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Finally left the shores of the UK for the mountains of Niigata this morning at 8am ( Thursday ) , yet im writing this at 8pm friday ! ( time flies when your having fun )Having picked up up a nasty stomache bug after waking up yesterday , by the time i had arrived here i was pretty wiped out , but was never gonna let that stop me , at one point the agent after picking me up from the station said do you want to get to the hotel , at which point we both just laughed and carried on as we drove up into the mountains. First stop was at Yagenji koi farm , this was never going to have a happy ending as the very nice shiro utsuri we left last year , came out of the mudpond very poorly indeed . Being the guys they are they offered a replacement which from the pics looked very nice , but once bowled looked a little on the heavy side . So we asked if there was another koi we could look at and may be add some money to it . A second shiro was put in with the first and the body shape of the first stuck out even more, it was then i decieded the second one was for me as it kind of had a pip nose thing going on , and im a sucker for that . Knowing that i was going to have to dig deep to make up the differance , i was still shocked when told by the breeder just how much the differance was , and bearing in mind that the nisai we left was not a cheap fish the matter would need thinging about . Yagenji then said , no problem she goes to the koi show tomorrow , so i will reserve her till 8 am !! Gee thanks guys lol , then later that night i bumped into a dutch college who saw the pic of the shiro concerned and told me what price he had been quoted to buy the koi a few days ago ! It then dawned on me how much of a favour the breeder was really doing for me , as you must remember there are no gaurantees with Azukari koi ( those left in Japan ) The two shiros are shown below , the first is the one that was stunning if not a little heavy , and the second is the much more expensive pip nose . With lots to think about , where else do you go to not take anything too serious ?? Maruhiro koi farm , of course ! Ive been with this farm since they begun a few years back , ive seen them grow and build and rebuild , and i know believe that its starting to pay off for Hinori San . Every year i see the quality grows and grows, and im very impressed with th koi i see here . His gin rin kohaku are now well known amoung our customers for growing well and having very good body shapes , but now he has other varietys coming on strong as well , especially showa! But what i really like here , is there really is somthing for everyone , wether you want an affordable 30-40cm nisai , or something very high grade with nisai up to 55cm . Any way , thats enough of the free advertising , on with the koi . We arrived at the farm to find the breeder absent ,which is a bit annoying when he asked us to come to see him that afternoon, so we called him and he said sorry we are on the way back from a harvest with some koi for Gary to look at , you cant be cross with a reply like that . We started bowling , not even worrying about prices as we know we always get looked after here , after about 30mins he turned up and started unloading some new koi . i had a few bowls already full up and a thrid was placed infront of me and there were koi coming fast and furious , it was then that i saw a kindai showa of extremely high grade , i asked about the price , ashta ashta he replied ( tomorow ) Yeah i though , like thats gonna be here tomorrow , so bearing in mind that i had the shiro conflict going on in my mind , and now had a second very expensive koi that i wanted and ive only been here for two hours ! I had to push for a price and wouldnt let him put this koi in the pond , he gave the price and thought if it carrys on like this for the next few days it will be taxi for Gary time !! I love kindai showa and had to have this one, we asked what could we do to reslove the problem of the price , another 3 koi were placed in another bowl , i nodded in agreemnet that these were nice and was given a price for all 15 that i now had in various bowls , its was too good to turn down. The showa was very nice around 47cm and female , a gin rin kohaku that had an intereasting pattern , again female and between 45-50cm , two tanchos around the same size and an intereasting Hanna shusui and sandan kohaku all female and again around 45-50cm . The smaller nisai were around 35-40cm and mainly female but very good quality for the price , amoung them were gin rin showa , kohaku , gin rin kohaku , some very nice hi utsuri and a very unusual doitsu kogani ochiba .Thinking we were all done , we were offered some cheaper nisai manily chagoi etc etc , which we could hand pick through and so did ! Please note that the littleyondan pip nose gin rin kohaku doesnt actually have a shape like shown in the pic , water was rippling .