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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My original plan was to head down the South of Japan , to carry on the success of my visit there in the Autumn . But to be honest , things are going so well up here , and im being offered nice koi by our agent based down there , it makes sense to leave him to do his job down there .

Our latest purchases from the south are Okawa shiro usturi . 12 jumbo tosai , already 24-34cm approx , that should arrive in the UK around the end of March . Also some smaller siblings , shiro and gin shiro utsuri all around 14-18cm , and we have 40 of those coming . Pictures below are the actual koi coming in . So then back to Niigata , first stop Kawakami .

Okawa jumbo tosai shiro utsuri 24-34cm . 




Okawa tosai shiro and gin rin shiro utsuri .



We are really struggling for goshiki , we have been to all my usual haunts , and none available , so today was my last hope , Kawakami koi farm . This farm now has goshiki to All Japan standards , but also has affordable ones as well . Looking in the ponds , he had some fantastic examples , but when the breeder arrived , he pointed to all the ponds we liked , and said , very sorry  all sold out ! So that left a pond of sansai , with a couple of goshiki that wernt really were not up to what i wanted , and a very large gin rin shiro utsuri , stunning skin quality and gin rin , but the pattern lacking up by the head . So i looked into the sea of black and white that was left in the only other pond for sale . A price was given , and i was a little taken a back , i really thought no way thats too expensive . Now that usually means one of three things , the breeder IS expensive , the breeders is too busy or doesnt like you lol ( it happens ) , or your not looking hard enough in the pond !!!!!! I was banking on the last option , as i like this breeder , and have always got on well here . It took some time , but i started to see a couple of koi that might be nice .So first up a vey nice hajiro , then another , then a doitsu one , then a kumonryu , then a nice shiro , and last but not least , a gin rin shiro with kado gin rin . I made up a box with great ease , and took videos and pictures . Then i was struggling , i had a few nice ones left , but couldnt find anything else i liked . The agent then suggested to have a look at the sansai gr shiro . Ok , go on then , glad we did , she was stunning , but as i said , not so much on the head . On closer examination , i could see a a faint patten which might be sumi , then as i followed it round , it went onto the gill plate , so sumi it is ! This made another box of very high grade unusual koi . So i purchased her along with the other nisai . Job done !

Shiro utsuri , kumonryu x 2 , hajiro and doistu hajiro , mainly female and around 40-45cm .




Sansai female  gin rin shiro utsuri , Haiiro and doitsu hajiro , kado gin rin shiro utsruri .



After here , we went to Maraska , the home of kujaku and sanke from jimbeo bloodlne . He always has a wide range of varities , and i soon started bowling up nisai and sansai . I ended up with a sansai doitsu hariwake , and nisai tancho sanke from Jimbei bloodline , a doitsu sanke , kinki utsuri and a kujaku . Nice quick stop to take us to lunch time .



So some of you might be thinking , why the title on todays blog ???? Simple , watch the video below and you will get it ! Ive been here before in the snow many times , but this week , ive seen almost blizzards , that have nearly stopped us in our tracks . But today visibility was under 50/60 yards , and it was a little scary to say the least . As luck would have it , we were nearly at the restaraunt  where we had decided to actually stop for lunch , which worked out well , as this weather wasnt even for Mad dogs and English men ! 




Over dinner , we discussed the idea of going over to Oofuchi , now the route isnt any more dangerous than any other , but its so isolated , the snow ploughs dont get over there so much , and with 10 cm falling in under half hour , we decided against it . So a new plan was hatched , visit Hoshikin and get my azuakri koi that we forgot to ship in the Autumn . As we drove over to the farm , the snow got worse and worse , and i was glad we wasnt far from the hotel . I was expecting a bit of a frosty reception , due to the fact we had left a koi at the farm for 4 months , it had got damaged harvesting , and it just slipped my mind . I  saw the breeder , and he came straight over  and shake me warmly by the hand . He had lots of tosai in the main fish house , and we were shown a few ponds , no picking , no picking , no picking .Last one , i said no  picking ?? Trying not to be sarcastic , he looked at me and said something i couldnt understand , i though thats a new Japanese swear word , the agent laughed and said  , of course you can pick , no problem at all ! The discussion then started around price and quantity , a breeder like this , will normally get a massive scoop net , and you select from that . He said if your happy with the price , a couple of boxes and we will net the whole pond . It was a good job i was full up on liver and rice , or i would really have bitten his arm off . What you have to understand this a very famous breeder , he is known for his quality koi , not his  generosity lol ! But bearing this in mind , and the quality of the koi , i turned to the agent and said , thats a very fair price , lets net it . Hoshikin is famous for his kohaku , but of late he has been breeding some very serious showa , but what i was shocked about  was the shiro utsuri , i asked if they were from the showa spawning  he said no , shiro parents . The sumi was soooo strong , but the shiroji seemed to have a blue hue to it , we asked him and he said he doesnt know , new koi ! Also some surprising non go sanke kijiro , doits fish like a hariwake , but smarter and more defined ! The wholepond was netted , and we set around selecting , i couldnt believe some of the quality among these fish , there really was some stunners . But although i said the price was fair  , 80 of them comes to a kings ransom , so i was getting really picky . we got to the end of the pond , looked behind me , and saw a bowl of stunning tosai ! I really couldnt be happier , i wanted to hi five the agent , but he said steady on  were not American , and even the Japanese had a chuckel ! So then back to the koi we needed to ship , for that was the reason we visited . Shipping was arranged , and it wasnt cheap for one koi , so i thought why he was in a good mood , lets try and get a koi in the box and save some money . We looked in his nisai , and bearing in mind , i have been to 90 percent of the breeders in Japan , i was shocked , especially in February ,the level was crazy high ! Im serious here , there comes a time when you see a pond and just think shit ! IM out of here , i apologise for the wording , but when you know koi, you know when its time to back off and accept it is what it is . SO i asked some prices , and they wernt so bad as i thought , and a kohaku was soon bowled , and i just had to have it , im a sucker for a maruten !



Being fairly happy at what has happened today ,we had an hour to spare . So  we returned to Marudo koi farm  , the nisai pond had cleared , i could actually see the koi  , so soon set about catching the koi up , and soon had five nisai that were all thought to be female . So a great way to end the day ! Sorry about the pics , we were rushing and the water was still rippling . I soon had all female go sanke , and a cracking kogani ochiba . Sixes 45-55cm approx .



An excellent day , one to remember !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!