Just a quick edit on my previous post about the winners of the Grow Out Contest at Tani Fish Farm: the owner of the Grand Champion Koi is a hobbyist for Malaysia, Second Place winning Koi is owned by a Japanese hobbyist and third place winning Koi is owned by a hobbyist from Singapore.
I would also like to congratulate Mr. Nelson Castro from America/Philippines for winning this beautiful Fukuzawa Ochiba Shigure at the Tani Auction this year! There were many who vied for this fish at the auction this year and we are proud to have this Koi in the Philippines very soon!
Niigata: Day 1
Since we had already visited with my Japanese-dad, it was time to visit with Devin’s Japanese-dad and so Marudo Koi Farm was our first stop this trip.
With the passing of Marudo-Sacho Hisashi Hirasawa’s father being so recent, there were still a lot of flowers around the home and a small shrine where his ashes and bones was being displayed at their home for the next few weeks had been setup before it was to be transferred to the family shrine. A slight air of solemnity hung in the air, but the knowledge that the grandfather had lived a long, fulfilling life and passed away peacefully in his sleep reassured the family that his spirit was at rest.
We talked for an hour with Marudo-sacho, his wife Yoshie-san and eldest daughter, Keiko and caught up on the latest happenings at the farm since we were there last. Before we knew it, it was lunchtime and Keiko-san took Devin and I to eat. Among the many things Niigata Prefecture is famous for is their soba noodles, of which I am a huge fan. If you ever find yourself in Niigata and at a loss as to what to eat, you simply must try this delicious cold noodles dipped in a soy-based sauce. Yummy!!!!
After a hearty lunch, we returned to the farm to see this year’s Koi offerings. But before Keiko-san could show us around, she first had to help prepare a shipment that was going out that afternoon. Devin couldn’t help but roll up his sleeves and jump into the assembly line as if reliving his days as Marudo Staff.
The system of shipping at Marudo Koi Farm is quite interesting because it is so well-organized
Prior to shipping, the Koi have been put in separate prepping tanks a few days before and boxes are made ready for the shipment. A tank of fresh water that is constantly aerated is always ready for shipping purposes.
When the shipment day arrives, all of the boxes are gathered together and is filled with water. Each box is put on a weighing scale and filled up to a certain weight.
Sacho then comes in with the Koi then the Koi are distributed into their respective boxes.
After each Koi is safely in it’s box, more water may or may not be added. Then it goes to the finishing stage where the bags are tied up and the boxes are sealed up and loaded into the truck.
pretty neat system, huh?
After all the Koi had been loaded onto their truck, we then continued to go around their Koi houses to check out this year’s available stock.
Wanna see some of their Tategoi? 🙂 Click on the video to Stand Next to Me at Marudo Koi Farm:
We went around to see more Koi houses then made arrangements to come by at a later date to pick out more Koi to ship back to America.
Our next stop: Isa Koi Farm
Isa Koi Farm
Isa Koi Farm has come leaps and bounds since I first came to visit them. The strong and striking sumi edging along the deep, bright beni laying on top of each Koi’s full frame has become known characteristics an Isa Koi Farm produce. Each year, their Koi has become better and better and this year Devin and I both couldn’t help but notice how much more luster the skin on their Koi held. The skin on each of their Koi almost felt like it was a mirror reflecting back the light of the sun.
Come stand next to us as we gazed into the number one pond at Isa Koi Farm:
Gazing into this pond was just so inspiring and reminded me why I love coming to Japan.
As day turned into night, we received a call from my parents who had just arrived in Niigata together with Tito Kenji, Brian Nguyen from Vietnam, and Danny Sukwanto accompanied by his wife. Tito Kenji had made dinner arrangements and invited nearly half of all the breeders in Niigata in order to thank them for all the support they showed at his recently concluded event.
After great food, a few toasts and a whole lot of laughs, we all called it a night and returned to our hotel. Tomorrow would be new day and I couldn’t wait to see more!