Gatwick Koi Japan News Blog Updates
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 !
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 ! )
For the first time that I can remember , I could be possibly be accused of not having built a lot of enthusiasm up for coming trip to Japan . With the passing of my mother , and the exruciating pain my knee is giving me , and then travelling half way round the world with two bags and hobbling on a crutch , and once again being awol on my wedding anniversary , you may begain to understand how I felt . Not even arriving at Hanneda airport seemed to lift my spirits ( this wasn't helped by the fact I was offered a lift in a buggy at the plane ,trying to be being a tough guy I flatly refused , then after walking for 15 mins to arrivals and someone saying blimey you should have took that lift mate , my mood wasn't getting any better ! )
Last day today , so had to clear out the hotel room , pack my bags and check out of the hotel ready for the journey back to Tokyo tonight . So for that reason we left the hotel a little later at 10am instead of 8.30 for our first appointment at Marudo koi farm. Was really looking forward to this as we has selected some very good quality male and female nisai . We were shown round as they had been harvesting , and there were some very nice sansai and yonsai , and they were huge and were very expensive , so we left well alone , sometimes you know not to go in bowling koi like that , you could damage the koi and totally waste the breeders time , which he / she wont thank you for . We were then taken to the two nisai ponds , and to be honest the quality was way down on what we had picked before , and to be fair , so was the price , but it just wasn’t the quality we were looking for , so we said our good byes , and moved up the road to Kaneco.
Last night we had an appointment to meet Hinori san of Maruhiro koi farm , but he was late due to harvesting fish for his main pond . So we returned this morning again hoping to sort out what koi to leave and what to ship . Very soon the farm was busy , we briefly chatted about what to ship and want to leave again and I thought id look round to see if I could make my tally a little higher . Bowled a few showa and kohaku , but after a while decided that this level wasn't for me , so I went into the next pond and once again had some very nice sanke and kohaku . There was a stuning showa , which was small for his nisai , but kindai and very pretty , but only sumi in one peck . I have spoke about demerits before and looking past them to the good points , but different pecks it just one thing that drives me mad , and although it was very very high quality , I just couldn't live with that so passed on that one . I found a maruten kohaku , nisai and 49cm , the pattern is a little tight now , but will expand as the koi grows , I think could be very good in one years time , so that's staying in Japan . Next up was a san dan nisai kohaku that measured 53cm , with some of the others it looked small in the bowl , but the skin was lovely so that's staying as well . Yesterday Hinori harvested a sanke , the skin was out of this world , sumi brilliant and the pattern made it a winner , so while he was grading the fish I pointed at me and the fish together , he laughed and said " takai " , I said how expensive he then just said very .Sometimes when a breeder is doing something , he cant just price a koi , he wants to look at it and see its value in a bowl , half the art in Japan is to know when to back off , so I did and asked him to reserve it for me and id come back when he wasn't busy.