I well remember the evening in October 2008.  I was visiting Nagaoka for the evening and sat in Nomoles yakitori restaurant.  My phone rang and it was Tsuyoshi Kawakami of Torazo informing me that he would be harvesting his jumbo Koi in the morning and if I thought it was of any interest to readers of my then ‘Yamakoshi Year’ blog I was welcome to attend.  Needless to say I attended, and I think I’ve attended the harvest pretty much every year since, it’s one of those ‘must visits’ on my harvest schedule, and indeed every year a number of foreigners are sure to be in attendance, taking pictures, video or even helping out.

With bad weather forecast, and having worked late last night, I was planning a day of catching up with computer work today, the growing backlog of posts will have to wait until I return to the UK it seems as I’m making little headway.  At 5am it was grey and miserable, I answered a couple of messages, rolled over and returned to sleep.  When I next awoke at 8.30am there was a message from Tsyoshi san advising that he was releasing Koi today.  I threw on some clothes, jumped in the car and headed for Uragara, praying I had batteries charged and memory cards installed and with space.

When I arrived at Uragara there was no sign of Tsuyoshi san, however the large pond in the main house was devoid of a number of Koi that had swum there yesterday.  I immediately headed for the mud pond the Koi would be released to, on route meeting with Tsuyoshi who advised not to worry as more Koi would be released.

These Koi were ones swimming in the Koi house over the road from the main house.

The video below was filmed on a GoPro within a waterproof housing, as such there is no real audio with it, the pictures however should speak for themselves, and it includes some rather nice underwater footage in both the Koi house and in the mud pond.  Getting the latter involved me being thigh deep in the mud pond wearing just short and crocs on my feet.  I was reminiscent of being on holiday in the UK as a child.


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