Gatwick Koi Japan News Blog Updates
Today was going to be hard to see breeders as a lot , if not most would still be breaking down the show , or collecting their koi . So we decided to start around mid day , which worked well as I had some work to do on the website . So after a quick stop at the 7-11 we went off to Marusie koi farm . Once we arrived , we had a coffee and chat with the old man , some how we got around to the subject of holidays , I said my last one was my honey moon , he just laughed and said at Marusei , no holidays , we work 365 a days a year ! Not bad for a guy in his mid 70s ! For those who have visited the farm , and seen the extent of the operation , you can see why . We wondered off to have a look at the koi , unless you have been there , you cant explain the sheer volume that these guys breed , and sooo many varieties . Prices were given and I started looking for sanke , and I struggled a little if im honest , and I didn't want to go into the more expensive ponds so early in the week , that's usually reserved for when I know how much money I have left . So after a while the son joined us , and we explained we would come back later in the week , to look at the higher quality sanke . He smiled and said ok , do you want to see your koi ?? What koi ?? The sansai that were selected for you ? I was intrigued , ive been sent pics from our agents , but don't remember buying any thing . He pulled up a net with 8 sansai , hi utsuri , masuie ogons , and kujaku in . All around 50 cm , he said bigger , but im playing it safe . After a short conversation , it seems that I was sent a couple of pics of some very well priced koi,so with my stress head on in the shop , I thought they were samples so said yeah ill take two boxes , it now dawned on me now , that these wernt sample pics , they were the actual pics , seems like im buying fish by accident now as well lol ! So bearing in mind I had videos and pics , no work was needed , a nice little touch , and 8 very well priced sansai in the bag already , when I thought we would struggle today . ( This is one of the advantages of having agents always based out here ! )
For the first time that I can remember , I could be possibly be accused of not having built a lot of enthusiasm up for coming trip to Japan . With the passing of my mother , and the exruciating pain my knee is giving me , and then travelling half way round the world with two bags and hobbling on a crutch , and once again being awol on my wedding anniversary , you may begain to understand how I felt . Not even arriving at Hanneda airport seemed to lift my spirits ( this wasn't helped by the fact I was offered a lift in a buggy at the plane ,trying to be being a tough guy I flatly refused , then after walking for 15 mins to arrivals and someone saying blimey you should have took that lift mate , my mood wasn't getting any better ! )
Last day today , so had to clear out the hotel room , pack my bags and check out of the hotel ready for the journey back to Tokyo tonight . So for that reason we left the hotel a little later at 10am instead of 8.30 for our first appointment at Marudo koi farm. Was really looking forward to this as we has selected some very good quality male and female nisai . We were shown round as they had been harvesting , and there were some very nice sansai and yonsai , and they were huge and were very expensive , so we left well alone , sometimes you know not to go in bowling koi like that , you could damage the koi and totally waste the breeders time , which he / she wont thank you for . We were then taken to the two nisai ponds , and to be honest the quality was way down on what we had picked before , and to be fair , so was the price , but it just wasn’t the quality we were looking for , so we said our good byes , and moved up the road to Kaneco.
Last night we had an appointment to meet Hinori san of Maruhiro koi farm , but he was late due to harvesting fish for his main pond . So we returned this morning again hoping to sort out what koi to leave and what to ship . Very soon the farm was busy , we briefly chatted about what to ship and want to leave again and I thought id look round to see if I could make my tally a little higher . Bowled a few showa and kohaku , but after a while decided that this level wasn't for me , so I went into the next pond and once again had some very nice sanke and kohaku . There was a stuning showa , which was small for his nisai , but kindai and very pretty , but only sumi in one peck . I have spoke about demerits before and looking past them to the good points , but different pecks it just one thing that drives me mad , and although it was very very high quality , I just couldn't live with that so passed on that one . I found a maruten kohaku , nisai and 49cm , the pattern is a little tight now , but will expand as the koi grows , I think could be very good in one years time , so that's staying in Japan . Next up was a san dan nisai kohaku that measured 53cm , with some of the others it looked small in the bowl , but the skin was lovely so that's staying as well . Yesterday Hinori harvested a sanke , the skin was out of this world , sumi brilliant and the pattern made it a winner , so while he was grading the fish I pointed at me and the fish together , he laughed and said " takai " , I said how expensive he then just said very .Sometimes when a breeder is doing something , he cant just price a koi , he wants to look at it and see its value in a bowl , half the art in Japan is to know when to back off , so I did and asked him to reserve it for me and id come back when he wasn't busy.
Its getting towards the end of the week now , ive bought quite a lot of koi , and thought id covered all bases , but had a few messages that the middle ground go sanke was a little light in the ground .Ie great koi over a £1000 , and lots of smaller under £300 , so I checked the website and thought they have a point we need to fill in that gap , its a tricky price bracket as it could cost nearly a £100 just to ship a nisai 50-55cm koi ! But I said ill try , so onwards with the hunt ! Two years ago I left a a nice sanke with Shintaro , as I didn't make the harvest due to my accident , i didn't get round to seeing it , Saito had concerns that it was a little thin so i would need to check it . But i we never had time where we both could make it in the spring . When he arrived he showed me the sanke , it had returned it to the mudpond , and she had started growing again , and filled out a lot more , still not big bodied , but he was really pleased how she was looking , the skin was excellent and i was very happy with the results ! Very little sumi showing , but get it to the uk im sure that will turn around .