Gary Smith of Gatwick Koi will shortly be visiting Japan for his harvest season buying trip.

We caught up with Gary to find out more about what this year’s trip has in store.


NL: When will you be visiting Japan this harvest season?

GS: I leave on the 16th of October and arrive in Niigata on the 17th to start buying.

NL: For a number of years you’ve been exclusively a Niigata visitor, but this year your visit is taking you further afield. Where will you be visiting and what are your reasons for trying other breeders?

GS: I have always loved the Niigata region, the area, the breeders and their Koi. People seem to like Koi from the South and, as an experiment, I purchased some Koi from Momotaro, SFF, Omosako, Tamaura and Taniguchi earlier this year. The fish were very good, I was happy with the purchases and the sales reflected that as well so this Autumn, I’m hoping to visit most of those farms, as well as the regulars in Niigata.


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Gary at Yamamatsu searching for Koi

Gary at Yamamatsu searching for Koi

Tosai selection at Shintaro

Tosai selection at Shintaro

With Masayuki Sekiguchi

With Masayuki Sekiguchi

NL: After a number of trips to Japan I know you are still excited by the whole prospect and experience of the harvest season, what are you particularly looking forward to this year?

GS: I think, as a Koi dealer, if you cant get excited by the prospect of visiting Japan then it’s time to call it a day. Each year I have to turn off for two weeks before the trip, or I cant sleep! This year i cant turn off as we have so much going on, we have our first visit down the South for 15 years, 28 Koi at various breeders all awaiting harvesting, so theres plenty to get excited about!

Gary with Maruhiro

Gary with Maruhiro

Gary with Maruhiro

Gary with Maruhiro

The Sanke below was purchased from Maruhiro at 64cm in spring as sansai.  Gary hopes she’ll be over 70cm this autumn.

This Sanke was also purchased from Maruhiro on the recommendation of the breeder as a Koi which would go through 80cm, something Gary hopes will no have happened when harvested.


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This year has been a great year for us, we have sold a huge amount of Koi, and lot more Koi into the show scene. After being in the trade 25 years now I have a big interest in supplying koi for that purpose, whether its a size 2 for Baby Champion, or an 80cm plus lady to compete for GC. To that end I need larger, and older, Koi, Koi which i cant afford to buy in great numbers which is why I leave so many Koi as azukari with breeders. Last year we shipped a few 80cm show quality Koi into the UK from our azukari project. I want to try and increase this every year. I have also left a few down south, so also excited to see what happens there as well .

Collecting a prize at the International Junior Koi Show, Niigata

Collecting a prize at the International Junior Koi Show, Niigata

NL: Where can people follow your visit?

To follow our trip, follow us on Facebook, or go to the website and read our blog. Look at the Koi pages on the website, i try to get all the Koi on the site every day after buying however sometimes fatigue catches me up (I’m sure you’ve fallen asleep on your PC a few times!).  Also I post on the news section, so people can see the new Koi if they don’t follow Facebook.

Fish can be purchased by ringing the shop while i am in Japan but remember they won’t be available until around Christmas, by the time they have finished quarantine.


The Gatwick Koi website can be found at – http://www.gatwickkoi.com/ – and the Gatwick Koi Facebook page is at – https://www.facebook.com/Gatwick-Koi-1420037734967438/


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