I thought id not start the blog , with the almost compulsory pictures of beer , breakfast , plane and bullet train yesterday , instead wait until i had arrived here at Nagaoka , and get straight into day one of koi buying . Although saying that , the days before left , were very worrying indeed
with the vary bad Typoon that hit Japan at the weekend , a few dealers from around the world , found them selves stuck for an enforced stay over In Germany and the Middle East , where they were on two flights that had changes on route . Nothing like that for me as i had left literally left as the storm had blown itself out . I arrived in Haneda , and travelled across Tokyo , the madness of the packed trains on a Monday morning still never fails to raise an eye brow . People literally forces themselves on the trains like sardines , its so packed , if any one padded out or fainted , you would not know until the next stop where people got off , and they fell to the floor . I arrived at Nagaoka at 11am , and got the hire car , loaded up with baggage , and went straight to the first breeder , who today would be Kaneko .
Walking into the farm , the first thing i noticed was the huge amount of Goshiki , there is always a few nice ones here , but he had now introduced Kanno goshiki , into his brood stock which had obviously been a success , a lot more and certainly better quality ! I bowled a few , and they were some nice ones there , along with other varieties , but he had just started harvesting , and as ever the first picks the price was a little high , and also nisai seem to be getting bigger , so the packing and the pound rate , meant passing today , and return again when he has harvested more koi . Some times the koi are a fair price in Japan , but landed in the uk is totally another matter , and this was the case here , not a reflection on the breeder , just the way it is . I did suspect this may happen a little on the trip , many breeders havnt put their prices up in many years , so we cant complain , and no would listen even of we did lol ! So we said our good byes , and headed off to Shinoda .
Most of you know , that Shinoda is mainly producing gin rins , doitsu and hi utsuri . So sometimes on one trip , can result in many visits , to get the varieties you may need , this visit was to prove that theory correct . The doitsu pond was rammed full of nisai 40-50cm , while the gin rin pond had a few , and the hi utsuri was almost empty ! He is harvesting more gain later on the week , so not given up on hi utsuri just yet ! Many doitsu showa and sanke were bowled , until we had plenty to choose from to make out boxes up from . I was very happy with the koi we had , so pictures were taken , along with videos , and we promised to return when he had more hi utsuri . Lots of nice doitsu koi purchased , a great day already !
A lot of breeders were out harvesting , so we meandered down the mountain , and popped into Maruhiro for a quick visit to see how much he had harvested . As usual , all ponds had a lot of koi in , but Hinori was harvesting so we had a quick chat with his wife , and said we would pop back when he would be there after 4 pm . So we drove down , and thought we would pop into Sakazume , and have a quick look round . This farm is probably most famous for its Koromo and more unusual varieties , and can have some very expensive , but high quality examples . Today we picked up some nisai female ogons around 45-50cm , and three goromo , which two looked to be female. We then found some nice doitsu ochibas , prices were given , and for the quality , the price was fair , so all were purchased. I had a quick look through the higher grade pond , there were some stunning ones there , the skin quality was amazing , so we will re visit again during the week .
Mainly female nisai .
Doitsu Ochiba aorund 40cm .
Tiredness can be awful on the first day , and i was really ready to call it a day , but as we passed Kawakami , our agent suggested to pop in . I really like this farm , but always find it hit and miss on stock levels , and his goshiki are world class , so never cheap ! This time the stock levels were not the problem , he had lots of goshiki , in many different ponds , this time it was purely a price problem ! He has just harvested some of his nisai goshiki , they were nothing short of amazing . He had 11 very high quality females one pond , so we asked the price , they were not cheap , and we moved onto two more ponds , and although the prices were not cheap , they did seem to reflect the quality of the koi , so i decided in for a penny , in for a pound ! Well , quite a lot of pounds actually , so started in the best pond , one goshiki had a nice body and the beni was fantastic , as it was bowled , ichi bann was mentioned , that means number one .Now please dont get all exceited and talk about Kashira etc etc , it just meant that it was the best goshiki on the farm that day for sale , tomorrow there will be another , and im sure there is another pond waiting for Mr Naritas arrival lol ! But as ususal the best koi , has the best price , but i was on full on goshiki mode , so wasnt going to be put off , and added more koi into the bowl , we had six in the bowls , three females , and three males . The males were purchased , to try and keep the price down , but that diddnt seem to have that much effect , these were good examples , and i wasnt getting a deal here ! Eventually there was a little movement , and i purchased all six . These are way above the level we would normally buy , but i have been asked for some better quality examples , these fitted the bill nicely ! Pictures and videos taken , i think the breeder was surprised i had bought them , as was the agent , and to be honest so was i a little , but i said i wanted to raise the quality again a little , so i think we did that here ! Please dont worry , we will still be buying all levels on this trip , so there will be koi for everyone . I then shocked the agent even more , by asking to go back to the hotel , i was worn out , the flight and generous supply of Red wine on it , had taken its toll , and i was shattered . When we got back in the car , it was already 5pm , so perfect timing ! Great day !