Well , after 20 hours travelling im home at last , for me this was quite a long trip that seemed to go faster than ever , everyday flew past and there never seemed to be enough time to do everything . The amount of work ive had to do on the blog and internet ,  and the amount of emails ive had to answer meant that even the evenings flew past with me only leaving the hotel twice to get to a bar for a cup of coffee so i wouldnt go stir crazy in my room ! As for the trip , it was high points all the way  , has to rate as one of the best .The first week with Steve , Angie , Phil and Maggie was great , with many fish brought by every one including myself .The second week just as good with Rod and Diane with them buying differant fish than they would normally , ie non go sanke , cant remember the last time they bought a doitsu ,gin rin , ki goi and aigoromo in the same week !!!!! Most of the breeders prices seemed very fair , although some thier koi are now so good we cant afford to buy them for stock in the shop . Ive always found Niigata a great place , you bank your hopes on one breeder hoping to buy many koi and you find nothing , you remember someone you havnt bought from for a long time and you buy lots , theres always an alternative to start looking and you dont have travel far . A good example was Mano , his Kohaku are very good quality and i dont know why we stopped going there , i think a few visits with nothing purchased and the breeder falls from the priority of places to visit , i wont make the mistake with Mano  , a very serious breeder and the nisai box of kohaku was one of my favourites of the week , my only regret was not going back again ! As ever two of my favourite breeders Maruhiro and Oofuchi , did not let me down , Maruhiro had so many fish at the right price i dont know why i go elswhere , small cheap nisai , better quality nisai , better quality fish to grown on and sansai to die for , and if im honest ive not really even got into buying his very high class koi , a wonderfull guy always seems to be laughing and always makes the visit great . Oofuchi was as usual as good as ever , his fish just get better and better every year and prices stay about the same , his top qualiy pond was amazing and his kujaku amoung the best, i really dont remember buying so many koi from this farm before  . So many others to mention such as Sekiguchi and Satoshi buying some amazing koi there , especially the expensive male at sekiguchi and satoshis best sansai gin rin showa . As im writing this its around 2am saturday morning and the jet lag has already kicked and i cant sleep , but who cares , its all part of the game .Although we all moan about the travelling , the time away from out familys , the price of koi , shipping etc etc we all have a great time and i know all the customers who travel with us feel the same .Our next trip will be at the end of January /begining of february for the all japan show and travelling around Niiagata to buy koi , if you are intereasted then please call the shop to discuss your requirements . I hope that you have enjoyed reading the blog as much as i have writing and living it , and hope to see you all soon .................................Gary

Most of this week the weather has been awful , raining every day , and one day it didnt stop for a single  minute .Today the weather was good to me , which im gratefull for as it was my last day . We started up the mountain to Mushigame to see if i could catch up with some of my azukari koi ( ones that were left in Japan ) . First stop was Sakai Yamamatsu , here we have three very expensive tosai growing on to be harvested this October as nisai .Not the news i was hoping for , they hadnt been harvested but Sakai said dont worry we are still draining the pond now and they will be very beautiful !  Still draining the pond ? well thats a good sign as they must be in quite a good mud pond , or so i hope.......lol . Rod and Diane were looking in the main nisai pond and found a very nice gin rin showa which was purchsed , and i found two goshikis that had a skin quality that was amazing , although male the quality was very high , so hand shakes all round and we were off . Next stop Tanaka to see a showa that we sold during the summer , i couldnt believe it had grown 6/7cm as yonsai , but the main thing was the body shape , it was awsome , a real battleship !!! The customer will be very happy with it ! A  quick visit to Nagashima to see if there were any showa of decent quality , unfortuantely i couldnt find anything i liked , but we were offered a nice pond of nice showa where we all caught up some koi and Stephano made up a very nice box for his Italian customers .Any