The alarm went off at 5am this morning. 5am! Most dealers/agents/hobbyists will start around 8am if you are keen and 9am is quite normal.
Our plan was Isawa, specifically Isawa Nishikigoi Centre, run by Toshio Sakai and his son, Toshi. Toshio Sakai is younger brother of Toshiaki Sakai of Yamamatsu. He left the family home to start his own farm in near the hot springs provided by the active volcano, Mt Fuji. We had a 3 hour drive from Nagaoka to Isawa, hopefully leaving the snow of Niigata behind.
And after leaving a big tunnel...
I first went to INC in 2007, and remember the vast size of the place, with several fish houses and outdoor ponds all over.
This was a short drive from the main place and family home.
Lots and lots and lots of koi at this farm. In fact we bought 160 mixed pieces for stock.
It was time to get down to business, selection from Kohaku and Sanke with a little help from a master. A master that has produced a Grand Champion Sanke!
And then on to some larger fish, I was particularly looking for some nice Tancho, and was not disappointed!
I was looking for a Sanke for a customer, so asked to find something in budget, so they netted a pond for the group of dealers.
I picked up ANOTHER Tancho Sanke, and a Sanke for my customer order.
Then the day got very interesting, very interesting indeed. As the other dealers were trying to satisfy customer orders, we made our way to one of the best ponds. I wasn't looking for anything in this pond but something caught my eye.
I'm a Sanke fan, and I was at a famous Sanke breeder. But there it was, one fish really stood out in the pond. A stunning nisai Kohaku, measuring at 52cm. Genuine tategoi, the breeder insisted on keeping the koi here in Japan. When the koi was bowled, Toshio Sakai said 'All Japan'. At this point, the heart was racing, I needed a price. The All Japan is something I would love to enter, and even more so supply koi for customers to compete.
So there it is. 52cm Nisai, tategoi Kohaku. Residing in Japan for the foreseeable future, it is available for sale, and includes all fees.