09

Feb 2017

Category: February 2017

First appointment today , was at Shinoda koi farm . Famous for his doitsu , gin rin and hi utsuri . I had  a few orders including a high quality hi utsuri , but when we arrived there was really only one pond left with nisai in . But on the good side they were all female so we managed to select some gin rin showa , and a couple of hi utsuri . Like most breeders , Shinoda is almost out of nisai , and that is what we have found driving around Niigata , a lot of the breeders we don't need to go back to now unless they have some tateshita , this are koi that have been released for sale after the tategoi selections have been made . From Shinoda , we also have a lot of chisai nisai ( small two year olds ) , these will be going on the website today , doitsu and gin rin go sanke .

Read more: Thursday

08

Feb 2017

Category: February 2017

A lot of people have been asking for showa of all levels , and to be honest , havnt really seen many around ! So we had a chat with Maruhiro and he said he would check his stock ponds away from the farm . So with that in mind  , we headed up there first thing today . In one day I couldn't believe the amount of new koi he had moved into the sales ponds . Soon had a few examples in the bowl , and some surprisingly good for the money ! Soon had 8 in the bowl , with a ki ursuri , and a gin rin ki utsuri as well . From here we looked around the more expansive ponds and found larger nisai hi utsuri and sanke , both female around 45-50cm . Among them there was also some smaller better quality showa , so we decided to purchase them as well . Then we started to bowl up even more better quality nisai  but I really didn't like what I was seeing , so we called a halt , and moved on to the best pond ( apart from the circle one , and we all know why we don't buy from there lol , but saying that's 3 of my koi reside there at the moment lol ) There was some sanke , showa and kohaku then bowled for the purpose of Azukari ( to leave in Japan ) . Then it all went wrong , Mark Gardner appeared from no where like the shop keeper in Mr Benn, and then a long discussion involving koi being returned , then caught up again , only to be returned once again , poor old Hinori , he didn't know what was going on , but in the end I settled on a kohaku 69cm  yonsai , and a sansai 60cm sanke , ni dan pattern and superb skin quality . The third sanke that was returned , caused great debate , and in the end someone else bought her , but it was an interesting debate lol . From here we joined Hinori and his wife for coffee and food.

Read more: Wednesday

07

Feb 2017

Category: February 2017

Over night snow had left its mark on the town of Ojiya , first thing in the foyer of the hotel , I heard many complaining about treacherous road conditions already , Diddnt bode well for me with a pair of wellies that I couldn't get on due to the swelling of my leg , plastic trainers it was then ! We set off towards Hosokai koi farm , and had to drive slow due to the wind blowing snow all over the road . I think sometimes we take it for granted over here , driving round mountains with 50 foot drops , in snow covered roads , oh well , as some one once said , what we do for these stupid koi ! On arrival at the farm , we spent an hour looking round at what was available , once again I was seeing a repeating pattern , lots of nice koi at reasonable prices , but varietys and quality of what we have already . The breeder then got a phone call saying that a car was stuck in the snow , it was some customers on the way to see him and had driven a little close to the side of the road . We decided to leave as it looked like he would be busy with the car for while . We made a call and then it  was off to Marudo koi farm . When we arrived we were shown some very nice tosai , and was offered a chance to hand select , the kohaku looked extremely nice , so set about netting the pond and selecting some 20-27cm tosai . After selecting 25 , I looked at what I had chosen through , and then decided to take another 25 as the quality was so high . Another pond was netted , and we started selecting sanke , again around 20-25cm . After selecting for a few minutes , I had to admit I was struggling , and I suggested we stop ,I could see that the breeder wasn't happy , so decided to take a box for politeness sake . Once selected , the fish were placed in clean water , and I realised the fish were way better than I first imagined , and was very glad I had carried on . After all the pics and videos were done , I was asked if I wanted some higher class tosai , this happened before , found a pond and got selecting only to find that that there was higher quality available ! This time I wasn't worried as the 75 tosai we had selected were great quality , so I considered this other pond to be a bonus . Once shown the pond , I was told the price was way more than the others , so a hard debate began about the price . Earlier on we had been offered some nice Yamabuki at a sensible  price , 65-70cm and yonsai . Being the great negotiator , I explained that we had selected three boxes already , could we buy two ogons and get a better price on the HQ tosai , until then we had been dealing with the daughter as the father had slipped down some stairs and had to go to hospital , he had just returned in mid negotiations , and as a master of price debates , he came back and said ok Gary san , you can have your price on the tosai , but ONLY if you have 4 Yamabuki ogons , I had to laugh as I had been out manuvered by the boss ! So 4 ogons later , we set about selecting through this new pond , I was shocked , the quality was way beyond what I had expected , and very quickly I had 25 very tasty tosai kohaku and a few sanke . Feeling very happy , we went and grabbed a sandwich , and went to Kaneco koi farm . sometimes its nice to select tosai here , his shiro utsuri are very nice as are many other varieties , this year the tosai were a little smaller , so we passed and decided to call it a day and returned to the hotel . Driving home I thought we were having an early day , it was already 5pm ,time flys when your having fun !

