Japan Trip 2015: Japan - day 4, part 1 - the Nagaoka koi show

Every day was action packed - but I think this was the day we covered the most ground. 2 koi shows, 1 koi auction and several koi farms visited too.
We started by visiting Nogami, a farm I was keen to see, as he specialises in kohakus and I wanted to see the qualities of his fish. We found the farm after a little help from Tony McCann - who helped us with the last few turns of the route, that we'd struggled with the other day.

Nogami was serving customers when we arrived which limited what we were able to see - but a few outdoor tanks showed me enough, and we left the farm to head to the first show of the day - the Nagaoka koi show

Some of the scenery on our way to the show

This was my first experience of a koi show in Japan, and much of it resembles a koi show in the UK. Some notable differences are the large numbers of koi that don't get exhibited in a vat; instead, they are left in a fish bag, and arranged in size and variety order on the ground.
The bags mist up over time, and it wasn't unusual to see someone perusing the fish in the bags to give a bag a little shake to remove the mistiness from the bag and provide a better view of the fish. In the UK, I could imagine that giving people kittens, but over here in Japan - it's accepted as normal.
The larger fish were exhibited in vats, and arranged in a grid formation. Each had a air stone, and walking around the tanks, you had to watch out not to treat on the air piping.
Quality wise - I thought it was similar to the best of the koi shows in the UK. That's a subjective view of course... the GC for example, stood out and there were probably 1 or 2 koi only that were competing with it. Whereas, at the All England Koi show this autumn, I think there would have been more koi competing at that level. It was a much larger show that we have in the UK, and its definitely one to put in the diary if you're visiting at this time of year.
I took lots of pictures and video at the show to give you a sense of what it was like:

When the bags mist up and you want to see the koi inside a little better, just give it a shake (!)

Nogami and Torazo, looking at the koi in this vat.

I took some video clips of a few vats, which I've appended together; it ends with a clip of Torazo (well known for his kohakus), congratulating Shintaro on the kohaku he bred (now owned by a customer) that won best in size 7 in the picture below

Here's the video:

Seth and I toured some vats, and he later helped on the team that broke up the show.

The show was won by a fantastic kohaku exhibited by Nogami. The grand champion koi was put in it's own vat under a gazebo - which cast shade on the vat and i couldn't get a decent picture of it.

After the show, we headed to Matsunosuke for his auction; you've seen a teaser from the auction in my blog post from a few days ago, and the full write up is in the next blog entry.