Day two of touring Japanese koi farms did not disappoint. After all of my excitement following day one, waking up in Japan almost seemed like a dream. I had to pinch myself to make sure all this amazing beauty was really right at my fingertips.
Most everyone in the koi world appreciates Izumiya koi farm for their high quality Ogon, Kohakus and Taisho Sanshokus. After all, Senichi Mano has won Grand Championship at Nogyosai and is also known for his award winning bulls. This being our first stop for the day, I was honored for the opportunity to learn and observe at his koi farm. Meeting Senichi Mano, a second generation koi breeder was truly a privilege within the koi community. I learned that even though he has some of the best koi in the business, he is always striving for more! If only everyone had Senichi Manos drive, the world would be a better place! Some points of improvement he is looking to make within his Ogons are to have darker, brighter, golden yellow coloration with strong glisten. He would also like to see thick, fukurin condition with strong glisten with good body conformation. And of course, to please his customers he wants to grow koi quickly and to grow in large size without harming the health of the koi. Looking at these koi in person, I find it hard to believe there are any improvements to be made!
Next, we took a minute on top of this gorgeous mountain range of mud ponds for a quick photo opp and a chance to soak up some of that sunshine!
While visiting Maruhiro KOI farm we got a chance to look at this unique top round pond that is home to some jumbo koi. This was the only one I saw in Japan, so this definitely caught my eye. We did have a quick visit here yesterday, but who’s complaining for a chance at a second look!
Up next we partook in a JKX Masterclass at Isa koi farm with our host Mitsunori Isa. Mr. Isa has been breeding for over 30 years and has some of the best Showas I have ever seen. Not only does he have some incredible high quality Showas, you can find Taisho Sanshokus and Kohakus around too. We learned that Mitsunori Isa has taken over the family business from his father who started the koi farm back in 1970, one year before he was born. Each year he will harvest approximately 15,000 tosai, 8500 will be kept as tategoi. In October, they will harvest 1500 nisai, 250 sansai, 50 yonsai, and 100 gosai and older. Keep a close eye on this breeder as he has won many awards for his koi.
Later on we managed to pop into Torazo koi farm for a quick visit. They are located in the mountains of Niigata and originated in 1917. This is one of the longest running koi outlets in Japan. Here you can find a range of cheap fish all the way up to champion winning koi. Fortunately, there were no cheap koi insight here, check out these incredible Kohakus!
Marusei koi farm was next in route. This koi farm was started in 1960 by Seitaro Hirasawa. His eldest son, Yoshiuki Hirasawa is now helping his father run the family business along with the help of other family members too. This is one of the largest koi farms in the Niigata area. They have over 300 mud ponds and are always building more! Full time job with no days off to succeed in this line of work!
As we continue on our eventful day, we received the opportunity to stop by the JA Auction house. This was neat to see how they run their auction compared to ours. Very different but successful!
Also, while visiting the auction house, we took a walk next door to sneak a peek at Mano koi farm where we got to see Shusui.
Is it time for souvenirs? We stoped by a local koi store to pick up some goodies!
Last but not least to conclude all this excitement, we enjoyed dinner at a local Yakatori restaurant. I have to say, eating here was one of my favorite spots, the hospitality was excellent and the food was just like BBQ! Highly recommended if you are ever in Japan!
Stay tuned for more Japanese journeys…….