Read more: Tuesday

06

Feb 2017

Category: February 2017

First visit today , was to Maruhiro koi farm . Spent a good time looking through the nisai ponds , but couldn't really find anything that jumped out at me , which was slightly worrying as I was looking for the koi for our two show and grows we are talking about running . Don't get me wrong , there was a lot of nice nisai , but not better than we had back in the uk . We explained this to Hinori san , who said he will bring in some more later in the week from his other facility . We then spent a little time looking through the other ponds , again some nice koi , but nothing we were looking for . Then we went to last pond , and started catching up some better quality koi, here I was looking for Azuakri koi , that is koi to leave with the breeder for the summer in the mud ponds . This time we had no problems finding suitable candidates . In fact there was so many , it took a good hour to sift through them to find a couple as the choice was good indeed , and every tie we thought we had finished , Hinori found another one . Whittled my final choice down to 4 . There were a few rub marks from the harvest , but the breeder assured as they would come good in the mudonds  and bearing in mind the success we had last year with his fish , I wasn't unduly worried . The first was a nisai kohaku with  an interesting pattern and measured 55cm . The next were three sansai , all with good bodies for growing , and we know the pond they will go in gets very good results . Three step kohaku was next and was 59cm , this had a real presence in the vat , and was a definite for the mudpod . You may see a slight mark at the tail in the video , this will be fine by next October . Two more kohaku and sanke both 56cm were next , although slightly smaller ,I know these will still grow to a good size , sometimes ponds can have a bad summer , ph drops , or spawning by unknown male ( happens at all breeders sometime or another ) . The skin and the body are very good on the sanke . Also the kiwa and sashi should start coming good this year . These koi are very nice quality , but at this time of year arnt looking their best , no food for several months in very cold water and indoors . These will be totally different in October when harvested !

Read more: Monday

05

Feb 2017

Category: February 2017

Today was going to be hard to see breeders  as a lot , if not most would still be breaking down the show , or collecting their koi . So we decided to start around mid day , which worked well as I had some work to do on the website . So after a quick stop at the 7-11 we went off to Marusie koi farm . Once we arrived , we had a coffee and chat with the old man , some how we got around to the subject of holidays , I said my last one was my honey moon , he just laughed and said at Marusei , no holidays , we work 365 a days a year ! Not bad for a guy in his mid 70s ! For those who have visited the farm , and seen the extent of the operation , you can see why . We wondered off to have a look at the koi , unless you have been there  , you cant explain the sheer volume that these guys breed , and sooo many varieties . Prices were given and I started looking for sanke , and I struggled a little if im honest , and I didn't want to go into the more expensive ponds so early in the week , that's usually reserved for when I know how much money I have left . So after a while the son joined us , and we explained we would come back later in the week , to look at the higher quality sanke . He smiled and said ok , do you want to see your koi ?? What koi ?? The sansai that were selected for you ? I was intrigued , ive been sent pics from our agents , but don't remember buying any thing . He pulled up a net with 8 sansai , hi utsuri , masuie ogons , and kujaku in . All around 50 cm , he said bigger  , but im playing it safe . After a short conversation , it seems that I was sent a couple of pics of some very well priced koi,so  with my stress head on in the shop , I thought they were samples so said yeah ill take two boxes , it now dawned on me now  , that these wernt sample pics , they were the actual pics , seems like im buying fish by accident now as well lol !  So bearing in mind I had videos and pics , no work was needed  , a nice little touch , and 8  very well priced sansai  in the bag already , when I thought we would struggle today . ( This is one of the advantages of having agents always based out here ! )

Read more: Up to the mountains