As my current visit here to Yamakoshi draws to an end I’m thankful for such beautiful weather as we had today, it just so lovely to spend the whole day outside.

As you can see from the picture below the sky was clear and blue, and the sun shining brightly before 9am, reflecting in the many mud ponds in the valley below.

Mushigame mud ponds 8.50am, Sunday 22nd May

Mushigame mud ponds 8.50am, Sunday 22nd May

Here is a drone video taken over the same valley slightly earlier in the morning.

The first thing that I actually did upon arriving in Mushigame on Sunday morning was to check on the parent Koi that had been set by the Hirasawa family since Friday – http://nishikigoi.life/2016/05/21/2016-spawning-season-underway-yamakoshi/.  I had anticipated that they would spawn over night on Friday/Saturday, however on Saturday morning there was no sign of action.  Returning Sunday morning the pair I’d featured previously were still showing no sign of action.

However, in a net in a pond further down the valley, at least 2 of the 3 parents that had been set together were in the full throes of spawning.  One of the 2 males was showing absolutely no interest in getting involved.


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Hirasawa Koi Spawning

Hirasawa Koi Spawning

Hirasawa Koi Spawning

Hirasawa Koi Spawning

Hirasawa Koi Spawning

Hirasawa Koi Spawning

Hirasawa Koi Spawning

Hirasawa Koi Spawning

Whilst I was stood taking pictures Azuma Ikarashi arrived at the roadside above to check the spawning progress.

Azuma Hirasawa checking the progress of spawning

Azuma Hirasawa checking the progress of spawning

Elsewhere in Mushigame the Ikarashi family of Marusda Koi Farm were set about a days Kuroko selection.  The Showa had been spawned naturally in a mountain mud pond 1 week earlier and then the fry brought down to the family home for culling to take place.

Sadao Ikarashi is joined by his daughter and his daughter in law in the picture below.  I must find out when Ikarashi san first did Kuroko sembetsu.  It fascinates me that someone, somewhere, someday, had the idea of separating black fry from the others at just a few days old, and then subsequently growing only those.

Ikarashi family carrying out Kuroko selection

Ikarashi family carrying out Kuroko selection

There is a little unintentional irony in the slogan on Ikarashi san’s cap, the text you can see that says ‘we just started’.  When this picture was taken they had indeed just started, around 9am in the morning.  Around 3pm I passed by and asked how much longer they had to go.  Ikarashi san stated they would carry on until evening.  So indeed, they had just started what I know is a long and tiring day, just staring at tiny fry and picking them out.

Sadao Ikarashi carrying out Kuroko selection

Sadao Ikarashi carrying out Kuroko selection

Net of Showa fry

Net of Showa fry

Summer Sundays can be pretty busy in Yamakoshi, and yesterday was no exception, many visitors coming to see the sights of this unique landscape, created only because of Nishikigoi.

I’d stopped at Marujyu Koi Farm to use the free wifi that is available there – http://nishikigoi.life/2015/09/09/new-yamakoshi-wi-fi-hotpsots/.  Whilst there these 2 gentleman had also stopped, to paint the view that will be familiar to anyone that has stopped by Marujyu Koi Farm, for sure they are likely to have captured the view by camera.


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Artists painting the view from Marujyu Koi Farm

Artists painting the view from Marujyu Koi Farm

Artists painting the view from Marujyu Koi Farm

Artists painting the view from Marujyu Koi Farm

Artists painting the view from Marujyu Koi Farm

Artists painting the view from Marujyu Koi Farm

It transpired that the 2 artists above were not alone, indeed a whole coach load were in Mushigame, most of them choosing to use the viewing area slightly up the hill from Marujyu.

Group of artists painting the view from the viewing point in Mushigame

Group of artists painting the view from the viewing point in Mushigame

Artist painting the view from the viewing point in Mushigame

Artist painting the view from the viewing point in Mushigame

Artist drawing the view from the viewing point in Mushigame

Artist drawing the view from the viewing point in Mushigame

Artist painting the view from the viewing point in Mushigame

Artist painting the view from the viewing point in Mushigame

Artist painting the view from the viewing point in Mushigame

Artist painting the view from the viewing point in Mushigame

Watercolour of the view from Mushigame viewing point

Watercolour of the view from Mushigame viewing point

It was, just a lovely Sunday in Yamakoshi


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