Connoisseur Koi

Archive for March, 2009|Monthly archive page

Wednesday 11th

In Uncategorized on March 11, 2009 at 10:31 am
Yesterday evening I visited Nomole or the Yakitori Bar for the first time this trip.  It is just so warming as I walked in Master and his staff all were very pleased to see me – Ah Geoff san, welcome!.  You can’t help feeling at home and the fried chicken is just legendary.  All that you need is a squeeze of lemon and a shake of the spicy, peppery seasoning – one bite and it is pure nostalgia!
Another piece of nostalgia is the weather forecast posted in the lift of the Nagaoka Grand Hotel.  Today’s forecast was this morning 90% likelihood of snow, as usual they are 100% right, not quite what I’m used to at home! 

What a final day. I am really excited about this years Grow and Show.  Finished buying some amazing Oomo tategoi for the Grow and Show contest – there are some quite exciting tategoi included – what a chance to experience the thrill of a genuine tategoi?  I now have 5 Oomo Showa and 5 Marusho Sanke.  These will be grown on by the breeders in their very own mud pond from the end of April until October when they will be harvested.  Entry cost will be £495 and as numbers are strictly limited to just 10 to secure your place you will need to register immediately and specify either Sanke or Showa.  You will then be given an entry number (drawn at random) which corresponds to a pre-numbered koi.  In October, together with Fujio Oomo and Makoto Tanaka, we will judge how each koi has improved overall and number them from 1 through to 10.  As this is purely down to chance the hobbyist who owns koi number 10 will also receive a Kaneko Shiro Utsuri which has been growing for the same period.  All the koi were deliberately selected as having the same grade and potential so the thought it the person who has the best Nissai in October will be delighted anyway and the hobbyist whose koi comes in at number 10 will also be delighted as they pick up a superb Kaneko Tategoi Shiro Utsuri.  What a great opportunity to own a true tategoi being grown on for the summer and come the Autumn harvest you will be in possession of a high grade 2 year old for the price of a tategoi tosai!  Each koi will be measured and photographed in late April just before being put into the mud pond for the summer and I will email the picture to you so you can track its progress.
Yozaimon blew me away today, shame is my photographic skills went with it!  There are 9 amazing Goshiki tategoi coming home plus superb Doitsu Ochiba that are breathtaking – but sorry you will have to wait until I can get some decent pics on the website.
The highlight of this trip has to be Fujio’s top 3.  Out of 1,000,000 fry these are the pinnacle, the Holy Grail, and it was a true privilege to be able to photograph them.  They are all for sale!  But you will not be surprised to hear that they are not for the faint hearted – a small car wold be cheaper!  But not as exciting.  He expects them to be 60-65cm by October – WOW!!!
Thank you for following our blog and if you have any questions or I can help in any way please contact me by phone or email.
Kind regards
Geoff san


Tuesday 10th

In Uncategorized on March 10, 2009 at 10:37 am
Another super day in the mountains!  This follows an amazing  meal last night with Fujio Oomo, Makoto Tanaka and Hisato Nogami.  We went to a very high class restaurant that I have been to several times before.  It has changed hands since my last visit and wow what a restaurant it is now!  It is fine dining in Nagaoka – sort of Japanese nouvelle cuisine.  The atmosphere is sensational and the presentation a work of art!  Those who know me are aware that I am not a big fish person but the Sashimi, grilled Salmon, fish roe and seared steak were a delight – I did however have to stop at the spheres of cartilage from octopus suckers, raw octopus and full size adult squid that were only 3cm long.  Other than that the evening was quite historic!
Back to business though with more tategoi from Kase, Marusho, Chogoro and Yamazaki.
Marusho gave me access to smaller size tategoi in a range of varieties including Shusui, Beni  Kumonryu, Tancho (including a superb Gin Rin Tancho Sanke) and some quite magic hand painted Doitsu Showa. See what you think of the pics.
Next stop was the undisputed King of doitsu and metallics – Kase.  A quite wonderful box of 28 small but perfectly formed tosai were selected including show grade Yamatonishiki, Kikisui, Kumonryu and the very rare but delightful Doitsu Goshiki.  These beauties I’m sure will fly out once I get some good pics on our website over the weekend of the 21/22nd March.
Sunglasses time at Chogoro – the home of the "radio active" Platinum Ogon.  A good size this year at 20-24cm but beware they are as bright and white as ever.  Since I was here last Autumn he has built a new koi house very close to his small roadside original house. This will allow him to breed even more superb tosaid that are in demand all over the world.
My final dip today was at Yamazaki. Manibu helped me  select some top grade Yamabuki Hariwake which are always popular.  I also selected some great Gin Matsuba and Ochiba Shigure.  I also managed to visit Nogami’s secret facility where he keeps all the customers koi that are growing on as well as his parent stock. It was reassuring that all of our customers koi there are looking quite brilliant.  It was also a joy to see "Beauty" his magnificent 87cm Kohaku that won the Nogyosai Show in October 2008.  I was very pleased to hear that he will be using her as parent stock this Spring.

