Gatwick Koi Japan News Blog Updates
Its a hell of a long journey , from door to breeder around 23 hours or so , to add to that an hour delay on take off , this one seemed longer than ever . So its not surprising that after that , and 6 hours with the breeders , that when I got back from the meal , I just gave into my body and went to bed at 8.10 pm .Im always the one to say stay up late to beat the jet leg , now I don't , just sleep when you can , blog and facebook can wait . So its now 11pm and im raring to go ! So back to the beginning , and where is that you ask , where do you think ? Maruhiro Koi farm ! Theres nothing I can say about this place that you haven't read before , the youngest son of the Hirasawa empire ( and I think that is valid description !!!!!! ) , his fish are great and get better every year , on arrival there where some people there just finishing , so after they left I thought lets get in , lots of very nice koi in here that need bowling .But as ususal Hinori was having none of it , coffee first and chat , its almost religious like!
Hi all , ive finally arrived in Niigata , managed to get up to some of the breeders today , so lots coming up in the next few hours !
Hi everybody , welcome to our new look website and blog . I am hoping that if all goes well you should be reading about my next trip here . I leave for JAPAN on Wednesday 12th October for ten days . Blog will start the following Thursday !
Woke up today to a sound I recognised straight away , the gentle tapping of snow on the window , it was pouring down , so with being ill most of the week , and still using crutches , I was just hoping that I could get through the day with a slip or fall .Then add to that , the dangers of driving round the mountains , I wasn’t exactly enthusiastic about today . Also we were going to a new breeder , Abe san from Marushu koi farm . If im honest , I wasn’t fussed as I wanted to go and see Hirasawa , but the day before Rob talked me into going as Hirasawa was busy and couldn’t see us until lunchtime , so trying to keep my glass half full , we set off in a totally different direction I had ever been in . When we arrived , it wasn’t a normal set up , in fact it wasn’t even a fish house , an old converted barn that was used for saki making , the ponds were all built with scaffolding and I thought omg what are we doing here , whats this set up all about ? I met the breeder , and he had a real friendly manor , I mean a real genuine one , and as he showed us round you could see he was proud and excieted about his koi , and within a few minutes , I realised how wrong I had been with my earlier judgements .This guy was a real diamond in the dust , mainly a goshiki breeder , but breeds from 3 sets of parents , one that gives of that “ old style “ of goshiki , and im alittle old fashioned and I like it (If the guys from Essex are reading this , remember the big goshiki that me or Brian bought at Takano , like that but only better ! ) He also has some kohaku and some sanke bred from SFF parents , and showa from Dianichi bloodline as well .He certainly is investing in brood stock that is for sure . One thing I noticed , all his koi were not big for their age , especially bearing in mind their pedigree , so I had to ask , he said he diddnt like Jumbo tosai and growing fish too big too quick , something I do understand , and to a uk dealer like myself , he is a dream come true , 30-35cm very affordable high quality koi , and 40-50cm sansai . Don’t get me wrong , I like the idea of big koi , but it gets to the point where 55-60cm nisai of high quality are just not affordable to the general public! Any way , lets skip the politics and get onto the koi .First pond of nisai , very reasonable and took me about ten minutes to sort out ten I liked . As most of you might have guessed , we have bought a lot of goshiki , but I didn’t let that stop me lol . Next pond higher quality and soon had anither nice examples of sanke and goshiki and showa , including an anusual goshiki sanke . Then onto the higher grade pond , I hate this , you ask the price and its bara bara ( sp ) , you get loads of fish in a bowl then you get the price , then if it’s a little awkward when you have to put them back . Not here , I poinyd and got the price , asked a couple more then got to getting them out . First out was a sansai sanke ,around 40-45cm , nice pattern , great skin and sumi just showing in all the right places . Next was a coupl of kohaku , great patterns and the koi were sexed as they came out , and some of the males were too good to leave behind . A couple of nisai kohaku around 30cm , and a stunning shiro with snow white skin . All bowled and I couldn’t put one back , so someone suggested leaving a cracking nidan kohaku , although small it had a cracking body shape , it was explained to the breeder why I was laughing , and he said of course no problem ! I really was super impressed with this place , great koi and a nice chap as well , couldn’t ask anymore from him ( except to sell me some of the goshiki he is growing on for brood stock lol ) . Left there smiling and was asked , glad we came ? Of course I was , and feeling a little guilty about my previous thoughts when we arrived , but ill be back there in October to see what he has in the harvest , and to see my little kohaku ! We drove back to Ojiya and the snow diddnt let up , and it was freezing cold , so a hot lunch was called for , more liver and rice and then off to Marasaka .This is a nice friendly run farm with father and two sons , mostly unusual varietys of metalics and doitsu metalics , kujaku , chagoi and sanke from Jimbei bloodline . Today we had a look round but I couldn’t find enough fish here to make a box , so we passed on from here and headed to meet Hirasawa at his smaller facility . Coffee and chat always the first order here , then we got to the fish , was given a price for picking through the nisai pond and thought a little dear for him , so stuck a net into be polite , and once again I was wrong , there was some great koi in here , and soon has showa , sanke and a variety of tanchos in a bowl . We then went onto some sansai around 60cm , and soon had a strangely attractive maruten