Returning to Japan as a Professional Koi Breeder: A Journey to Find High Quality Breeding Stock

Back in 2015, I travelled to Japan in one of my last few adventures as a koi hobbyist, taking in all the sights and sounds of the koi industry and visiting various farms, koi auctions and attending the Nagaoka Koi Show. The idea behind that trip was to gain inspiration and take in some of the culture.  I didn't bring any koi back home with me, but I did bring back a range of small pan nets, one of which has been re covered a few times but I still use to this day!

I'm heading back to Niigata in a few weeks and this time around, I'm returning as a professional koi breeder and my focus will be a bit different. I'll be on the hunt for new breeding stock, making connections and learning about the latest industry developments. I'm also looking forward to seeing how some of the farms I visited back in 2015 have grown.  And, also whether the range of varieties produced at those farms is the same or different.

My knowledge and understanding of the koi world has grown exponentially since the first trip and we now make our living as koi breeders.  With all that extra experience, I am looking forwards to seeing the koi farms in Niigata from a fresh perspective.  I also can't wait to see some of the best fish that the koi farms in Niigata, Japan has to offer particularly in the varieties that we want to start breeding.  And we will be looking to take some of the best we can find in those varieties back here to the UK to breed from ourselves so that our customers can buy high quality koi produced locally.

If you haven't done so already, please let us know which new variety you would like us to breed!  We're taking requests up to this Wednesday (25th Jan) - and you can have your say by filling in the form on this blog post:

Your requests will make a difference on which new varieties we buy brood stock for in Japan.

I will be blogging from the forthcoming trip but if you would like to read about a koi trip to Japan from a hobbyist perspective, then please check out the blogs from my 2015 trip.

Here's a teaser trailer made up from clips from some of the many videos I took on that trip

There are 8 blog posts and we've given them a spring clean, made sure all the video's work and so on.   It's been brilliant reading them back and remembering that last trip; and I'm sure they will still be of interest to many people now.  Here they are in chronological order:

On my first day, I headed to Japan for a koi-related adventure:

On arriving in Niigata, there was still some time available in the afternoon and I visited my first koi farm in Japan and it was truly amazing:

On the second day, I had another amazing day in Japan, visiting more koi farms and learning more about these magnificent creatures.:

On the third day, it was another incredible day as we visited a few of the big name koi farms.

On the fourth day, I covered a lot of ground so split the blogging into a few posts.  This is a teaser trailer of what was to come, including a koi show and auction that I was looking forward to attend.

And the full detail from the fourth day:

On the fourth day, I also attended the Matsunosuke auction and it was an exciting event, with koi enthusiasts from all over the world bidding on prized koi.

On the fifth day, as well as visiting even more koi farms, we took a tour through the mountains which was a beautiful contrast to the bustling city of Tokyo where I ended up that evening.

That's it!  I hope you enjoy them.

And please watch out for blog posts from this year's trip, coming soon.