Gatwick Koi Japan News Blog Updates
The spring trip can be a little more frustrating than the Autumn one , in the sence you can struggle a little more for what you want , ie quality , quantity and even varietys . Today was a little like that at times . We started out at Yamazaki koi farm , i love this farm as he has so many varietys , ive been asked for some non go sanke so what a great place to start . Started of in a pond of nisai , which seemed to have most varietys , soon had some great doitsu hariwake , gin matsuba ogans , benigoi and many others .Then moved onto a better quality pond for some gin rin hi usturi and shiro utsuri , much bigger than the 30cm one we were picking before , these were 40-45cm with one smaller really nice shiro utsuri .Aftr this an intresting discusion took place about some special tosai mixes which i am mulling over . From here it was off to Kanno to hopefully hand select sone high quality tosai , on arrival first disapointment of the day as the tosai wernt really ready to be selcted . So we started chatting generally about koi and the uk market , he asked how many of his koi had we sold , when i replied nearly all , he smiled and uncovered a pond and pointed and said buy some more . I shook my head and said low quality , bearing in mind last vist i selected 25 nisai and knew he had no more to harvest . He replied that these were better , moved up frm the bette koi house so it could be used for tosa . I loooked in and saw that these were indeed were very nice. Nervously i asked the price as i had bought from the other fish house and its not for the faint hearted lol , not cheap , but not unresonable.So i selected three female goshiki , and asked for him to t recomend two selections, first a very nice male goshiki , and then a female sanke which he had high hopes for good growth , it had amazing skin quality so very happy . Fom here we went to Kaneko , although i was happy with the koi i had selected , i was getting worreid about selecting better quality tosai , and he always has tosai to select .On arrival the tosai were much smaller than usual so i passed , but ended up buying somevey nice nisai of all wierd ad wondefull varietys adsomevey high qulity includng a small tancho sanke . After here we went to Shintaro where we alway select tosai ,again getting disapointed awaited , Saito showed us his tosai , they had already been well picked trough .Now i was getting seriously worried that tings were looking bad for better quality tosai , a quick vist to Yagenji soon changed that , all though not allowed to hand select he made us a offer on some very nice tosai which helped me out . So after a day of ups an own things were not so bad . Thinking it was time for coffee , we decieded to ring some breeders to save time, fortune smiled on us , One of the breeders had tosai avaiable to select through on Thursday , result ! Then another call resulted in another breeder having some very high grade tosai to select through on Thursday.Things were really looking up , just as we were going to drive off , the phone rang , it was another breder , would we be intereased in hand selecting tosai first thing Tuesday morning , well i had to think about it for a milli second. Today finished up great , and now tomorrow was already shaping up quite nicely. !!!
Today we started ( as seems the normal now ) at Maruhiro koi farm .After we finished there last night , he wet our appitites for some better quality koi , at what seemed very good prices . We soon set about bowling koi and soon had plenty to choose from , but things wernt going as well as id hoped . Prices diddnt seem to match the koi and i started to think today was not going to pan out as id planned . After putting quite a few back id found some nice go sanke , so feeling alittle braver we dipped into some more expensive ponds . Right move , we spent the whole morning catching many good quality koi . After a while we hada few bowls full of koi , i decieded it was time to check over the koi and make some descions . This time it was the other way round , i was struggling to put any back !!!!!! There was some excellant showa , some large nisai , small high quality nisai , and some sansai as well . We purchased a very nice sanke , superb quality but disapointed to see that it had a deformity , the quality was tha good that when the breeder offered it at a much lower price i couldnt refuse .A nice60cm showa that altough wasnt high quality due to an over powering sumi pattern , it has somthing so again it was purchased . With the amount of value we had in all the bowls , i decieded that it was time to put a deal on the table , i could see tha Hinori was getting concened as we hadnt actually bough anything after being on the farm for a few hours , he looked at me and shrugged pointing to all the bowls full of koi , his concern soon turned to a smile when i said all of them in Japanese , his smile was then equaly matched bu mine after some frantic working outs on his notebook ! I saw the price and just put out my had for the international sign of done deal ! Some peoplemay have argued that with so many koi i could hav haggled further , but there comes a point where i knew i was spending a few days money in one hit , he knew it as well , but the figure was lower than i expcted , so whats thepoint in trying for more , and risk insulting th beeder . Every one was feeling in a good mood so we decieded to stop and go for a meal , which was nice as we had been joined by my old friend Jerone from Holland , so curr rice and a chance t catch up was well over due . Hinori offered to pay for lunch so we all thaked him , except for Jerone who thanked me , i said why , i diddnt pay , he replid , i wouldt have got a free lunch other wise ! We returned to the farm and started bowling more koi , which surpised even the breeder , wthin an hour or so more bowlsfull of nisai and sansai , and all purchased . One of my cusomers had asked Hinori san to find a showa to leave in the mudonds , we gave him the budget and he soon showed us four example s all at differant stages of developmet , along with a explanaton of choice . Pics and video were taken , to send to the customer t make his mind up . It was then while were talking aout shiro utsuris , and where we could find some , the breeder walked off and was catching a larger koi , he called meover and showed m a sansai one that must have been aroun65cm , good size for a shiro , the sumi quality was very impressve , and the price altough expensve wasnt unrealistic . So considering that one one over night with a couple of other options . Geting in the car i saw it was nearly 4pm , so i decieded as it had been such agood day , lets quit while we are ahead , so back to the hotel foran early night . Very sorry theres no details of pics , please go to the website or facebook for full detals
