The fact that I am writing this at 3am in my hotel room is not a good thing.  Having returned from the mountains around 7pm yesterday evening I committed the ultimate jetlag sin; I laid on my bed and went to sleep for a few hours.  Since 1am I have been wide awake and now desperately await the approach of dawn and sunrise, in the hope it’s as good as yesterday, more of that in a while.

Anyway, I arrived in Nagaoka at 13.25 on Wednesday (I have to confess actual days are largely irrelevant once I am here, save for the fact if there is a Koi show it’s the weekend! – see a list of show dates here – http://nishikigoi.life/2016/08/22/niigata-autumn-2016-show-dates/).  Having picked up my super bargain value minivan, kindly arranged by Shigeyoshi Tanaka at Marujyu Koi Farm, I headed straight to the mountains of Yamakoshi; the weather was less than welcoming to say the least, the rain pouring down.

Clouds hanging over Yamakoshi - 2pm - 12th October

Clouds hanging over Yamakoshi – 2pm – 12th October

Clouds hanging over Yamakoshi - 2pm - 12th October

Clouds hanging over Yamakoshi – 2pm – 12th October

I headed down into Mushigame and made my first breeder visit at Yagenji Koi Farm, normally by this time of the season I’ve visited many times and photographed many Koi.  I’ve said it before, and I hope I never stop saying it, but Daisuke and Toshinori Ishihara do a truly great job, as evidenced by the unsurprisingly customer packed Koi house, ponds already full of Koi and many of them sold.

Among the visitors was Tim Waddington and his party from the UK, follow Tim’s daily blog of his visit at – http://www.qualitynishikigoi.com/blog/.

Yagenji Koi Farm - 12th October 2016

Yagenji Koi Farm – 12th October 2016

With business in full flow I made my way down the mountains and stopped at another of the invariably constantly busy farm, Maruhiro, where Hironori san was busily unloading a number of newly harvested Koi, many of which were going into the rather unique round pond at the farm.

Maruhiro harvest being unloaded 12th October 2016

Maruhiro harvest being unloaded 12th October 2016

Maruhiro Koi Farm - 12th October 2016

Maruhiro Koi Farm – 12th October 2016

This round pond really is rather special, there are so many excellent examples of so many varieties in this pond, testament to the work that Hironori san puts into his farm 365 days a year, ably assisted by his lovely wife Saori, and members of staff.  It’s enough to make grown men adopt ‘catalogue’ poses and just stop and stare.


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Among the visitors was Jeroen van Keulen, another person whose trip you can follow on his daily blog – http://www.koicentrum.nl/index.php/aankopen-japan-najaar-2016 and Facebook updates – https://www.facebook.com/vankeulenkoicentrum/.

Maruhiro Koi Farm - 12th October 2016

Maruhiro Koi Farm – 12th October 2016

Having met Rene Villela of Japan Koi Export – http://www.japankoiexport.com/ – who you can also follow on Facebook at – https://www.facebook.com/japankoiexport/ – on Wednesday evening for a ‘quick’ drink I was hopeful that jetlag would be defeated.

After a few hours of broken sleep at around 6.30am, with day breaking, and kind of half awake, I headed to the mountains.

View from Kanagura Yama, 7.25am, 13th October 2016

View from Kanagura Yama, 7.25am, 13th October 2016

It looked like it may be a nice day, certainly better than the previous one.  I hadn’t made any proper plans, but I knew Yagenji were harvesting one of the ponds in the picture above so I hung around Mushigame for a while.  Normal start time for Yagenji harvests is 8.30am, but that passed and went.  As I sat by the mud ponds I started to dose off in the car wondering whether I’d completely misunderstood where Daisuke Ishihara had mean’t, and half wanting a little sleep if truth be told.

Shortly after 9am Toshinori arrived with Jeroen, who helps Yagenji with many harvests.

Below some images as the net was pulled around, secured, and the first Koi carried up to the truck, this pond contained 20 Koi being grown from nisai to sansai (2 years old to 3 years old – they are now actually around 29 months in effect).


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Yagenji sansai harvest - 13th October 2016

Yagenji sansai harvest – 13th October 2016

Yagenji sansai harvest - 13th October 2016

Yagenji sansai harvest – 13th October 2016

Yagenji sansai harvest - 13th October 2016

Yagenji sansai harvest – 13th October 2016

Yagenji sansai harvest - 13th October 2016

Yagenji sansai harvest – 13th October 2016

Yagenji sansai harvest - 13th October 2016

Yagenji sansai harvest – 13th October 2016

Yagenji sansai harvest - 13th October 2016

Yagenji sansai harvest – 13th October 2016

Yagenji sansai harvest - 13th October 2016

Yagenji sansai harvest – 13th October 2016

Yagenji sansai harvest - 13th October 2016

Yagenji sansai harvest – 13th October 2016

Yagenji sansai harvest - 13th October 2016

Yagenji sansai harvest – 13th October 2016

Yagenji sansai harvest - 13th October 2016

Yagenji sansai harvest – 13th October 2016

Yagenji sansai harvest - 13th October 2016

Yagenji sansai harvest – 13th October 2016

Yagenji sansai harvest - 13th October 2016

Yagenji sansai harvest – 13th October 2016

You can see a short super slow motion clip of Toshinori loading the Koi to the truck below.

The afternoon saw me visit Hiroi Koi Farm where I had to photograph some Koi purchased by Ryuki Narita of Narita Koi Farm – http://www.narita-koi.com/ – or on Facebook at – https://www.facebook.com/ryuki.narita.

Here are a few of them…..

Hiroi Doitsu Showa purchased by Ryuki Narita

Hiroi Doitsu Showa purchased by Ryuki Narita

Hiroi Ginrin Goshiki purchased by Ryuki Narita

Hiroi Ginrin Goshiki purchased by Ryuki Narita

Hiroi Doitsu Showa purchased by Ryuki Narita

Hiroi Doitsu Showa purchased by Ryuki Narita

Hiroi Doitsu Showa purchased by Ryuki Narita

Hiroi Doitsu Showa purchased by Ryuki Narita

Hiroi Doitsu Showa purchased by Ryuki Narita

Hiroi Doitsu Showa purchased by Ryuki Narita

 

As this post is getting a little long, October 14th will follow in another post…….


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