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Japan Autumn 2023, Blog - 7

The next few days saw the start of our koi nerding trip. We were also going to be helping with the Yume koi Japan mud pond challenge, which will be covered in a separate blog.

Our first full day (Monday) we were booked in to visit Takigawa’s koi farm which is one of our favourite farms, but first we had to go and check on the Yume koi mud pond. As the day had been set (Thursday) to complete the harvest it was important to check the water levels, so the pond was draining correctly, more in the harvest blog.


As time was a little on our side the decision was made to have an early lunch which instead of our sometimes usual 7 Eleven sandwiches we went to a restaurant, sweet and sour pork dishes, which was really nice.


On our way to Takigawa’s koi farm I was thinking after having been travelling around last week on our own, it was really nice to be chauffeured around.


It was great again to visit a koi farm especially Takigawa Koi Farm, we were met with open arms from Hassei who is the oldest son of Takigawa San. Over the last few years, he has been introducing some new lines into his breeding programme so it was nice to see these koi with fantastic results.


It was nice to view other ponds and ask to bowl one or to koi to discuss their merits, this is something the breeders are always willing to do.


It was time to move on, but this is a farm we visit a few times over the trip, so it was not goodbye it was see you later!


Next day the schedule was to visit two farms, Omosako in the morning and Sakai Co in the afternoon so a busy koi day ahead, which is great.


It’s about an hour’s drive to Omosako from our base, so again after a 7 Eleven breakfast, coffee and stocking up on water, we were off. Again, this is another farm where you are welcomed by a big smile from Takahiro san. It’s always a pleasure to come here and see ponds full of black and white koi, Shiro Utsuri’s. There did not seem as much Nisai this year in the holding pond after harvesting though there was an auction event on in Niigata where the other Omosako brother Takayoshi san was. Still a few fish were bowled, and the merits were discussed. This process normally means we net out about six which we think are the best then dwindle them down to normally two or three to discuss in more detail.


We then had a look in another fish house where there are many koi to admire. There are a few fish houses here with a few varieties and various sizes so always good to walk around and study the koi on show.


We were then taken out for lunch (Moss Burger) as a guest of Takahiro which is always a nice gesture.


We said our goodbyes thinking it will be another year before we visit again. Then we were off to Sakai Co fish farm, this farm is starting to get a good reputation for Kohaku and Sanke as many of the koi they are producing have tremendous body structures so grow well. Most farms have graded ponds in their fish houses as when koi come in from the harvests, such as Nisai koi they are graded on their overall quality, usually about three ponds with the top pond obviously holding the best koi, but the most expensive.


Entering the main Nisai fish house you tend to have a little browse at the various ponds, then the anticipation gets to you, and you have to go and look into the top pond, where you stand gazing for ages. Then it’s all go, getting a few koi lifted into the bowl to view. Similar to Omosako the merits of the bowled koi are discussed. Though unfortunately we picked a lovely Sanke, that turned out was decided to be a potential future parent! So, she was quickly put back into the pond! You can sometimes ask to reserve a koi for a few days which the breeders mostly honour if you’re not 100% certain or having more breeders to visit. So, this was done and then we moved next door to the other fish house to view the larger koi and I mean large and loads of them!!! Such a pleasure viewing koi of this size majority over 90cm and that was that time to move on, freshen up and out for s nice meal.


The following day was the day before the harvest, so the morning’s plan was to spent time preparing for the big day, such as organising equipment and checking and preparing the pond for the koi to go in to after the harvest. With this done wed then headed off for lunch. We then headed to Tamura koi farm in the afternoon, once again greeted with nice hospitality. Tamura specialise in Kohaku, Sanke and Showa, and similar to the previous breeders they have various graded ponds…but as always, your drawn to the top pond! There were some very nice Sanke and Kohaku to select from, so a few were bowled for closer inspection and to discuss…with some deals done and some reserved for a few days. It was starting to get late in the day, so it was agreed we could come back again later in the week. So it was back to the hotel, freshen up and out for a meal.


Also, we now have a website which is solely dedicated to our travels in Japan. Please visit www.japanguiding.com to read all our articles about the locations we have visited in Japan.


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