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Japan Autumn 2023, Blog - 9

This blog continues our travels around the koi breeders and their farms, over the next few days.

The day after the harvest, was a planned trip over to Matsue koi farm…as most days the day starts with a 7-Eleven breakfast, coffee then we were collected by Mike then away we go on the road. Stopping first to check on the recently harvested koi from the day before, which were looking superb!

It took about a 1 hour 40-minute drive to the town of Matsue where the farm is actually located adjacent to a busy main road. Matsue is well known for breeding Kohaku, of whom we’ve visited many times before. As always, we were all nicely greeted by Takahiro 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! More so this particular year we’ve been successful on the show seen with one of our Kohaku’s.

Some of the hobbyist with us had left koi at the farm to be grown. So, Takahiro took us to their newest fish house where these koi resided, to bowl and view them. There development and growth had been fantastic and clear the farm had taken excellent care of the koi! One of the koi we had seen the year before as Nisai and now Sansai, so from a personal view it was great and interesting to see how the koi had developed, grown and improved. Which would help us make a potential discussion when looking at this year’s Nisai.

The koi were placed back in their ponds, and we were off to another fish house to look at the Nisai. Studying the pond, a number of Kohaku were selected by us and the other hobbyists, netted and placed into the vat for closer inspection. It’s always interesting to discuss the koi, often the odd one going back to the pond…in the end we were left with three. There’s a mutual understanding and respect between the hobbyist, from picking koi out the from the pond to photographing koi to making a final decision if the koi is for them.

So, decisions were made and three selected koi were purchased, photographs and videos were taken, to which the koi were then placed in the sold pond. A successful day and some happy hobbyists!

Before we said our goodbyes we received some really nice gifts which was a very nice surprise! Then we were back on the road. On returning, instead of going back to our hotel we decided to just go direct for a nice meal which sometimes happens when you’ve had a long day!

The next day the first port of call for the morning was to spend some time at Mike’s Yume Koi Japan fish house. The fish house and it’s two large ponds are only a few years old, and state of the art. Mike has designed the ponds to maximise the potential and growth of the koi that reside in them, and it’s clear there working! Having seen the fish house last year, it was great to see the development of some of the koi. We were privileged to have left a koi here from last year’s trip for Mike to continue her development, of which we bowled for a closer look, she was looking superb and great to see her again! Some of the other hobbyist had koi here also, which were bowled as well. Then a number of Sanai koi were bowled that Mike had been growing, to be viewed up close.

At this point we unfortunately had to say our goodbyes to Chip, as he was needed back in Osaka for business.

From Mike’s fish house we had a spot of lunch then off to Tamura Koi Farm for another visit…after another warm welcome, we were able to view their Sansai and Yonsai koi in another fish house. It’s always good to see, as helps give you an idea of how their younger Nisai will potentially grow and develop. Once we had finished viewing these koi we went back in to the Nisai fish house, some more koi were bowled for a closer look…unfortunately at this point we were losing the light so it was decided we would come back the next day.

The next day, the first port of call in the morning was to check over some of the koi from the mud pond harvest to double check ID’s and photographs. Also, for Tamura San to come and look over the koi and help judge the winners of the competition. Tamura and his wife then treated us all to a lovely lunch! Which was very nice of them. After lunch we went back to Tamura koi farm to take another look at the Nisai in some better light. Some deals were done, and a number of koi were purchased. We think his gesture of lunch worked!

In the next blog we travel down south to Kyushu Island to visit Okawa and Ueno Koi farms.

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