Early start today , breakfast at 6.45 , and out the hotel by 7.20 , and on the train for 7.35 . We leave Niigata to travel down to Isawa , to visit Sakuma koi farm . Its a pain at the end of the trip , as its two hours to Tokyo , then two hours onto Isawa
Always a worry in case the farm doesn't have koi for sale , or low in availability , then you have lost a whole day .
Hajime picked us up from the station and off we went to the farm . We always spend a little time for coffee and fruit with the family , Mum always joins as well , think I over dosed on vitamin c , must have eaten half a dozen oranges ! Anyway , onto the koi . We were taken into the tosai house , and only one pond was available , and the koi were amazing and some over 40cm , as the pond was netted , I did think that this was not going to happen , no prices were to be given , as it was the first time they had been netted , and Hajime wanted to cast his eye over them first . I voiced my concerns about the koi and the prices , but it fell on deaf ears , as a net was plunged into my hands . I soon selected around 10 koi , and the bowl looked dangerously expensive . Hajime , the brother and the agent then went into full babble and pointing mode . I was trying to stay calm , but I could see if they were all getting that excited , I wouldn't be able to afford any of these . After they had all calmed down , we discussed the merits of all the koi , Hajime selected a couple more , including a sanke that was well over 40cm ! The koi were then sorted into male and female . Prices were given , the females as I expected were not cheap , and I felt they would be hard to sell . So onto the males , these were also not cheap , and I started thinking four hours on a train , and no koi ! We looked at them one at a time in a bowl , and they were measured . Most were around 40cm , but the sanke was a massive 50cm , so nearly nisai size already ! Last year I left some with the farm to stay in a concrete pond , and was very happy with the results , if all these koi added 10cm , and got better as the others did , id have a whole lot of high quality nisai that I probably couldn't afford next Autumn . So I bought 6 and did the pictures and videos , once outside in the sun and clean water , the koi looked incredible , and I knew I had done the right thing ! The females were 36-50cm .
That left 6 males in the bowl , I asked one to be put back , and then got a new price for all of them . It was not cheap , but once again the quality shone through , so I bought them all , and will ship them back in the next week or two, they were all 33-44cm .
We then went to the nisai house , were I bowled up a very nice nisai kohaku and beni kikokoryu . 48 and 50cm , and both female . price was fair so purchased both . A pond of smaller tosai was then netted up for me , and I selected 10 between 20-30cm , showa , sanke , doitsu showa , doitsu tancho showa and a small kohkau . Another round of coffees , more oranges , and it was time to say good bye and thanks . Very nice family , and great koi , very enjoyable few hours .
I have never been to this Hiroi before , ive heard his expensive , so when I saw he had goshiki and doitsu left I I wasn't expecting them to be cheap . The best koi was a nice nisai , female , goshiki around 50cm . I went for this first as a bench mark , and it wasn't as bad as I thought , loads have been asking me for goshiki so I purchased straight away . Looked back in the pond , and saw some doitsu go sanke , and soon had four in a bowl , they were also very nice , and ended up with a female doitsu sanke and showa 45-50cm . I took a video of the three koi , and then individual pics , one by one . By then the koi house was unbearable , and more sweat was running down us , than there was in a bowl , so we decided that it was time to call it a day . Hajime took us back to the station , and we boarded the train back to Tokyo . Isawa had proven well worth the travel , and I was more than content with my purchases .
I booked into the Hotel , and we went for a meal , and a well earned couple of drinks . Over the meal , the agent asked me which breeder was the best this week except Maruhrio , he pre guessed me already lol . To be honest , I would have to say all of them equally , Maruhiro was excellent as always , Yamazaki quality was excellent with many great examples of different varieties , Oofuchi the same , Takahashi with a nice hand select of tosai along with some of the best go sanke I have ever bought !, Kaneko and Otsuka supplied some great koi , Shintaro some nice go sanke tosai and older , all the breeders we used had great koi , stock and prices . This has to be the best trip , this late on in the season ever ! Up to about 80 boxes I think now , looking at some extra tosai , so may have to do three shipments ! Thanks for following the blog , hope you enjoyed reading it , and be even join me for week koi buying with me ! Untill then , thanks and good night !