Many people have been asking us to find all sorts of koi this year , so we have had to return to breeders that we havnt used for a while , so its been nice to renew old friendships . First appointment is at an old farm know as Suzuki , we were looking for goromo , and may be some doitsu koi . On arrival he took us into the fish house and there were nisai around 35-40cm , saw some goromo , that looked very nice , but also doitsu showa ! We have really struggled this trip to find any , so this was a real bonus ! Soon had around 30 koi bowled up , this fish house is a nightmare to work in , no room , always hot , tripping over things , and today as i walked over the filters , i sat down on a sofa to look at the koi and make my selection , i then heard a familiar   crack , and new what was coming next . The board broke in half and fell into the water , along with the sofa and half my leg ! i managed to catch my balance and save the camera and the sofa from all toppling into the pond , just escaped with a scratched leg and a damp foot . So after replacing the board , and restting the sofa , i made my selction , and soon had some 24 koi including , doitsu showa and sanke , and goromo . As we were taking the pics , it was notice one koi was deformed ,  so i had already returned  the unwanted koi , i took the oportunity to bowl a few more expensive goromo and selected a really nice one , with great skin quality !

I  am a man of habbit , i like to awake to the alarm clock , drink coffee , bathroom , drink coffee , breakfast drink coffee , and then , and only then i am ready  face the world ! What i dont like is someone banging on my hotel door at 6.30 am , and saying get up , Hinori is in the mountain , the pond is ok to harvest today , and we need to meet him in 20 mins . No coffee , no breakfast , flying visit to the bathroom , diddnt bode well for me today , and anyone i met lol So i throw  my gear in a bag and got down to the foyer at 6.45 , at Maruhiros 7am . Quick drive up to the mountains , and we arrived at the mudpond . Hinori was worried about the growth of the koi , as there was so  much rain he diddnt feed for three- four weeks , that diddnt give me a lot of confidence , but as ive said before Azuakri ( leaving koi ) is alot of risk , and you take the good with the bad ! The net was dragged around the pond , and the first koi out was a sansai sanke , Hinori made made  a fuss , and got out of the water to inspect the koi on the truck . There was a feeling that he was pretty happy , and when i saw the sanke , it had improved no end ! So back he went for the rest . I recognised all the koi coming out , but lost count to how many , i knew one was missing , it was a sanke that i had hoped would break the 80cm barrier . They dragged the net around again , the water left in the net , got smaller and smaller , and i started feeling that there wasnt enough room for a rather large sanke , and Maruhiro was muttering to him self , which means he is worried , annoyed or a combination of both . His hands felt around the small area for what seemed an eternity , then i saw a ripple and colour break the water , you could almost hear everyone breath out in one go , Hinoris smile was back on his face , and the atmosphere became jolly again . 

We left the hotel a little earlier today , as our first destination was Sekiguchi koi farm . This is reached by a 40 minute journey on the motorway , so a little extra time is needed to get there by 9am . I hadnt been to the farm for a year or so , as either him or us had been busy , the first thing that hit me was two more fish houses had been built , great sign that the breeder is busy . We started in one fish house , and i started bowling some smaller nisai from 30cm , half way through i realized , that although the koi were very nice , it wasnt what we had come for , so i apologised , stopped and put the fish back . We then went into another fish house , and taken to a pond of males around 45-50cm  , once again although great quality , not what i had come for . So into anther fish house , and to two ponds full of nisai . I soon had 8 nice female showa in a bowl , including a tancho showa , in the pond it diddnt look as what i had hoped , so we bowled her up , and she looked way better ! . A price was given , and the price was fair , but i wanted better , so Sekiguchi suggested 12 showa was a number he was happy for the price i wanted , i looked at what i had left in the pond , and soon had another 4 in the bowl i wanted . In fact , there was two in the bowl we hadnt selected , and i was really thinking  about them as well , but we had some great koi at a great price , so i left the last two , took the videos and pics of the 12 very nice quaity koi i had in the bowls . All 12 koi are female and around 50-55cm , couple were slightly smaller .

            I woke this morning , after quite a reasonable sleep for a first night in Japan . I woke up and finished yesterday blog , and then went downstairs for breakfast of  meatballs and salad . Seems that my giving up sugar in coffee , has started some strange health kick , also decided to bypass the bread bin for the usual round or two if toast . So feeling full of energy , and convincing my new eating was giving me super strength , that or the fact i had 6 hours sleep , i bounded into the car camera at hand , ready to take on the world , or rather Niigatas finest .

                       Travelling to Japan , can be at best  a little testing ! Today , that testing was put to its limit . I arrived at Heathrow  , as always , with time to spare , only to find out , that the plane had gone technical . That means to the non aviation technicians among us ( including me ) , that it had broken down . For some reason during the routine maintanance , the cowlings that surround  the engine  couldnt  be closed . This caused a two hour delay in take off , then on arrival at Haneda , we were disembarked onto coaches , instead of the main building , and guess what , there wasnt enough coaches to go around , so another 1/2 hour delay , combine that  with the first customs search in 40 visits , meant i was struggling to get my normal bullet train to Niigata ! But after a mad dash across Tokyo station , i got the train with a minute to spare ! The next hour 40 mins were spent trying to relax and get me into koi mood , as i was far from it as i slumped into my seat for the long train journey .