Most days when you get up , you just never know what is going to happen , or what your going to see , may be that's the beauty of buying in Niigata .Today was going to throw many great things my way , and all in a good way . Our first visit was going to be an old favourite of ours Oofuchi koi farm , this place is great , so many varieties and so many sizes its really one stop for non go sanke . Today I was hoping for some Kujaku as I havnt seen too many around of the quality that I like , and these guys breed some good ones!
On arrival we all said hello and got straight into catching up the sansai . This year he had a lot of small sansai amoung his ususal size , there was a lot of fish in the main tank , and I was being a little fussy as I have bought a lot of koi . I managed to find 4 nice kujaku and one doitsu , sizes from 40 to nearly 60cm . I had a few sanke in the bowl as well , but when we came to getting the prices , I thought the sanke was keeping the price high , so I put them back and got the kuajaku for around what I was expecting . This farm never fails to impress me , if had more room and a little more budget , there were sooooo many varities I could have bought , kikokoryu , normal , beni and ki , doitsu platinums , doitsu hariwakes , tancho and tancho sanke , and lots more besides . Its always a great experience at this place , only slightly marred by a group who just turned up and used the bowls we were trying to take pics in , and generally getting in the way . Even had to ask one person to move out the way while I was taking pics , personally I think its not good to do this , I would normally ask first of it was ok , or wait until the other party was finished . So after this I just left and went to the other fish house to look at the higher quality fish house .
Sansai kujaku 50-55cm
SANSAI KUJAKU 55-60CM
SANSAI KUJAKU 45-50CM
SANSAI DOITSU KUJAKU 40CM APPROX
Once again I was seriously impressd with quality , and what was striking was the go sanke that he is turning out nowadays , for showa he uses a Dainichi female , and we placed one in a bowl and you could see the quality , we then bowled three Kujakus , I thought sansai and around 50-55cm , i was looking in the pond and not taking much notice of the fish coming out or the breeders coming and going . When he waved me over and opened the zippy cover i was seriously shocked , and though bloody hell im out of my league here a little , the agent must have read my mind and said do you want them back ? I looked at the showa , it was nice , but may a little plump , but the kujaku were all way over 60cm , may be even 65 and stunning quality . I asked for them to be left a little while longer , as some of you know i love kujaku , its one of my favourite non go sanke varieties and i wont see many like this in a bowl on a trip . I was nearly drooling over these three yonsai ( they weren't sansai as i now realised lol ) , and shook my head , now Oofuchi is not a man of many words , and he held a hand up as if to say wait a minute , prices were given , and i was a little surprised , not cheap but not where i thought they would be , he explained that one was very expensive , and the other two were still very good . The crowd in the fish house had now swelled as another group came in , i was joined by my friend from Belgium Nico , now this guy is a very serious player in the Koi world , you have to put a very serious koi in a bowl to raise a smile from him . He put his hand on my shoulder and said very nice , very nice , like i needed more pressure !!!!! So we had a little chat and i asked for a price for all three , a price was agrred , and the deal was done . When you see these i know ill get many interest , but i think the price will not be for many of you , and if they don't sell , then what the hell , i have three great fish to sit and watch in the cold , quieter winter days !
YONSAI KUAJKU VHQ 60-65CM
SANSAI KUJAKU 65CM VHQ
YONSAI GO DAN KUJAKU 60-65CM
By the time we headed back into Ojiya , we were nearly at dinner time , so we called into the ramian bar near to Hirasawa . I had finally had enough of egg sandwiches , and wanted a hot dinner . So it was time for the liver and rice , if you get a chance to go its the one on the main route road to Ojiya just past Miya . This liver is the most tender i have ever eaten , and try to get it once or twice on every trip , and to be honest it doesn't cost much more than going to the 7-11 . We have a few things to do this week re customers koi , so to tie in with that we had a trip up to mushigame to visit some of the breeders up there , Kanno was busy so we will try him again tomorrow . We then decided to drive down to see what Maruhiro had been harvesting , as we passed Sakai he had just arrived , too good an opportunity to pass by so we popped in . Sakai was there and we joined him for coffee , before we did , he took us to a pond and was talking about pink beni , pink beni i thought , has he lost his mind ????? He turned the air off , and what ever the hell pink beni was , i wanted some of it , these were amazing kohaku , two were bowled and he wouldn't give us a price but i heard the word expensive and very in the same sentence , he said he would think over tea . So off to the tea room , now one thing i don't share with the breeders is there love of green tea, but the one they serve here isn't too bad and over the years ive kind of got use to it . It doesn't taste as good as coffee , but im finding it kind off refreshing , and it helps negotiations im all for it . Now this is the bit that's difficult to explain on the blog , were very good friends with Sakai , with him we can relax and chat about all sorts of stuff , but the subject always seems to bounce back