On arriving at Shimizu-san’s premises you could easily be mistaken for thinking you were arriving at the Koi houses of a high end Koi dealer or breeder, if they were they’d be the neatest and tidyist premises I’d ever visited!  They are not though, Shimizu-san is just a hobbyist, a hobbyist at the highest level of the game.  I’ll give some more general information about him in another post, concentrating on his facilities in this.

There are in fact 3 Koi houses, the pic below shows the main 2.  You can just see a 3rd to the right, it contains smaller ponds and is older than the 2 you see below which house his main concrete display ponds.

This is the largest of the ponds, in the house to the left in the picture above and photographed from the ‘office’ area which you can see at the front.  It’s actually just a room with one comfy chair in which Shimitsu-san can relax and watch the Koi, a small low table and some cushions, numerous trophies, magazines and books.  Home to Shimizu-san during the daytime in the winter when he’s taking a break from attending the Koi.

This pond is 500tons, 110,000 UK gallons.  It used to be 600tons but was reduced in size when the filtration you can see at the far end and below was added.

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The added filtration consists of 3 stepped submerged beds containing that highly fashionable filter medium called gravel!!  You can see an ‘open’ UV light suspended over each of the beds as is common in Japan.

This large tower unit was not running but as I understand it is more an aeration tower than for filtration.

There were several large aerators running in the pond and levels of varying current, the water movement was significant.

The pond only had around 10 residents which for varying reasons hadn’t been moved to his mudponds in Niigata, more of which later, for growing.  My previous connections with a few of these were soon to become apparent.

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The large Ogon below, 110cm in size!, had been at last year’s ZNA All Japan Show where it took Jumbo B Champion.

The Hi-Utsuri, photographed at the show, took Jumbo A Champion, it’s 97cm.

Both Koi had occupied the same vat before judging had taken place and caused quite a stir, I remembered them well.  Both Koi were produced by Marusei Koi Farm.  Shimizu-san explained that last October Marusei had called him asking him to enter both Koi in the show.  He declined saying that they were too difficult for him to move, this is why they are still here and not in the mud in Niigata.  Marusei sent his staff down to Shiga, a 1000km round trip, just to pick these 2 Koi up and take them to the show!

Between the 2 Koi houses are the 4 pressurised filtration units you can see below.  The 2 on the left continue to serve the Koi house detailed above.  They are the original filtration units prior to the gravel beds being installed.  Shimizu-san stated that they are no longer required but as they are there they are still used.  The 2 on the right service the ponds detailed below.

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The right hand Koi house contains 3 ponds.  The largest is 300tons, 66,000 UK gallons.  I’m not sure of the size of the 2 smaller ponds but as you can see, they aren’t small either!

Currently this pond is holding some Koi for a friend, including a large Doitsu Karashigoi from Konishi Koi Farm.  The more I see these the more they impress me!

The 3 tier filtration is the same as the 500 ton pond.

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I think the word mindlowing comes to mind.  It was almost like the first time I saw the 1500 ton pond at Momotaro.  Remember, the largest of these ponds is just 1/3rd of the size of that enormous pond and this is for 1 hobbyists collection.

Shimizu-san was apologetic that there was little to see and repeatedly asked me to revisit in October when the ponds would be ‘ippai’, meaning full.

You just try stopping me!

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