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A Very Eventful Koi Hunting Trip.

 Japan never disappoints !!

It doesnt matter how many times I come to Japan every trip is exciting and offers not just new Koi but also new experiences and this trip has been one of the most interesting with new possibiities for the future. I never like to arrive and travel straight to Niigata or the South as I prefer to get some rest and hopefully reduce the affect of jet lag so after arriving at 10pm in Haneda , it was a quick shuttle bus to my Hotel for the night , as the next morning I would be meeting with Michel Capot (who i have known for almost twenty years and without him many of the Koi i bring back to the UK would not be possible) his wife Maria and Wilfried Couvet who was arriving from Paris the same morning ,we would then start the long drive to Niigata. Michel started Koi Ichi Ban over 30 years ago and was one of the biggest exporters of Koi to Europe , Wilfried has now set up Koi Ichi Ban Europe and they would be meeting with breeders to make arrangements for the coming season , this was a good opportunity for me to visit a few different Farms than my usual trips.

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The following morning was our first visit to the Junior Koi Show and despite the heavy rain and wind it was a very enjoyable morning seeing some fantastic Koi on show. More videos and pictures tomorrow as the weather was much better. Next to the Koi Show was an event arranged by Narita Koi Farm , this was an interesting way of selling Koi that i had not experienced before , the prices for the Koi are pre set , so you just put your name against the Koi you want and if you are drawn out you win the Koi , you already know the price so there are no higher bids like in an auction. You can see in the videos below just how good these Koi are and many of them are from 100,000 yen to 400,000 yen.  (£750 to £2,800)There were a few exceptions of much higher priced koi but when considering the money you pay also includes the Koi being grown at the farm until Harvest you are actually buying a very high quality Nisai for £750 to £2,800. I had my bids in on several Koi as did Michel and Wilfried and we would await the results at 3pm that afternoon.

We were very successful and managed to secure six Koi from the event and these Koi will now be grown and Harvested in October , it was a very good event and i do hope that there are more days like this in the Japan Koi Calendar.

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Daisuke Maeda drawing the winning Tickets. The Marudo Kohaku I missed out on , and despite the weather Wilfried happy before the results were announced after he was not so happy when I won the Kondo Kohaku he was after !!

Many of you that follow my posts in Facebook and my Website will see that i try to document as many Koi from Tosai as possible so this event was very interesting for me over the next few days I would be visting many of the breeders at the Show and making my selections. Understanding Tosai development takes patience and experience. There are so many points to consider ,  the biggest difficulty in buying Tosai is looking past the obvious and what people perseive as being a demerit ,  such as , red around the eye , beni in the dorsal fin , beni in the pics , two scale sashi , weak beni , lack of sumi , unsexed , then finally when the price is given for a Koi that is very high quality ,the hobbyist has already talked himself out of it. The Koi below were all sold as Tosai under eleven months old and looked alot different than they do today ,some even took almost a year to sell. The pictures are the koi now at Sansai and Yonsai and i think we can all find something we like .This is a small selection of the many koi i am following and i hope in a couple more years many more will be over 80cm.

     Nogami_Female_Kohaku_60cm_4th_Dec_2018.jpg  Oishi_Kohaku_Nov_72cm.jpg  Donated_Oishi_best.jpg    

     Isa_Showa_70cm_4th_Dec_2018.jpg  Isa_Showa_LT_57cm_3rd_Nov_2018.jpg  Arita_Sanke_LT_56cm_3rd_Novemeber_2018_.jpg

     Marudo_Sanke_43cm_Female_LT_17th_Nov_2018.jpg  Oishi_Sanke_52cm_22nd_April_2019.jpg  Dainichi_Kohaku_AS_71cm_3rd_Nov_2018.jpg

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 My first breeder on this trip was Sekiguchi he already new the what i was looking for and he had some very good Koi for me to see. Before i looked at his Female Jumbo Tosai I wanted to buy some unsexed smaller Tosai Showa. The pond was netted and the following Koi were chosen. When choosing tosai Showa the first thing i look for is the skin quality and body , I am also trying to choose females which when they are under 25cm is not easy. Quite often with tosai the brighter the skin can mean a Male koi and there are also other traits that can help to point towards male or female but i will keep this to myself!. Areas that i mentioned before such as beni in the fins and around the eye are not really something that would worry me as in many cases this beni will contract and sometimes disappear, when considering showa development the sumi needs to be quality and not just black ,most of the showa I buy have very little heavy sumi but what is there is quality ,the beni needs to be stable for showa and there are many signs in the sashi and kiwa that can give indications towards this.