last day wouldnt be complete without a visit to Yagenji , but this time there was nothing that jumped out at me , but saying that i bowled a massive 67cm showa that was very pretty , but with the shipping i couldnt make the price right , We were all thinking that we were  light on showa , so from Yagenji it was round to Hiroi for a look at some newly harvested koi . I like these guys koi , they have very nice showa and goshiki and gin rin ones as well , this time there ws nothing that i could find where price and quality met for me , there were some unbelievable koi there , and some lower grade as well , as i said i jiust couldnt find the right balance .After hiroi we tried to get to Mano and Iwashita but they were both busy , so a bowl of curried rice and then it was off to see Seitaro at the larger facility . Here i spent a long time catching a whole box of hi utsuris , Seitaro is very famous for these and the reds seem to be a lot darker than other breeders . After that time was running short and we looked at some bigger koi , Rod noticed a very nice sanke , the breeder said the price and it was very rensonable , i also bowled up a hi showa , that not being very high grade , had a certain atractiveness as the beni and sumi was so good , very strange koi , but i loved it , a deal was struck and the camera was taken out for the last time . I tried to see Maruhiro as he has a showa that we left last year , although i have seen it we diddnt measure and take any pictures , never mind the agent will do that after we have left . We came out of the building as the sun was setting over the mountain and it was a beautiful site , and a very fitting ending to another great trip . Photos in order...............Sakai Yamamatsu gin rin showa , two Sakai goshikis , Tanaka yonsai showa , nisai hi utsuris , showa and sanke from Seitaro .

Our first appointment today was at Kawakami , this made a nice change as we were only round the corner from the hotel . This farm does many many varietys , but of late has become famous for its stunning goshikis .There was a very nice sansai example in amoungst the larger koi but as i had already bought some form hiroi i decieded to pass and give Stephano a hand as he was catching up small nisai . With that done it was off to Torazo to see what we can find there , on arrival the breeder seemed in a very good mood and not wanting that to change Rod and Diane set about trying to find a Nice sansai kohaku , within a few minutes we had a very nice koi bowled up and the price given was exceptional and our customers were very happy . Some times a fish will not behave for a photo , and this was to be one so heres a short video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wKiuK-wv3s With a quick coffee we were then off to Shinoda .Usual stocks of gin rin and doitsu , this time we found a very nice gin rin shiro utsuri , sansai but on the small size it just oozed quality so was duly bowled and pruchased .Then we decieded as we hadnt been to Yagenji for a day or two , we ought to visit them ! There was a reason for the visit , as a customer had asked to purchase the showa we were going to leave in Japan for one year .Just some paperwok had to be changed and i had to find another koi to leave in the mudponds instead . We bowled up around five sansai , two were dismissed and that left us with a sanke , and two showas . As we had Mark Gardener and Rod with us i decieded to cast a vote . The agent voted fot the maruten showa , as did me and Mark , Rod went for the sanke , i then asked the older Yagenji brother who said the other showa , and said those fatel words again ...........gamble may be .Now bearing in mind that last years gamble turned out to be our best koi returning fom the mudpond i felt myself starting to sway , Then Mark jumped ship and said the sanke is the safest bet , now my head was spinning and it wasnt from the lack of food and water this time !!!! Two votes each koi , and the breeder voting for another ( in mindthat counts as two votes ! ) Stalemate ! So what to do ?? Someone then came up with the idea of leaving all three , the argument being that the sanke would do very well in the mudpond , the maruten style showa most people liked and we had the gambling option of the other showa ( thanks guys !!! ) Yangenji agreed and thought this was a marvelous idea , well i guess he would , wouldnt he .So as usual went the rounds of arguments about the price , and all three will now stay in Japan untill next year .These can be seen on this video , pleae ignoe the two little dots as these were just some anchor worm marks and have been treated and will be fully ok in the next day or two .Maruten showa 63cm , other two 