Our hotel, which was our base for the week ahead is a lovely traditional hotel with parquet polished flooring on all the corridor floors which means…shoes off when walking to your room! With this type of hotel, we normally have breakfast at the local 7 Eleven which is only 5 mins away. For us this means, banana, sandwich (of some sort) and latte coffee! By the time we’ve consumed this standing outside the 7 Eleven so we can recycle our rubbish, which is to the locals amusement until Mike San has arrived.
Our itinerary for the day was mainly to visit Omosako Koi farm, a spot of late lunch then a quick visit to Sakai Company before returning to our hotel as we have a planned appointment later in the week.
From being collected outside the 7 Eleven, Omosako Koi farm is just under an hour’s journey and at times is a very picturesque route. On entering the premises, it did not take long for Takahiro San to greet us with his big smile. As always Takahiro San is very joyful, and it does not take long before we are all laughing about something! Takahiro San’s brother Takayoshi San also came to greet us, both brothers speak some English and both run the farm super efficiently as most koi farms are. This koi farm as most know is famous for their Shiro Utsuri’s (Black and White Koi), when you walk into their main fish house the ponds are painted blue which is unusual as nearly all the breeder’s concrete ponds are black. But the blue background just sets off the black and white Shiro Utsuri Koi!!
After looking at the ponds with the larger koi in them, which are fabulous to look at...these large Shiro Utsuri’s are a sight to see. We then settled in to watching the Nisai ponds to observe the koi, this is something we always do and select what we think are the best koi in the pond to get bowled. It’s a sort of competition to see if we’ve picked the one’s the breeders highly rates!! Again, we normally have about 5 or 6 koi in the bowl, with one or two going back and another in if we spot an issue on them. Trying to pick the best from a pond full of koi we have found to be a great way to learn what to look for.
It’s always good to discuss the merits and structure of koi in a bowl with the breeder and Mike San, you just cannot get this knowledge in the UK!!
After a while we ended up with two left in the bowl, which were then photographed and videoed for further discussion later.
From Omosako we then went for a nice Ramen lunch before heading to Sakai Company which is about a 45 minute drive from Omosako. When we last visited Sakai Company in 2019 they were building a new fish house, so when we arrived this was of course completed and the first fish house we went to look inside. Inside there were two very large, long ponds full of jumbo koi mainly Kohaku and Sanke…certainly amazing to see! We then went to view their newly harvested Nisai which are housed in another fish house, again the same format applied as Omosako with some being bowled for a closer look and discussion. Sakai Company specialise in Sanke and Kohaku, and they certainly had some very nice specimens on show, with some ponds totalling well over 300 koi swimming around. When looking at the koi in these ponds you really have to study them as you do start to get ‘koi blindless ’!!
As mentioned, it was only a relatively quick visit to check out if all Koi had been harvested with another visit scheduled for later in the week.
After returning back to our base in Sera it was a quick freshen up at the hotel then out for a nice meal, where we discuss all the koi we’ve bowled in detail and the excitement of the mornings harvest…Our next blog!
Stephen and Anthony
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