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Last day today , and definately a mixture of ups and downs .Trying to hand select tosai , running round trying to see all the koi that belong to us , that were harvested after we left in October . We started off at Tanaka Maruju in Mushigame , here we started selecting through around a thousand plus tosai , very pleased with the resuts and ended up with around 80 koromo , showa , gin rin showa , kohaku and sanke . Not the cheapest koi in Niigata , but certinaly amoung the best , ive always said you get what you pay for in life , and these fish prove that . We finished around 12 ish and were invited to join Tanaka for lunch but had to sadly decline due to another hand pick tosai appointment . This next appointment if i was honest , i was a bit sceptical about .The reason for this was it was at Kaneko koi farm , we had visited earlier in the week to pick shiro utsuri but found they were too small and with very litte sumi . After explaining this to him , he took us to another fish house and offered to pick through some way better examples , he said that this was his tategoi and the price he gave reflected this . Now ive always been sceptical about picking through so called tategoi , so i asked why , he simply explained that his tosai this year was so good that he had selected way too many tatgegoi , and if wanted to pay the higher price he was happy to let me select through , now bearing this koi were mainly 3-5 inches it was a gamble , but he who dares wins . We couldnt select then due to the fact that he was still feeding , so the machines were turned off for our visit today . The pond was netted and most were caught up and i started selecting , i can honestly say it was one of the hardest jobs ive done , the level of koi was outstanding , and it was nt a hard job trying to work out what to take , but what to leave behind !!!!!! An hour later the job was done and i had selected 40 very nice tategoi shiro utsuri . Along with these selected tosai and some deals with have done with other breeders im very happy with the smaller fish we have this year , and i think the older fish speak for them selves . Last visit today was to Sakai koi farm where we had some fish we needed to see , that were harvested after we left in October . The news wasnt all good as some of them hadnt come out and one was male . I cant go into details as some of these were customers koi , but he has promised to sort somthing out to those involved which i hope is a reflection of the good relation ship we have with him . As to mine , the showa came out way bigger and way better than i ever could imagined , she had reached nearly 60cm , and only went in at 42 , her skin was stunning as was the beni , and the body was huge , so at least one very good result . As to my one that i lost , he said he had nothing good enough to replce it , so i asked about may be a older koi and ill make the differance , he pointed to one that was swimming around , i had noticed it earlier but thought it was out of my leauge , so he bowled it her and she was stunning , a little thin but remember it hadnt been fed since October , so i asked what were we were going to do . I like to think i know this guy quite well , he has a smile that he gives when you know he is happy or when he is joking , he told me the differance , and if im honest i diddnt know whether he was happy or joking . It turns out he was happy , and the deal he offered was superb and ive got a superb 4 year old sanke around 70cm coming back with me . Although there was a little diapointment it was a great day to end the trip , we then spent the rest of the afternoon drinking coffee and lughing and joking , unfortunatley i cant go into the conversation , but it was funny . Sakai is a tremondous guy , his koi are fantastic and i hope one day to remind people in the uk how good they are ! Now its off to Tokyo to start the journey home to fllow in while