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Im finally in the hotel after a 21 hour journey . Things were not looking to good for me getting here , on Friday I offered to help a contractor run a whole length of two inch pipework underground in a void next to a swimming pool and spa . This void was about a meter high and 80cm wide , now as you now im not a small guy so with two of us down there all morning temp was around 30 degrees , so we put on a bit of a spurt to get out as quick as we could .Climbing over the racking for pipes and cables , I must have strained something in my hip , as the next day I got out of the car and twisted again and then found I could hardly walk . Then I also found out my upgrade was cancelled to economy , so in agony and facing the smallest seat id flown in for years , I was getting a little concerned . Sunday morning founded me loaded up with every pain killer known to mankind and I just about got in the taxi . Arriving at the gate for my flight I was asked to hang on to the end , and the staff seeing I was in pain finally got me back my upgrade , very lucky indeed as I don’t think I could have sat for 11 hours in a economy seat , even with the aid of every chemical company known to mankind ! The flight was great and I managed to get a bit of sleep , but to my surprise when I awoke I found the my hip pain had eased up and I could get around a bit easier . Got through the airport and did the usual monorail , tube and bullet train and found myself in Nagaoka by around 12 , in the first breeder for 12.30 ! I know what your all thinking , Maruhiro ??? Well your wrong , Tanaka has a new fish house for selecting tosai , and its on the way to Maruhiro so it was just logisitics and we know we could hand select tosai . Tanaka Maruju is an amazing farm , we always manage to find great koi here , his skin quality is superb on his koi . We started looking at some great nisai , go sanke and gin rin go snake , but then the topic changed to tosai , he gave us a fair price on some tosai which were very nice and could be hand selected , I was going to select a few when he showed us another pond , these were individually priced and very expensive !!!! So I jokingly said I was looking for something in between the two ponds , and he replied yes I have , just sorting the ones I want for tategoi and then you can select them , that’s why I like Tanaka , always obliging !!!So tomorrow we will go to see the other pond and decide which to select . We then drove to Marusei , I never fail to get impressed by this farm , even in April he is fully stocked , fish of every variety and quality . Unfortunatley they were very busy doing a shipment so we had a quick look and thought it best to get out of the way . From here , yes that’s right , Third breeder we went to Maruhiro . As most of you know , I love this guy , we met years ago when we were both young men and he was the younger brother working at Hirasawa koi farm . Since he went on his own we have helped and supported each other and become firm friends , always plenty of fish to be found , again like his brother many varietys , size and quality . Over the last few years the koi at this farm have taken a serious increase in quality , his gin rin showa and kohaku are second to none , but his showa are doing very well in the uk , sumi development is incredible . They say that there is a fine line between genius and insanity , well this breeder takes that to a new level ! The afternoon was spent selecting nisai , and he is as crazier as ever , but his koi just get better and better . He is also very easy to deal with , what do you want , what do you want to pay ? Right lets get some bowls then , great no nonsence approach . Soon had around 45 koi in bowls , from nice quality go sanke and non go sanke , right through to some larger and better quality go sanke . From this I selected 28 up to around 45cm and all nisai . Some interesting koi including ki utsuri and gin rin ki utsuri , so not bad for half a days work