60cm http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fs3vgGHz4M. For our last appointment found as at the madhouse known as Maruhiro , i love this guy to bits , always has plenty of healthy koi , and many varietys .When we arrived he was his usual crazy self and grabbed me by the arm and led me to the main pond , " Azukari Gary san " he had harvested the sansi showa i had left last year , she looked great and had grown well , i said we would bowl it later as i knew Stephano was keen to catch some nisai , in fact so was i , and we all got so carried away catching koi i forgot to take a picture and measure the showa before we left . Stephano and myself had spoken at great length to try and get a pond of plenty of variety in so we could buy a large number together and get a good price , It worked , the price was given for 50 nisai that suited both our budgets and not only that , the breeder seine netted the pond ! 25 nisai later we were both very happy , i went for plenty of chagois , soragois , kogakni ochiba , mukashi ogon and ochiba , then i can try and get these to 45 cm by spring as i did last year , size now around 30cm , some smaller , some bigger . After that Stephano went for some bigger nisai , and as he was cacthing these i went for some better quality smaller nisai , Now for some reason today had been a whole bag of laughs , jokes and funny anidotes had been flying all round all day , but the best was yet to come .As Maruhiros wife was taking my gin rin tancho away to the holding nets , she slipped and went right up to her waist in one of the ponds just stopping short of a full dunking , from the angle she was at i could see she was laughing and no one else could and everyone was very concerned , i couldnt resist it , "is my gin rin tancho ok ????" The breeder heard this and laughed his socks off , he thought it was hilarous , when everyone else realise she was ok they all joined in laughing , and the breeder for the next few minutes kept repeating , is my gin rin tancho ok , he thought it funny than any of us ! The wife then taught me how to call her husband a crazy monkey in Japanese and i felt a new nick name was born .I said to Rod and Diane that the breeder really was crazy , and how well i seem to get on with him , Rod replied , is it any wonder ? They left me thinking all the way back to the hotel ............1st pic is of the showa that will now be shipped to the uk , next three are the yagnji showas and sankes , four pics of maruhiro nisai , nisai gin rin tancho , four nice quality nisai , gin rin shiro utsuri tategoi left to go back to the mudponds , tatgegoi shiro utsuri we are thinking about keeping in Japan from Maruhiro , for got to mention those in the blog , thats how mad it was today ! Last but not least the Torazo kohkau , thanks to Mark Gardener for some of the pictures today , Marks based more or less based in Ojiya all the time nowadays , his exploits can be followed on http://www.niigata-nishikigoi.com/

First thing this morning we headed out to go to Hosakai to buy some massive 65-70cm orenji ogons , we saw these saturday as we popped into deliever some paperwork , but it was too late to start bowling koi . Knowing the price already i was really looking forward to buying one or two of these as they are very hard to find clean examples as these were, but to my disapointment they were all sold except one that i wasnt so happy with the body shape . There were alot of very nice koi here and the prices were very good and soon i had three doitsu karashigois , sansai and all female , a very unexpected but welcome bonus .From here we left to visit Kase to see Rod and Dianes showa that was left last year to grow in the mud pond. The showa hadnt grown as much as we had hoped , but the quality had certainly improved and looked fantastic .We had a quick look round at the koi for sale and finding nothing we wanted it was time to go to Yamazaki .We only had a short time here as we had another appointment booked at Marudo . There were many many koi here of all varietys and every one was soon catching koi , even Rod and Diane were catching and netting thier own koi ( some would say Rod has never worked so hard !!!! ) Rod ended up with a stunning kigoi and an even more impressive koromo , while i had two smaller koromo and a very nice gin rin hi utsuri , which looked very attractive in the bowl , sansai and thought to be female . Stephano was desperate for some very large koi , around the 80cm , only two places for that , Marudo or Seitaro , so we went to both ! Marudo had some absolutley stunning chagoi , karashigoi and yamabuki ogons , the sheer size and volume of them was unbelievable . With five 80-90cm bowl