Super sale for three days this week, Thursday, Friday and Saturday in our main pond, and pond 1B. The main pond has nisai , sansai and yonsai. 1B has jumbo tosai from last year from Dainichi and Ogata. All koi in these two ponds will be around half price and must be collected. These ponds are around 16-17degrees. Sorry this is only open to visitors to the shop only.
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 Today was going to be a little tricky ,as it is the Nagaoka koi show , so a lot of breeders will be there . Yamazaki said we could visit , and we met with one of his staff , for our first appointment . We had a look round , and he had some very nice sansai , but I really wanted nisai goshiki .

I looked through all of the nisai ponds  , and couldn’t find a single one ! But while I was in the better grade pond , I found some very nice gin shiros ( metallic shiro utsuri ), one the sumi was stand out , really looked good in the bowl . This was followed by a few more of the same , kujaku , kin ki usturi , asagi , gin rin hi usturi and a doitsu orenji ogon . Some very good quality examples , of rarer varieties .



         As we were in Kawaguchi , it made sense to visit Chogoro , and buy a few more koi , to go in the box .with the two kikokoryu , we purchased the other night . I soon had three more , one being female , and again another quite nice example .


          We really needed goshiki , so we called Kawakami , he had some , so off we went . When we arrived , I was shocked at the size of the goshiki , they were huge , 45-50cm , some bigger ! Not bad for a breeder know for his smaller nisa ! This left as with a problem , as the were too big for our orders , and although the price was fair , not in the budget of what we were looking for . So we went off for some lunch and called Hosokai , and made plans to go after lunch .

          This breeders quality is getting better and better , with many awards for his koi at All Japan level . Although some of his koi , are of serious standard , he still has koi for all budgets . With that in mind , I thought I was in Goshiki heaven , loads of them in every pond . I started bowling them , and soon realised that they wernt what we were looking for quality wise  so they were returned to the ponds . We visited the other koi house , and there where some serious koi , we were shown a very high quality showa , good enough to show in Japan  , I am thinking on it , but it was ony 54cm , at sansai .Bred from an old Takeda lineage , it was beautiful in every way . I really needed customers orders . so will have a harder think on it  . He then showed me the tancho showa we had left in Japan , it had a small mark in the tancho spot , so will talk again with the breeder , and see whats the best way forward , ie another year in the mudpond . So for the first time I can remember , we left empty handed from this breeder .

       Kaneko rung , and said he has some more tancho showa , so we decided to go there , and then Maruhiro , to finish off the trip this week . When we arrived , we found that he had harvested quiet a lot , and we went to the main pond , he had some stunning fish in there , and two tancho showa were bowled , sansai , and serious quality . He then showed us a third one , way better skin quality , but very little sumi , but I could see it coming through the spot , a little bit around the face . He asked if I liked it , I said skin was way better , and he agreed . He then started talking about the sumi , as a tosai , it has a lot , but receded as it got older . He really liked the koi , but it was a gamble to keep  , or a gamble to buy . Who was ready to gamble , being a gullible idiot around koi , I was of course ready to gamble , and I explained this to him , and he laughed . He went quiet for a while , and was obviously thinking about a price . Tanchos are now demanding an outrageous price everywhere , what ever variety , it doesn’t matter , if you want one , and a high class one , then expect to part with a lot of money . This one was a gamble , and with that in mind , he gave me what I thought was more than a fair price , shook his hand , and then went to look at the nisai .

I explained I was looking for some thing , different and good quality , not much then he asked lol ! He showed me a small goshiki , it was in a more expensive pond , and only around 25-28cm , I queried the price , and his answer made me laugh , it had a nice pattern on it , and so I thought I could get good money for it , we all laughed , well I did ask , and at least he was being honest , but he then gave me a better price. Then we talked about Matsukawabake , I love of mine , as you can see from the amount I have bought this week . He showed me an example with not much sumi through at all , the gin rin was great  , the white excellent , good body and with being female , it soon joined the goshiki .

      Two shiros were bowled , totally different , he explained the light patterned shiro was female , and nice quality , the other one obviously had an excellent pattern , but was male , the sumi was so striking , and very sellable , I said to Kaneko ,better buy both !     We had a few gormo in the bowl , and one budo was selected , it had a stunning pattern , and superb white skin , and I think this would be ok for showing . we had many doitsu , and the breeder caught up a very nice doitsu Kujaku , another variety I also like . Good quality , so that joined the rest . I was looking at some of the doistu he had caught for us , and they wernt really doing it for me , so we returned them . I caught up a few showa , a male kindai showa , very nice pattern , but as I was selecting another koi , I saw a nice kohaku swim buy , but my thought changed as a saw the pecks , I pointed and said showa , he laughed and grabbed the net , she was bowed , and looked very nice , great pattern , very soft beni , really my style . He described the koi as tataegoi , one with promise ( rough translation ) . It was also female , I really like this show , so a price was agreed on all of them , so we shook hands and said our goodbyes . This was the best week I have ever had with the breeder , some times I hear people say , he as nothing , or too expensive , next time you visit , don’t just look and go , talk to the breeder , and bowl some of the koi , you might be surprised !



          Last stop Maruhiro , this wasn’t to go as planned , everytime we had visited , he was packed out , or harvesting, a very busy breeder indeed . This time was even worse , may be 40 or 50 people , totally crazy , and no way to buy fish . So I called him over , thanked him for the harvest , had a quick chat and said good bye . Literally only bought around 20 koi from his this visit , I explained we had visited many times , he understood , and we shook hands and off we went .

        As we travelled down the mountains , it was suggested a vist to Torazo was in order , so we did , and very glad I did . I saw a very nice sanke , but was worried as he has a reputation for being a little expensive , I was given the price , and was quite happy , so I purchased this , female and around 55cm , good quality and very pleased . I asked for a nice kohaku , one with a great body was produced , great body , and superb pattern , he said sorry its male , n o problem for me , price was acceptable , so both koi purchased , and off to the hotel , ready to pack our bags , and move to our next destination …………..Isawa .