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Today was just about doing some work in the hotel room untill our 3pm train to Tokyo .After breakfast and about an hour of work , i needed a bit of fresh air , as i walked outside the hotel i was stunned to be met by stunning blue skies and warmth which we havnt had all week ! I decieded blog and website can wait , im off to the mountains , i called Rod who had his own car and he returned with the others and picked me up and we had a great drive up to mushigame .Driving round with no pressure to buy koi , or meet schedules , the atmoshere was so layed back it was surreal .We went first to the top of one of the higher mountains to near the observation point , the views were magnificent and worth the drive . On the way down we stopped and said hello and good bye to Masaki who was serving some of our friends , it was a little sad as most of his koi houses were now knocked down , its the begining of the end to one of Niigatas great breeders . driving down further we stopped at Sakai , Tanaka and said our good byes and asked if it was ok for them to hold the koi untill nexy spring as they hadnt been harvested yet , all the breeders agreed, we stopped and spoke to a few breeders along the way .Somewhere along the way we got lost round some mudponds right up very high , the road got more and more narrow untill we were all looking at the window to guide Rod along , quite funny when he asked me and Mark to get out , hows that gonna help we asked , he said you two can lift the car up and turn it round ( being the size of one of those tiny fiat jobbies ) if i dont find a turning point soon ! We finally found a place to turn around and got back onto the roads , we headed down to say good bye to the mad monkey , who was actually chasing a monkey around the road out side his farm this week , ( takes one to know one lol ) so i was told that everyone was laughing so much that they diddnt tell him that if he actually caught up with the monkey it would probably have bit his head off lol . At some point during the day we were taking to a breeder who shall remain name less , he had just done a harvest and we watched the koi come in , we were then asked if we wanted to see a special fish , of course we did , the container was re opened and a koi placed in the bowl , this was unbelievable , i said is it going in the fish house , no not for many years , secret fish house and all those assembled laughed and the fish was driven away not to be seen by me or any other gajins for a long time !! I was told no cameras but i will remember the fish next time i see it , believe me ! And to show respect i wont repeat where or what i saw , had to add it in here as it was one of thise sprecial moments that you only get when you are out in Japan and even then on rare occasions. Coming down the mountains i alwys feel the heart strings tug a little as it always hard to leave the places and people we meet , but gets easier as i know ill be back in a few months . After a uneventful trip back to Narita airport and had a meal at the hotel getting ready for an early start to ctach the plane , half way through the meal i recieved a text from virgin saying our flight tomorrow will be five hours late , i explained to the group this and we had already had a few drinks and they all thought it was a wind up untill Rod got the same text , Rod seemed to be a little un happy at the situttion , me and Mark looked at each other and shouted the word sho-da-nai ( sp ) , which means what can i do ( and various other things lol ) So we got some more beer and settled down for the night as there was now no need for an early night , and deicided much to our german friends amusment to build an empty beer can tower ! After alot of noise and beer we saw of every one in the bar and decieded to call it a night ! Pictures driving round the mountains .