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Once again , i had pretty much a fair nights sleep . 4-6 hours is not too bad at all , as those who have been to Japan will tell you . So i got dressed and went down for breakfast and saw the group of Belgium dealers a i see every year . They looked like they were dressed for the arctic , so i joked about how tough we are in England , one of them pilled back the net curtain , and to my horror it was snowing , when i mean snowing , not the hour we get , thats melted about an hour later . I mean it was really falling , and i couldnt even see the buildings opposite the hotel . The snow , although managed well in Japan , brings its own set of problems . The car has to be clear of snow , to drive with snow on the roof is illegal , as when you break it could totally block your windscreen , the journeys everywhere are much longer , as everyone drives slower ,and there are snow ploughs every corner  , and some roads are closed until April time . 20 minute  journeys can become up to an hour . Still , mustnt grumble , onwards and upwards , so i grabbed my bag and we headed off to Kase . Most who follow the blog , will know this breeder is a big favourite of mine . He is known for his doitsu and metalics , and of late shiro utsuri and showa . On arrival i went to the nisai house  , and it was full of stunning tosai , i thought , hello were in here . My thoughts were interupted by Kase coming round the corner , and shouting " Gary san , tategoi !!! " ,   and shaking his head , i knew there was no going in there with a net lol ! So round to the next fish  house , and we looked through the nisai he had in there , along with the older koi . It was the first time i really coudnt pick a fish to bowl up , there where some nice koi there , but nothing that i needed , or hadnt bought better quality in the Autumn . We were then taken  round the tosai , one pond interested me , a whole pond of stunning metalics , everything you could think off . I was interested in buying the whole pond , but he wasnt moving much on the price to do so  . This doesnt mean the breeder is being greedy , or uncooperative , he knows the value of his fish , and they will be gone one way or the other by March , so he doesnt have to worry about someone coming in and taking the all at a lower price . So ill see how i get on this week , and i may just order some anyway . We shook hands and said our good byes and left to go to Ozumi koi farm , i had hoped for goshiki at Kase , so was  banking on Ozumi having a few , especially as rumours of aoki selling out of nisai . 

       Ozumi koi farm , famous like Kase for his unusual varieties ,  doitsu metalics , goshiki , ochiba , gi rin asagi , doitsu ochiba and many many others . I couldnt help thinking that this was going to be like Kase , not so many nisai to select through . I couldnt be further wrong , when we arrived , the party of my Belgium friends were still there catching up koi from their  9am appointment ! So then i thought , even of there is koi left , these guys arnt gonna leave us much , as they were 6 handed , and most of them had nets in there hand . We were invited in ( please note , i say that , as i see so many people just turning up to breeders without appointments , its drives the breeders mad , and i think is totally unprofessional , and if we turn up without an appointment , its always polite to ask if its ok to come in ) , i stayed away from the pond that  guys who were in , doing the last of their boxes , and i was shocked to see how many koi were here , and how many varieties there where . Although the quality was a little lower than in the winter , the fish were still very nice , and i hoped the prices would be good , as he had so many koi . The other party finished and left , with a little banter how they had taken all the good stuff , i laughed and said by the looks of it , youve left it all behind , a couple of chuckles and they were gone . So i spent a few minutes getting the prices , and i was surprised how good they were . It was then for some reason , that a comment made to me by a customer came flooding back . He said in the Autumn , your getting great koi , but they are all a lot of money , and ive never known you to have so many koi over £1000 . Its like you have forgot about us , the people who want nice attractive nisai , under £200 , its used to be your core business . I was horrified , had i really got carried away , and and forgot about the  business , that helped us to get where we are now ???? I know we all progress , and things move forward , but i always see people in the koi industry push to far forward , and forget whats behind them , and thanks to my customer , i wont make that mistake , Gatwick Koi , is koi for all , and always will be . So i talked to the breeder and agreed new prices , for a 50/60 nisai deal , and to my surprise he went for it . So i could go old school on these ponds , picking fish out due to the price , and buy weird and wonderful koi , and there was plenty to choose from . I cant remember a time where i caught up so many koi , at one point there was 6 bowls full of nisai from 25-45cm . I said to the agent , i really enjoyed that , it was like  trip from ten years ago . That doesnt mean im looking for bargain koi all week , it was just nice to get stuck in  , and buy plenty of koi , so it really did feel like the old days . The varieties are too many too mention ,so ive added them on the pics for the website . 

Ozumi nisai many many varieties m 25-45cm . 


        Time was moving on , and we had to get back to see Mauhiro , as he said he was bringing in some new koi to the fish house . I soent at least an hour going though all the ponds , and was really struggling to find some thing i wanted to buy , which really is a first for me . Once again , plenty of koi , but not much that i didnt have already , so we made an appointment at Marudo . He seemed to be in a very good mood , and offered us hand selection of tosai in three different ponds . The first looked very good , and the next was very well priced , and had some great little go sanke , some suitable for entry level for koi shows , and well within most budgets . We soon had the pond netted , and many  koi were selected , from 16cm -30cm approx , it was a great little box of koi , we asked about the packing and Marudo replied , then his daughter told him off , and said impossible , and stated a lower figure . Just goes to show how much respect she receives at the farm , and we thought it was hilarious the father getting told off . So we decided on 30 , well actually she did , and i wasnt going to argue with her ! We wet on to the next pond , much higher quality , and then Marudo asked if we could come back first thing , as he had a large shipment going out , and needed all the staff , it was getting dark , so we decided thats was a good call, so first thing we are back there to finish tosai selection . All in all , a good day , not so many higher quality koi purchased today , but some serious value money for koi , and to be honest i really enjoyed it ! Tomorrow hoping for news from the south of Japan , tosai selecting at Marudo , and much much more ........................

Marudo tosai selections 16-30cm approx .