It's been a few years in the planning and I am finally taking a well earned break from work to spend a few days in Niigata, taking in the koi scene.
The main objective of the trip is information gathering ; seeing the koi produced in this most historic and important region in the world for koi breeding , and perhaps picking up a few tips and gaining some inspiration from what I see there.
After a hectic period at work, it's also great just to be taking a bit of time out to persue my interests.
I am currently sitting in Heathrow Terminal 5, due to fly out in a few hours. I am travelling light - just hand luggage. And to help keep the luggage volume down, I'm using my phone as a camera, laptop and for making calls... I've brought a Bluetooth keyboard with me to help with blog updates
and I've downloaded the mobile phone app that should give me access to the wifi hotspots dotted around mushigame which I expect will be one of the areas we'll be travelling to during my few days in Niigata. That tip came from Mark Gardener and I will be reading his full guide to travelling to Japan on the flight out.
To help on the camera side of things, I've bought some clip on lens filters for my iPhone which should help when taking pictures and video.
I've picked up some yen at the airport, and my hotel has been booked for some time.
On the home front, the fish are ticking along ok. Starting to dilute the salinity now we're a few weeks post the All England show. And all the fish are freeding well, and looking happy. I am still hearing the females tank and growing on tanks, but the males tank is left at ambient temperature.
I've had a big clear out as part of my strategy to focus on kohaku and most of the shows and shiro have now been moved on. There are one or two that I still need to sell and I will wait till the spring for that. I have retained the one shiro set and of course, a Showa set - albeit that hasn't spawned yet.
On the shiro front, I have around 15 or so little ones from the late summer shiro spawning . I didn't bother to select through them at first selection because there are so few of them so just added them to the kohaku growing on and we'll take a look at them in a few months. I'm not expecting anything from them ... It's a bit of fun, and the tank will take the extra 15 fish comfortably for the next few months.