Monday 9th

In Uncategorized on March 9, 2009 at 10:17 am
What an amazing day!
Nogami rocks!  I have bought some truly awesome koi today many will be at amazing value prices whereas some will be reassuringly expensive!
Kohaku, Showa plus Tanchos in both varieties.  I was even lucky enough to photograph his number 1 and 2 Tategoi Kohaku – breathtakingly gorgeous and not surprisingly with prices to match.  Extreme Tategoi is never going to be for the fainthearted though.

Sunday 8th

In Uncategorized on March 8, 2009 at 8:23 pm
I’m totally Shiro’d . What with the 50 mini tosai yesterday it was on to the big boys stuff today!  Yasuaki Kaneko has produced his best ever tosai Shiro this year. This for me puts him as the Number 2 Shiro breeder in the whole of Japan.  The Omosako roots of his bloodline ar really showing through with the seriously strong sumi, but he has got the size as well with tosai up to 38cm.
I also managed to get some cool pics of Makoto Tanaka’s very very best Super Jumbo Tosai with sizes up to 43cm.  They are confidently expecting with a good summer to achieve 60-65 cm by October.
And it did not stop there though as I then went on to select 10 tategoi that will be in our Grow and Show event this year – 2 Shiro, 2 Showa and 6 super Sanke.  I will select another 4 Showa and perhaps 2 Tategoi Kujaku.  All koi will be grown inJapan and harvested this Autumn.  This will genuinely be on a first come first serve opportunity.  To register your interest please telephone Tina on 01189 760224 or email
Rounded the day off with a visit to Izumiya’s tategoi house in Ojiya and was blinded by masses of tosai
Nogami and Kase tomorrow – can’t wait!
P.s. sorry blog late today Tina has been out.

Saturday 7th

In Uncategorized on March 7, 2009 at 12:06 pm
Did not get to Nogami today but now going on Monday – but not too disappointed when you see Kaneko’s number 1 and 2 Kujaku tosai.  Last spring he spawned 480,000 – he has now just 300 tategoi to grow this summer!  The female parent won Best Kujaku at the All Japan Young Koi Show last spring.
I got an up-to-date picture of the amazing "Red Panda" which is coming home to Connoisseur Koi on March 19th.  Sansai and 64cm with the most amazing red arranged in a seriously intriguing pattern.  I bought plenty more Tategoi Kujaku that will also be coming home.  Also bought from Kaneko Koi Farm today were 50 super baby Shiro Utsuri which will be sold in batches of 5 for £125.  Seriously good value to grow on yourselves this summer.  But be quick as when they have gone they’ve gone!
The picture of Kaneko’s father is magic – it was taken 25 years ago and is a true piece of Koi History!

6th March

In Uncategorized on March 7, 2009 at 7:56 am
Sorry bit of a cock up in the organisation department – I forgot to pack my compact flash card reader – will get one today!
It’s all change in the park at the back of the Grand Hotel – it’s gone! Apparently also to go is the gymnasium and conference hall.  It is all making way for the new district offices.  I hope they still leave a small part of the park as it will be etched into the memories forever for all of us who were here when the earthquake hit.  We all gathered in the park and it was very comforting to at least have friends around you as the whole area shook.
I had a whirlwind tour of the Niigata Nishikigoi Direct farms and saw some really terrific koi – wait until you see the pics. Although it is only early March they have Tosai up to 43cm. Fujio is confident some will be 48 to 50cm when they go into the mudponds for the Summer where they could put on 15cm before harvesting in October.  Yes, thats correct, they may be 65cm as Nissai!
Although there was a lot of snow around the middle of February this has all gone from the roads.  In fact it has been quite a mild winter here, which translates to lower heating costs for the breeders.  NND’s oil bill is over 1,000,000 yen lower than last winter which is around £7,500.  Don’t worry I have already asked if you have saved money on the heating will the koi price be lower?
I am hoping to to to Nogami today so providing I can get a card reader there should be some pics later.

5th March

In Uncategorized on March 5, 2009 at 6:06 pm
I’m on my way!  Just a taster of 3 terrific koi that we are growing on in Japan until the Autumn