer and it was going to the uk , he did and it is .A very high standard koi ready for showing in the uk ! After luch we realise that we hadnt seen the Yagenji brothers for 48 hours and were soon on our way as we had also heard that my three yonsai had come out of the mudponds and were ready for viewing . On arrival i was taken straight to them and i saw the sanke and was over the moon with it , 66cm it had grown well and was well happy with her .The first showa came out and it was looking well , it had grown to 67 cm and had a little secondary beni where i think sum i has still yet to come .The third showa had grown well but not come out looking so good , every one looked at me expecting the worse , i just smilled and said thats koi !!!!! I turned to the younger brother and pointed at the koi and said present , he laughed and started to ring the other brother and i said no , its ok no problem , i then dragged him off to buy some koi as i needed to add some to the shiro i bought on saturday . I was really shocked at how well i had taken this all , three disapointments and still smiling with Bills words ringing round my head . The shiro from saturday was then bowled again and i found a very nice Maruten and waqs looking in the main pond when The older borther turned up next thing i know there is a showa in the bowl with my two koi , one box said yagenji , not my showa i replied , it is now , swap for big showa !!! A very nice gesture from one of the friendliest farms in the area , and on of the reasons why i always keep going back there . After this i found some nice nisai kujaku and selected four females and a wierd looking gin rin shiro utsuri and more Yagenji koi farm koi on the way to the UK . On the way to Yagenji we saw Saito from Shintaro koi farm and promised to visit afterwards, so we made our way down the hill and had a good look at his koi . I love this guy and his well know for his sence of humour , but ill tell you now his koi are not for the faint hearted , very very high quality with prices to match and we only buy one or to koi here a year . With it getting dark and knowing i am not going to be buying his best nisai sanke again this year , i had a look at what i thought was his male pond and found a few nice looking sankes , female he said , female , female , am i in the wrong pond i wondered ? I said oh and walked away , and he said come and look Gary , Tescos prices , and they really where !!! I looked and looked and i coudnt see anything wrong with the koi , they are NOT high class but looked very nice and attractive to most koi keepers . Bearing in mind that these koi will grow well i thought id buy a few so people can own an attractive Shintaro koi at a resonable price , but as it was getting dark and i really couldnt believe what he was selling me so an appointment was made to come back the following day when it was a bit lighter . Anyone looking for a nice go sanke please remember that these will still not be cheap but will be very good prices for sanke and nisai of this quality . Really looking foward to going back as i have reserved three with the idea of purchasing many more , one particuler koi i fancy growing myself in a year in the new showered pond . First stop in the morning is Nogami as Heather doesnt want to buy another Kohaku , so why does she want to go to one of the most famous kohaku breeders in the region ...................rude not to !!!! Photos in order , Oofuchi 70cm yonsai saragoi , 60cm yonsai kin kikikoryu , 45-50cm kujaku sansai , five boxes of mixed sansai 45-55cm to be rephotographed in the Uk , as i have said i have taken rough measurements , sexed and priced all these koi but the details are in a book i left ata yagenjis , so when the go uo on the website ill price and other detail tomorrow . Yonsai 70cm shiro from Oofuchi , simply stunning ! .Sanke and showa yonsai from Yagenji , nice sansia kujaku rejected as it had a little dent on the head , shame as it was really nice , nisia kohaku , showa and shiro all female from Yagenji . then the four female kujaku and gin rin shiro( male we think ) all around 45cm also from Yagenji .