After this selection I now had some Female Jumbo Tosai to choose , the quality was very high and like the smaller tosai they were chosen for their skin and body and long term. This time they were large enough to sex so five females are coming back to the UK.

1Sekiguchi_Female_Showa_No_1_29th_April_2019._ROGERjpg.jpg  2Sekiguchi_Female_Showa_No_2_29th_April_2019.jpg  3Sekiguchi_Female_Showa_No_3__29th_April_2019.jpg

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All the sekiguchi Showa are Female and priced at £1295 each Videos Below.


This trip was about buying high quality koi with potential and where possible Females. After an excellent day at Sekiguchi the next stop was Murata a very famous breeder for Kohaku . This visit was to see the quality of Murata Kohaku and to see Wilfrieds Koi that had been left at the farm for the past year.

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This Koi is three years old and the sashi and kiwa quality is perfect for a Koi of this age , the white skin throughout the body is unbelievable , and the beni quality is soft and shiney , it is quite simply a stunning koi and happy that i had the chance to see her.

By the time we returned to Ojiya the day was almost over but just enough to stop off and take a look and some beautiful metallic Koi. This breeder is producing some amazing Koi and i will detail more about this later.Enjoy the Video.

A superb first day with some excellent Koi purchased .Tomorrow i would be at Marudo Koi Farm...........


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I arrived at Marudo at 9am and straight into selecting female Jumbo Tosai. In this pond were many very nice Koi thick sumi ,bright red beni , big heads and some already 40cm. The patterns would sell these koi very easily and sometimes i am tempted to buy this style of Koi , But i prefer a challenge and like to choose Koi that in my opinion have a long term future in its development and are female . So after a couple of hours the following koi were purchased I have also added some of the Koi purchased from Marudo in February that will be coming back with the Koi from this trip.

Marudo_Female_JT_Kohaku_No_2_30th_April_2019.jpg  Marudo_Female_JT_Kohaku_No_3__30th_April_2019.jpg  Marudo_Female_JT_Kohaku_No_4_30th_April_2019.jpg  Marudo_Female_JT_Kohaku_No_5_30th_April_2019.jpg

 April Female £750         April Female £750      April Female £750        April Female £750

Marudo_Female_JT_Show_No_3_30th_April_2019.jpg  Marudo_Tategoi_Tosai_Kohaku_No_2_12th_Feb_2019.jpg  Marudo_Tategoi_Tosai_Kohaku_No_5_12th_Feb_2019.jpg  Marudo_Tategoi_Tosai_Sanke_No_1_12th_Feb_2019.jpg

April Female £750   Feb Female £550        Feb Female £550  Feb Female £550

  Marudo_Tategoi_Tosai_Sanke_No_6_12th__Feb_2019.jpg  Marudo_Tategoi_Tosai_Kohaku_No_2_12th_Feb_2019.jpg  Marudo_Tategoi_Tosai_Sanke_No_4_12th_Feb_2019.jpg  Marudo.RICHARD_AXAMjpg.jpg

Feb Female £550      Feb Female £550      Feb Female £550     Feb Female £550

I would be back at Marudo in a few days for some Azukari Tategoi Sanke and Kohaku.

After lunch the afternoon was spent visiting Oya Koi Farm and Marusei.

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At Oya it was to check up the Tosai Asagi i had bought during my February Trip and also to purchase a few more larger Tosai. Asagi are one of my favourite varieties and this farm is well known for producing some of the best available ,that can also grow in excess of 90cm.If you are interested in an Oya Asagi please message me as these always sell very quickly.

The visit to Marusei to see what was available ended up with me purchasing a few sansai all female , photographing at Marusei is not easy so i will just post the videos.

Aka Matsuba Female £395 45cm

Mizu Ogon Female 45cm £395

Aka Matsuba Female 45cn £395

Chagoi 50cm Female £495

Another eventful day and tomorrow i will be at Isa Koi Farm to choose from a pond of Female Tategoi Showa !


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