Got the monorail , train and bullet trian back to Nigata and arrived around 3 . Being picked up on a Saturday .i wasnt really expecting to ge any breeders so was pleasently surprised when i was informed that we were going straight to Maruhiro koi Fam . I know a few of you have met this breeder , and have your opinions of his sanity , in fact ive probably not helped by knick naming him mad monkey ! But this guys quality gets better every year , ive always bought there as i like the guy , and his prices are good .Nowadays my respect for him as a breeder grows and grows , his showa have done amazing things in the uk at shows in the last few years , along with his gin rn kohaku . Once again the quality seems to have goneup another notch , tonight we selected through some nice small nisai , and the some larger female nisai go sanke . Losing the light i was surprised to be told , id just selected nearly 20 koi ! Back tomorrow first thing to look a even higher quality nisai and sanke . A great day ended by a meal with Maruhiro where he was up to his usual antics , this time neary blowing us all up by not lighting up the burner for the soup amounst many other things including trying to teach all the restruant staff how to speak English ,especally the phrase okie dkie! First seven nisai are all female and 45-60cm frm Maruhiro koi farm . Nex 12 are all nisa from the same farm aroun 30-35cm
After a two hour delay i was glad to finally touch down at Hanneda airport in Tokyo . I prefer this flight route as its only one stop on the mono rail to the all Japan show . The show was as good as ever , with many , many amazing koi .Grand champion was a Kohaku from SFF . After a couple of hours browsing and gassing wth the many friends ive made from all over the world i decieded it was time to get on the train and head to Niigata . in order , GC , matrure . adult ,
young champion , baby champion , male champion 65cm, amazing goshiki ,massive doitsu karashigoi ( may be over a meter ?) stunning aigormo from Izumiya , 90 cm sanke sff
The day you have to go to Narita airport is always the worst .You still want to try and get as many breeders as you can , to try and find that last minute koi , or another customers order before catching the bullet train back to Narita . By now the realisiation that it is your last day hits you , and the addrenalin that you have been running on ( as three-four hours sleep doesnt cut it ) starts to fade away . its somtimes even a struggle to lift a net ! , but the show must go on so off we went to our first aapointment at Kaneko , I was desperately looking for shiro utsuri so was hoping to find some here , but the koi stocks were still low so we spent a while chatting to the breeder and then went on our way to Yagenji . A few days ago the brothers had sold all thier fish to one dealer , so have since then been busy harvesting nisai . Once again we had a good look round but couldnt find anything we liked , so it was decieded to pop down to see our old friend Hinori San of Maruhiro Koi farm .We hve alwashd agood relationship with this farm, this has now increased with the level of koi we leave for Azukar with him . The results were fantastic , and h has gone up even more in my opinion as most off the koi left last yar where ones he recomended . This timei as looking fr a few higher quality nisa 30-50cm , and some koi to mess around growng on , One variety he is messing around with himself ,is a mukashi ogon crosse bred with a ki matsuba , the results look quite intereasng with metalic ogons produced with an intereasing reticulation . As usual i start netting , and he joins in , asking what i am looking for. I hear people sa the breeders cant possibly remember all thier koi , this bloke can . I reeled off a list of requests , and off he went round the farm with net in hand , its like magic , honest , i kid you not .Every time i took a koi back to the bowl , there was another one already waiting there, gr tancho , high quality kohkau , showa and others . At one point i stopped netting an sorrted th bowls out into shipping pictures , the koi still kept coming . After buying all the high grade we could ,( i wont list them here as there were so many . ) i made up a nice little collection of sinhle coloured koi , ogons , chags , doistu chags , gr chags , and of course, i sneaked in a few of his new varitey . We joined him and the staff for a coffee and then said our good byes , always sad leaving here as he is such a character and a pleasure to work with , his fish jus get better and better, defently a breeder to watch for in the future!
As we were leaving Mark joined us , and said that our two koi were out at Shintro ,a quick ohone call and we were drivng up to Mushigame to the results of two nisai that i had left there . They were both 60cm , although not put alot of bulk on , i wasnt worried as this is a trait of using matsunoske parents , they get thier body shapes a few years later down the line .They were both stunning , andi was very happy , i am shipping one, and leaving one for another year . Great end to a great trip .