Japan. Where to start on my experience? I had the pleasure of visiting Japan for two weeks to expand my knowledge of KOI and business relationships with KOI breeders. This ultimately will gain us access to ship directly from Japan to sell high quality Japanese KOI. Over the next few weeks I will be posting blogs about some of the different breeders and fun activities along the way. If you are looking to become more knowledgeable in the field of KOI, Japan KOI export (JKX) was my host for the week with the great Martin Symonds. The KOI Masterclass did not disappoint!
Up first: Shintaro KOI farm. This spectacular KOI farm was started back in 1968 by Syosuke and his son, Masaru Saito. They have 2 main KOI houses and one for tosai along with 50 mud ponds. Shintaro KOI farm has top quality Kohakus, Sankes, and Showas. In one year they hope to produce 1 million fry. After culling, they will keep 2500 to 3000 tosai each year. And out of these, Masaru Saito said only about 20 will grow up to be high quality after 2 years. However, if you are looking for high class Go-Sanke, Shintaro KOI farm is amongst the best!
Next stop: Visiting the views from Yamakoshi. Breath taking, as you can see many rolling hills with several mud ponds throughout. While visiting Japan, I realized they do not waste any space!
Third stop was visiting Hoshikin KOI farm. This is where we met Hoshino San, he is a third generation breeder that started at the age of 18. First thing I noticed was his great smile! No matter where you are in the world, being greeted by a warm smile never disappoints! Here, we got to see some Grand Champion Kohakus. Some fun facts include they have about 12-13 pairs of Kohakus every year including 30 females. Hoshino San already knows which males and females he will match up together to create the highest quality of tosai. This KOI farm generates 3 million fry each year and will keep 20,000 of them. After culling, they will keep about 10,000. After culling during the winter season, they will end up keeping about 700 to raise until they have reached 2 years of age.
Bull fighting! I have never been to a bull fight before, nevertheless we happened to be in town for the last bull fight of the year. Don’t worry, no bulls were harmed during their fight. This is actually a fun way for the breeders to unwind and enjoy a hobby. Winner for the champion of the year went to Rya Mano with Izumiya KOI farm. This was neat to witness because his father Senichi Mano is the chairman of the bull fighting association and was there to present his award!
Last stop for the day was touring Maruhiro KOI farm. We got to experience Hirasawa San unload some KOI that were just harvested out of his mud ponds. KOI that he produces are a wide range which include Go-Sanke, GR/Kohaku, Shusui, Asagi, GR/Asagi, GR/Showa, Goromo, Shiro Utsuri, Ochiba, GR/Ochiba, Benigoi, GR/Benigoi, Hi-Utsuri, GR/Hi-Utsuri, Ki-Utsuri, Chagoi and GR/Chagoi.
To finish up this day, we all grouped together for dinner in Ojiya. Not only is Japan’s KOI incredible, the food is delicious too, not to mention great company from all over the world including USA, England, Iran, and Malaysia to name a few!
Stay tuned to our blog as we will be adding more each week! Questions or comments? Please feel free to share with us!