For those of you who have travelled with me to Japan will know two things , our agents work very hard to make our trips as good as they are , so weekends for them is kind of down time , so we usually get to see a couple of breeders and have some free time in the afternoon . Secondly , i suffer badly from jet lag and always stay up late on the first night to try and beat this . So i decieded after a nice meal in Ojiya , Heather and myself decieded to take a couple of drinks in the bar ( purely for helping with the jet lag ! ) , so bearing in mind i dont drink much now the plan was to have one or two for the road and get back for a good long sleep . Enter Mark Gardener , one drunken Japanese hobbyist and Jimbei koi farm . Realising that one had turned to several Whiskeys , plus two of Marks " try this Gaz yourll love it " i was really feeling a bit light on my feet so time to get my head down as it was around one o clock , perfect time to go to bed and not wake up at 3am and pace the bedroom or the streets od Ojiya due to jetlag . So when i woke up with a strong nagging feeling in my lower back , i started to blame Marks new found love of Philapino drink ( which i had now realised he diddnt drink any ! ) , the pain increased and i started cursing Mark , blaming everything in the world on Mark including this increasing pain ! Four hours later and the pain is outragious and i cant sit , stand or even lie down , ive had to call the agent as i now realise that Mark is not to blame and some thing is seriously wrong . So into the hospital , scans and xrays , pain killers and out for the count for 30 minutes while the tablets take effect .Awoken by a very nice Japanese guy who works with our agents and can speak very good english , to be shown a little white lump on the xray moving niceley down to an exit point and being told kidney stone , luckily its only a small one , i replied " doesnt feel that small from where im standing " I heard some sniggering from behind me , concern had grown while i was asleep and the crowd of staff from the agents had grown to three , " his obviously feeling better " one of them said . , and laughed , but i think this was more through relief than anything else as there was a few worried faces amoung them earlier apparently ! On the way back to the cars i was told my first appointment was cancelled so i can lay down and rest . " What ????????? , you better get back on the phone and remake it then ! " " oh yes , definatley feeling better " was the reply ! Arriving back to the hotel to find id missed breakfast , really was the icing on the cake and diddnt bode well for the rest of the day . So within an hour of leaving hospital , armed with pain killers , camera , egg sandwich from 7-11 we arrived at Yamazaki koi farm . As soon as the air pumps were switched off i could feel my spirits rise as he had an excellant selection of sansai and older koi . The koi at this farm are truly amazing , not many go sanke but many many other varietys at price to suit all pockets. So i was really like a kid in a sweetie shop and diddnt know which pond to start in , first pond was a large selection of sansai platinum ogons and hariwakes , last spring we shipped a 70cm one from here and was sold two days into q/tine ( stayed with us for another 4 weeks of course ) so i was keen to wait to find a larger example so passed on the slighly smaller 50-55cm ones he had there . Ill be going back there again when he has some more yonsai so contact me if intereasted in the smaller ones . We were then looking at the better quality yonsai , and found some very nice shiro utsuri , and was quite taken a back when told the price so ended up buying them both, the skin on these koi was amazing , and certainly good enough for showing in the uk scene . One of our party is taking more than strong intereast in one of them , so i dont think they will both be for sale for long . We then moved into another fish house , and was met by loads more sansai and yonsai of so many varietys its really a credit to this young breeder on how he has expaned since he took over the reigns from his father . I then took some considerable time and puchased five sansai , all female around 45-50cm , These included a kohaku that the skin quality was excellant on , an amazing ochiba , goshiki , aiigoromo and a gin rin hi utsuri . We had spent so much time there , it was time for our agent to depart as he had things to do in the afternoon , as we drove back though the mounbains we formed a plan to be dropped off and we would wander around breeders ourselves and get a taxi back later .This seemed great as the pain killers were working a treat , and an afternoon walk would prepare me for a good sleep . As we drove back we saw Maruhiro at his new facility and it was decieded to stop for a quick coffee ( rude not to ! ) , as most of you know we have an amazing relationship with this breeder , and time spent with him is always rewarding . We all had a drink and our agent had to leave . So while we there we had a look at some very intereasting nisai , with so many varietys it wasnt long before we had a bowl of nisai , many were pre ordered so a good hours work selecting varietys as kogani ochiba ( metalic ochibas ) , bekko , benigoi ( and yes i do mean benigoi , red pecks !! ) ,ki goi and gin rin ki goi , hi utsuri and a deep red aka matsuba , gin rin tancho . Some unusual koi and with hopefully three orders found , photos taken we then packed our bags and decieded to prepare for our hike .It was then our old friend Jerone from Holland arrived with a customer in a very small car . We all looked at each other and smiled and thought "taxi !! " After a brief discussion on our plans , he said thats crazy , you come with us , my day was getting better and better ! So all of us including bags packed into the tiny car doing our best imperssion of the anthill mob , (for those of you who dont remember them , watch the cartoon wacky races and you will see what i mean ) I diddnt need to ask where we were going as Jerone along with myself are big Yagenji fans and as he had just got off the plane i knew where we would bound to be going as we ventured up the twisted roads of Mushigame . On arrival Jerone bowled a very attractive sansai kujaku for his customer who said he was thinking about buying it , Jerone said you can think , i will buy and you can make your mind up later . Thats good of him one of my customers said , good my arse i thought , knowing that Jerone has started collecting some very impressive oya goi ( parents ) , and just happened to be in the market for a sansai male kujaku , funny how things work out ! Knowing that it would soon be dark , it was suggested a quick visit to Torazo on the way back to the hotel , on the way Jerone turned sharly without any warning and everything went everywhere , "change of schedule , lets go to Horoi ", suited me fine as we were only along for the ride .This breeder really has some very high quality koi , showa , gin rin showa , doitsu showa , goshiki and gin rin goshiki .We some many koi that we were intereasted in , and quckly bowled a stunning gin rin showa which we are going back tomorrow to have a look at as the light was fading fast . So from having a terrible start to the day , and knowing we might only get to seeing one breeder it ending up being a very enjoyable day , with some very nice koi purchased , and having a great excuse for bad photography as being ill , and an apology to poor old Mark Gardiner whose ears must have been burning around 4am this morning , its on wards and forwards ..............................Photos in order , two shiro utsuri from Yamazaki , bthe female around 60cm .next five all sansai , around 45-50cm and female from Yamazaki also . Next koi all from Maruhiro , nisai 30-38cm ,unsexed , ki goi , gin rin kigoi , pair of kogani ochiba , pair of gin rin benigoi , hiutsuri , aka matsuba , gin rin tancho and bekko . Last koi is a yonsai shiro from Yamazaki , we nearly purchased this , but realised that the leading ray of the peck wasnt complete and was so happy with the other two we passed . If anyone is intereasted , please email me , its not damaged , just finishes early .