in the koi , even with me buying one or two we couldnt get the deal right for Stephano so it was onto Hirasawa . When we arrived the oldest son had forgotten the appointment , but soon returned and took us outside to show us a newly harvested truck full of 80cm plus koi .Me and Stephano jumped on to the back of the truck and soon we had a bowl of very large chagoi, hi utsuri and many others . Two fish jumped out on me , a superb gin rin chagoi , way over 80cm , and an even bigger chagoi at around 90 cm , then another fish jumped out at me , literally a 90cm soragoi flew out of the tank on the back of the truck hit me on the head and chest and bounced back into the bowl , how i was never knocked of the back of the van ill never know .I  was jumping at the bit for both of the chagoi  , but i know that my new mate had to do the deal as these were fish for one of his Italian customers , when asked which ones he wanted he plummed straight for the two chags and an asagi and a hi utsuri , leaving me very dissapointed ,  my new friend had become my newly declared enemy and i sloped off for a sulk and a cup of coffee with Maruhiro ,who had heard i was a bit touchy about the subject and decieded to drink some coffee with me ! The lads had all finished the paperwork and photos , Stephano approached me and said sorry Gary , i need them all for a good customer , what the hell ,  who is gonna let  85 and 92cm chagois stand in the way of a good friendship ! All joking aside , i really did love these two koi , but Stephano was desperate for these koi and had been waiting all week to get into some big koi so good luck to him , he really is a nice guy , and to prove the point he said if my customer doesnt want all of the koi , ill let you have one of the chags , what a guy , so we then wondered off look at the koi in the main fish house .Stephano went straight in for some go sanke nisai , i looked in a pond of all one colour koi , the father then joined us and gave us a great price and within a few minutes , him , Rod and myself had a great box of Mukashi ogons , kigoi , Mizo ogons and acame yamabuki ogons ( yes !! thats what i said , red eyed yamabuki ogon......) All the while there was a 60cm chagoi and a rather nice asagi in the same pond , when asked the price the father cheap , so they were bowled , inspected and bought before he changed his mind !! As Stephano was still finishing off catching his nisai , i saw a sansai doitsu benigoi , probably the best one ive ever bought , i laughed and said that looks expensive , the agent said no , and that was bowled quicker than the chagoi , along with a very intereasting koi , Seitaro called it a mukashi mizo ogon ( sorry ill have to check on the spelling on that ). Both sansai and female , the koi  looked every part excellant in every was so were purchased and that was the end of that !! Doitsu benigoi was around 55cm while the ogon was approx 60cm .As the paperwork was finsished , there was howls of laughter , i thought what have i done now , but for a change it wasnt anything i had done , as Stephano squated down to look at his nisai the whole of his trousers ripped apart down stairs , there is a god of stolen chagois after all ! Photos as follows , 3 Hosokai doitsu karashigoi , female and around 55cm . Rods showa at Kase .Two nisai koromo from Yamazaki .Gin rin hi utsuri , sansai , female and 50cm approx . Nisai from Seitaro including some great  Mukashi ogons , please remember Seitaro had one of these at the Nogyosai at 1m 8cm ! , 60cm female sansai chagoi , sorry about the pic she wouldnt behave .55cm female asagi sansai .60cm mukashi mizo ogon . Doitsu benogoi , sansai female around 50-55cm .New Jeans please . Maruhiro at night

Just woke up to some emails asking why i haddnt replied from a few days ago , im very sorry if you havnt had a reply but i am up to date with emails , for some reason i havnt recieved a few .If you dont recieve a reply within 24 hours then for some reason i havnt recieved your email and please re send or contact the shop . I am using my hotmail account to send emails , but you can still contact me on either , so please get in touch if you havnt heard from me within 24 hours, or even call the shop and they will contact me . Sales are going well and we are keeping the web up to date , again within 24 hours , im hoping to price up yesterdays fish and get them on the web in the next hour or so , or tonight when i get in . Dont forget to purchase a koi you can just ring the shop and pay by card , to keep the koi over winter will cost an extra £50-£100 depending on value and size of the koi . Thank you for all the emails and nice comments , its all appreciated ...................Gary