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Join Elite Koi's Live Koi Auction every Saturday from 2:30pm
Niigata is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you gonna get

Niigata is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you gonna get

Niigata is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you gonna get
A Scenic Prelude: 
 Our Thursday began with the anticipation of the last full day ahead of us, retracing our steps into the heart of Niigata's koi culture. Yesterday's venture to Tanaka offered more than just the pursuit of koi; it was a journey through breathtaking landscapes, where rice paddy fields, despite their snowy blanket, hinted at the meticulous care of their cultivation. The roadside marvels, like the rice processing machines, stood as a testament to the ingenuity and pride deeply ingrained in every facet of Japanese life. 
A Lesson in Service at the Fuel Station
Our stop for fuel en route to Tanaka became an unexpected highlight, showcasing the exceptional Japanese ethos of service. The swift and respectful manner in which we were served, from the fuelling to the meticulous cleaning of our windscreen and the attentive send-off, encapsulated the profound respect and pride the Japanese take in their work, no matter the task. 
Satoshi's guidance
Reaching Satoshi, the exchange of a border collie calendar opened hearts and set the tone for a successful visit. Despite the absence of his dogs, the connection through shared videos and stories paved the way for a fruitful selection of koi. Satoshi's guidance proved invaluable, allowing us to secure a vibrant box of koi, including some sought-after yellow fish, enhancing Elite Koi's diverse offerings.
Majestic Mountains and Katsu curry
The drive through the mountains post-Satoshi visit was a stark reminder of the natural beauty surrounding us, with the thaw marking a transition in the landscape. A stop for katsu curry, masterfully tackled with chopsticks, provided a delicious interlude, reflecting my growing comfort and appreciation for Japanese cuisine. 
Exploration and Realisation
From the insightful stop at Takatatsu, where the allure of Matsukawabake and "Black Diamonds" captivated us, to the reflective visit to Aokiya, the day was filled with discoveries and contemplations. A oki's shift towards a more equitable selling approach and the impeccable cleanliness of his fish house left a lasting impression, promising future visits in warmer months. **Marusaka: Anticipation for Future Acquisitions** Though no selections were made at Marusaka, the visit reinforced our resolve to return when space allows, particularly for their metallic koi, which stand as a testament to Marusaka's quality and hospitality.
Reflections on a Day well spent
As the day drew to a close, the weariness of our travels was tempered by the satisfaction of the experiences and connections made. An early night promised rest and rejuvenation, while the culinary adventures continued to impress, from savory shrimp to another exceptional katsu curry. 
Embracing the Final Day
With today marking the end of this remarkable journey, the anticipation of meeting Satoshi and exploring new horizons with previously unknown koi breeders adds an exciting chapter to our adventure. The introduction to Satoshi, facilitated by a shared love for border collies, promises not just new koi but new friendships, emblematic of the true spirit of this journey.
Looking Forward
As we prepare for another day's adventures, the reflections on the richness of Japanese culture, the dedication of its people, and the unparalleled beauty of its koi, remain at the forefront. This trip has been a testament to the deep connections and profound experiences that define the world of koi breeding and collecting, leaving us eagerly anticipating what tomorrow will bring.
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