showa and gin rin shiro utsuri in a bowl , hands were shaken and pic and videos were taken . After this , we were taken to another fish house , here I bowled around six koi , a yonsai 66cm tancho sanke , a 61cm tancho sanke sansai , a stunning maruten kohaku 63cm and sansai , sansai 3 step sanke around 55-60 cm , tancho sansai around 55cm , all female , and what looked like a male kindai showa around 40-45cm and nisai . Koi were priced up , and then a little discount for buying them all , hands shaken job done , great way to finish another trip , and then off back to the hotel . Tomrrow a nice easy day travelling back to Tokyo , and then onto the all Japan show , ill add some pics of that over the weekend on here . Pics in order , first 5 are nisai from Marushu 30-35cm , five sansai from marushu , three nisai from Marushu , next four picks are hirasawa nisai , to yonsai from Hirasawa , one yonsai , three sansai and one nisai kindai showa from Hirasawa
With so much work to do , and as we finished very late last night , we started a an hour later . So by the time we got to Hasegawa I was around 10am . This breeder is very famous for his kohaku , and there was plenty there to choose from , but what was left now was seriously expenisve , his nisai tategoi , so quickly withdrew the net from the water , the only other pond of nisai he had were sold out , shame but that’s the way it goes ! While we were there , I checked on some kohkau that diddnt get shipped back in October , they were looking fine , so at least I do have half a dozen of his koi ! From here it was a quick drive through the back roads to Marudo koi farm . Today Marudo was away to Tokyo to prepare the show , we were left in the capable hands of his daughter . She did a lot of the pricing and things seemed very fair , so we started bowling up . Ive been asked for some smaller nisai , its seems to get harder with go sanke , as most breeders want their nisai bigger , so it was a nice surprise when we were shown some smaller go sanke . Soon had 10 nice sanke and one showa in a bowl , 30-40cm .Although not high grade , they were certainly nice enough and great value for money , nice place to start for someone who wants a Marudo koi farm koi . Next pond was higher quality nisai , and once again the price wasn’t too bad , especially for one of Niigatas bigger and more famous farms . Within minutes I had a bowl of sanke , three females and one male all around 50-55cm and of very nice quality . After this we had a look at some even more expensive nisai , soon had a bowl with a female sanke , female kohaku and what we all thought ( bar one ) a male kohaku , a little “ debate “ started , and to settle the argument the older son arrived and declared it was defintley female , from being interested , I went to super interested in about a millisecond ! But obviously these were not cheap fish , so ive reserved them until tomorrow night , sorry but I wont post these , as it would be fair to their next owners if I pass them by , but if I find no other kohaku tomorrow , they will be mine ! All pictures taken , we started to pack up and I noticed a very nice doitsu karashigoi . Since the videos of the breeder down south who breeds them keep getting posted , im often asked for them . Believe me Marudo ones will grow , and ive seen them up to 80cm and beyond here . I asked the price and she said expensive in Japanese ( one word you learn very quickly here ) , but we have some smaller ones in the other fish house , so over we went ! As soon as we in there , I bowled up a 78cm chagoi , only yonsai ( four year old ) , purchased this and an absolutey stunning doisu karashigoi , four year and 71cm .Very pleased with this , we were then offered some smaller chagoi , karashigoi and gin rin versions , and yamabuki 35-45cm , we were going to pick some , when someone declared their interest in lunch , it was already gone 1.30 , no one including myself could be bothered to start again , sounds lazy but sometimes you just get to the point where you just have to put the net down for a while . The daughter promised to pick us some nice ones , so we will leave it to her , and im gratefull as chasing chagois round a 8000 gallon pond isn’t my idea of fun especially at lunchtime . If any one in the trade want some of these please let me know asap and we can go back and pick some , or add some to our orders . After lunch , we went up to Mushigame and was struggling to find breeders around that hadn’t already gone to the show . The younger brother was at Yagenji farm , so we popped in for coffee , and checked on 8 sansai we had bought after the shipment was closed , They were fantastic , and one male doitsu sanke is already sold , and I know the owner will be very happy when he sees it ! The other 7 are on my website , but are way better than the pics and videos show ! While we were there , a few fish were still available , so we had a nose around to see if there was anything worth bowling . A very quirky kindai showa caught my attention , yeah it was ok I thought , them I looked again its nice I thought , two more looks and it was right we need to get this in a bowl .Once in a bowl she was superb , 62cm and still had that youthful look you want in a yonsai koi . I didnt want to ask the price , but mustered up the courage , it wasn’t cheap , not by any standards , but for what was swimming in front of me in a bowl , I couldn’t say no . Discussions took place about the best option , and it has been decieded to leave her in Japan for a year , if purchased you have the choice to leave her , or ship in the next week or two . This is a seriously nice showa , I think my favourite of the trip , between that and 5 kohaku lol . Time was moving on so we popped into Hirasawa , to see what he had , and although he wasn’t there , we had a little nose around and have made an appointment to come back tomorrow . By now it was 4pm and starting to rain and get dark , so we called it a day and headed back to the hotel .
Pics in order , first ten are marudo nisai 35-40cm , next
four are better quality 50-55cm , first three are female , one male .78CM chagoi , 71cm doitsu karashigoi both from Marudo .Last pic 62cm kindai showa from Yagenji