to the ususal , and is not the sort of thing i can write about on here lol , so that's about an hour and a half of the blog lost for ever ! Its always funny , and we have had some great times with him , once i remember visiting and him saying , do we have to work and talk koi ? he opned some beer and we didn't mention koi for the rest of the day . So anyway , as the conversation was finally swung round to koi , he mentioned that we still had to sort out two replacements for our customers who had problems in the mudponds , not lost but one came out male , and one was deformed , normally they are left at the customers risk , but sakai said this wasn't risk , it was the fault of the fish and he would replace them both . Very honourable , and shows why i stay in Niigata for my koi purchases , ok money talks we all know that . but sometimes relationships can also mean a great deal , and bearing in mind i wasn't here last October due to my accident , so he still remembered and kept his word ! Any way i asked the price of the kohaku , and againm he said mmmmm , i said ok i need some sanke , so we went to the main pond , oh my word , his nisai were up to 61cm , they were really big bodied , biggest nisai sanke i have seen , but with that comes the price , we bowled three and then stopped , these were really out of my league , i asked about the sansai next year , he said 70-75 cm , very very impressive , and i was pleased for him , not as pleased as he was for himself . He showed us some smaller snake around 45-50cm , he tried to sex them and said he was 50/50 , its not always easy this time of year , but the quality was very good , the skin was amazing , and the patterns pretty good as well , so i guess two out of thre isn't bad lol ! As i was considering the buying all five that were in the bowl , the two Kohaku were placed in the bowl , theres some serious money in this bowl i thought , then Sakai literally rocked my world , he said to help with the replacments there was a very good deal on the table if you take all 7 koi . Now i am tring to buy female koi all the time on the better quality koi , the two kohaku were , but five unsexed sanke , even though the quality was good was a bit much . But the offer was so good , and i wanted to sort out replacement koi for my two customers i accepted his very generous offer . I then listened to the explanation of pink beni , where it comes through the shiroji and how it gets better as tie goes by , but if im honest , i was still too busy looking at the koi in front of me . He asked if i was happy , i said very and shook his hand , feeling great we went back in for anther round of tea and chat , this time it was about koi lol . After this i knew we had to go to Dainichi to see the auction fish we had bought , had a bit of worry on this one as four are already sold , and bought from pics . So don't we went to the riverside to see the most famous showa breeder in the world .
TWO YAMAMATSU KOHKAU , FEMALE BOTH 52CM
FIVE YAMAMATSU SANKE UNSEXED 45-50CM APPROX VERY NICE QUALITY
So here i am , walking around Dainichi koi farm with five certificates and NO ONE around at all , all i need is to check the five koi we purchased were ok , and if we could get a quick video . Now i know these guys are one of the biggest and most respected breeders in the world , and im going to interrupt their harvesting schedule , to basically be a pain in the butt , as i couldn't get the videos from their site on auction day ! As we walked around it was spooky , loads of vans with Dainichi all written over them , lost count at how many giant fish houses they have but no one around ( i stopped at five as i had the certificates in the other hand lol ) . I then thought they must be doing a really giant harvest , so lets just go and return later . Then a van pulled up with a member of staff , we showed him the pics and he lead us to a couple of ponds where our fish were located , he said he would go and get some help . Our agent then said , oh no he has the boss with him , Futoshi him self . I felt a bit awkward , i don't know why , i guess thes guys have such a reputation , i felt a little unimportant being there . But as it happens , i couldn't be further from the truth , he was a smashing fella , made time for us , offered to catch one at a time , i thought this is great but don't push it so said two in a bowl for a quick video , he taked us through some of the fish , pointed at a kohaku and said very nice , but the other one he said would grow very big , which is great as the UK customer bought it just for that reason ! The last ione went in on its own as it was one of the three star rated showa , it was great , i loved it , i knew the customer would be very happy , but i could see Futoshi wasn't , he called me over and said body line , i looked at it and could see after a minute , it had a kink , not a big one , but it was there . Now i thought what the hell happens here , he said take it off the bill , or come back and ill change it for another on Friday as we are harvesting , he also knew we need another koi to make the box up so this worked really well . Got to say , i was very impressed , the whole set up is so professional , friendly and so full of amazing koi , and then the boss man himself showing me what i might have missed altogether , he didn't know me from Adam , and told me straight away , offered a replacement and was super friendly . Think im looking forward to this Friday , and although i don't think i can buy a lot from this farm , i might start looking into the tosai business here next year ! Sorry i didn't take pics , but do have videos , also the sanke that was thought to have mark on the gill plates is totally ok , so is up for sale again!