In this blog we are saying goodbye to Osaka and travelling back down south to Hiroshima district to our new base in Sera, where we will meet our good friend Mike San from Yume Koi Japan. But first, we are meeting another good friend Chip San in Osaka whom we will be travelling south with and spending most of our koi travels with.
After checking out of our hotel we had a few hours spare before meeting our friend Chip so we placed our luggage in one of the many lockers available in the station, for around 1000 Yen, which is good value and peace of mind plus you don’t have to drag the things all round with you!! It was another lovely sunny morning, so we decided to wander towards a riverside park which was very tranquil. This area is a wide-open space with long paths, there was a running event on like our park runs here in the UK. The area is built up either side of the river so there is a good views across the river of the city skyline. It’s good to see how they have built this area to take major floods to protect the city…simple!
Back at the station we meet up with Chip say our hello’s as we’ve not seen each other for a while. After our hello’s first business was to visit the Shinkansen bullet train ticket office to get reserved seats for a mid-afternoon train journey.
Our destination station was a more local train station just before the main Hiroshima station called Shin-Onomichi this meant we had to get two trains from Osaka changing at Okayama, as the direct train was full. Having secured our reserve tickets for both trains we had just over an hour to kill so we went for a nice coffee and a chat to pass the time, a place we’ve met and had coffee before on our last trip in 2019.
Our first shinkansen train was the Sakura due at precisely 14:18 this was a journey of 50 minutes, we arrived at Okayama at 15:07 and our next train was due at 15:19 which was only on the next platform so easy to find. The second took 30 minutes arriving at 15:56 in Shin-Onomichi.
On arriving, Mike was waiting for us outside of the station it was great to see him as the last time we saw Mike was when we said our goodbyes in November 2019!! A lot has happened in the world and from a personal point since then, but it just seemed like 5 minutes!! From the station it was about a 40 minute drive to Sera, being late in the day there was not much time to do anything major as the sun was going down losing the light, so we visited Yume Koi Japan’s main flagship fish house. I have to say, it was very impressive inside and out where expansion is soon to happen. The ponds have exceptional koi residing in them and Anthony and I are lucky to have two koi in there. Mike explained his future for further fish houses to be built alongside the existing one.
Next morning it was a planned trip over to Matsue koi farm a well-known Kohaku breeder whom we’ve visited many times before. It’s about 1 hour 40 minute drive over to the town of Matsue with the farm actually being located off the main road! As always we were nicely greeted by Takahiro Litsuka San (Rambo San). We have two nice Kokaku’s residing in our pond from Matsue, which give us memories of our visits, but it’s always nice to show the breeders updates of your koi as they appreciate that you can grow them and develop them!
The farm has many fish houses but it’s the same couple where the Nisai are located, and where the main photographing of the koi is conducted. So, it was obvious this is where we headed. After the normal studying of the ponds a few koi were bowled for closer inspection. Normally about 5 are selected to go in a bowl then dwindled down to two for decision making especially once the price is known. As usual great hospitality from Rambo San who treated to us all for Ramen lunch…thankyou. In the meantime, lots of reference pictures and vids are taken to mull over later in the car for our journey back over to our base. When you see so many good koi (Kohaku) its hard to make a decision early on in your trip especially when you have Sanke on your agenda wish list!!
Going out for an evening meal is always good to catch up on the days events to discuss the koi we have saw and bowled then to discuss the next day’s plans and farms we are going to visit, which will be in our next blog.
Stephen and Anthony
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