Tokyo/Ojiya/Isawa/Horishima/Minuma bound PSKoi Spring 2022

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Tokyo/Ojiya/Isawa/Horishima/Minuma bound PSKoi Spring 2022

Postby Russell Peters » April 3rd, 2022, 6:41 pm

I am now in Oimachi Japan, located in the Tokyo area, doing my one week quarantine before starting this buying trip. Last year it was two weeks and I found it rather easy doing the two weeks as, it seems, I really needed the time off. This year I have so much planned that even the one week is making me antsy to get going. I am sure I will get used to a daily routine and it won't be long before I am out. It seems the quarantine protocol has changed here and if you are vaccinated, boosted, and test negative when you arrive they let you go free. When I first applied you would have still had to do three days quarantine even if vaccinated. At least I am in a familiar hotel and can start my day accordingly.
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Re: Tokyo/Ojiya/Isawa/Horishima/Minuma bound PSKoi Spring 2022

Postby asp1213 » April 4th, 2022, 10:09 pm

Looking forward to hearing all about it!

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Re: Tokyo/Ojiya/Isawa/Horishima/Minuma bound PSKoi Spring 2022

Postby Russell Peters » April 5th, 2022, 12:13 am

I am just finishing up my second day of quarantine and the protocol, for some reason, is much more strict than the last time. I am surprised as last time I was here Tokyo was having a surge of Delta cases that was very bad. This time it is Omicron but, even though the infection rate is much higher, the severe cases are much much lower. Anyway, it is hard to figure out why Japan is doing what they are doing.

Arrival was the same as last time every one is tested at the airport. Last year, with a negative result, you were allowed to enter the country but you could not take public transportation to your QT location. This year, with a negative result, you are allowed to use public transportation, for the first 24 hours, as long as you are going to your QT location. This makes absolutely no sense and was the only part of their protocol that was easier than last year. This year I had to install an app called MySOS and through that app they use GPS to track you for the time you are in QT. Once you arrive at the QT location you use the app to register your location. I am not allowed to turn off my phone during this period. Yesterday they contacted me five times to check on me and they use a video call to make sure I was where I said I would be. Today they contacted me 4 times. I really don't mind but based on last years experience it makes little sense.

The hotel has its own set of rules and they say that I am not even allowed to leave my room the whole time but, in checking with the Government app it doesn't say the same thing. It does ask you to stay in your location and not go out for "non essential" travel but also says if you must go out please wear a mask and avoid close contact. The app also says I can go out to a testing site on the fourth day to get tested if I so choose. It is only a seven day quarantine period so it won't be that bad overall.
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Re: Tokyo/Ojiya/Isawa/Horishima/Minuma bound PSKoi Spring 2022

Postby Russell Peters » April 6th, 2022, 2:07 am

I am just finishing up day 3 of quarantine and I have been working on a schedule for seeing breeders for the Ojiya area. It is going to be quite exciting. I am not going to give away anything at this point but I am happy to say I am going to be able to visit Hosokai Koi Farm. The Hosokai family have been friends for years and Masaru really does have a lot of interesting Koi so I am hoping there will be a nice variety of Tosai available.

This is the first time in three years that I have visited Japan in April. Normally I will visit three times a year as each visit has a different level of Koi available. My October / November trip is always for Nisai, and older, Koi even though Tosai are available. The Tosai available in November are the first cull and, although some can be nice, it doesn't matter if you buy 5, 10 or 15 thousand Tosai you just won't get the same level of quality you can later into the Tosai season. Breeders are selling their first cull so that they can start to make room to grow out better grades. This is the reason I only buy larger Koi at that time of year. Probably my favorite time to buy is on my January / February trip as there as so many more Tosai being released that are higher quality. Last year I had an amazing time, here n Japan, being able to hand select from these Tosai. This is the time you can really start to get some of the nicer Tosai. April / May is always my last trip during Tosai season as this is when breeders will release Tosai from their final cull. They are called Tateshita which loosely translates to "below the top". Which is as close to Tategoi you can get.
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Re: Tokyo/Ojiya/Isawa/Horishima/Minuma bound PSKoi Spring 2022

Postby jimfish98 » April 6th, 2022, 5:39 pm

Given the trip, shipping, QT, and KHV testing, is there a rough estimate for when Tosai from this trip will be ready for shipping out?

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Re: Tokyo/Ojiya/Isawa/Horishima/Minuma bound PSKoi Spring 2022

Postby Russell Peters » April 6th, 2022, 8:03 pm

jimfish98 wrote:Given the trip, shipping, QT, and KHV testing, is there a rough estimate for when Tosai from this trip will be ready for shipping out?


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Re: Tokyo/Ojiya/Isawa/Horishima/Minuma bound PSKoi Spring 2022

Postby Russell Peters » April 8th, 2022, 5:33 pm

jimfish98 wrote:Given the trip, shipping, QT, and KHV testing, is there a rough estimate for when Tosai from this trip will be ready for shipping out?


I started buying Tosai in January as I thought I was not going to go to Japan. The shipment was scheduled to arrive February 8th but, when Japan closed down for Omicron, all freight shipments to Chicago were shut down. The shipment date was cancelled. ANA gave the excuse that their warehouse space was full and JAL said it was too cold to ship Koi. Neither made much sense but I had no choice and had to wait. I started contacting other breeders and getting more Tosai when I found out I could ship at the beginning of March. Once I found out I could go to Japan I stopped buying Tosai virtually so that I could continue, in person, when I got to Japan. The shipment arrived and a couple of days before I left I had them tested for KHV. I just got the results. The Tosai tested negative for KHV. Anything that was already purchased will be ready to go when I get home.
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Re: Tokyo/Ojiya/Isawa/Horishima/Minuma bound PSKoi Spring 2022

Postby Russell Peters » April 10th, 2022, 5:25 pm

Quarantine is over and I am now headed to Nagaoka. I have my first two breeders set up for tomorrow.
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Re: Tokyo/Ojiya/Isawa/Horishima/Minuma bound PSKoi Spring 2022

Postby Russell Peters » April 12th, 2022, 5:50 am

Today was a very long, satisfying day and I am going to say I will be falling behind on my posting on the first day. Just too much to cover at once. I am not sure how many of you follow my posts on FB but I do, from time to time, post things there, about my trip, that I don't post here. I posted something this morning that I do want to add to this travelogue.

I started off the morning at my normal Starbucks stop in Nagaoka and wrote this;

It has been 462 days since my last trip to Japan to purchase Koi. Today marks the first day of a three week buying tour in the Ojiya, Isawa and Hiroshima areas. I am really excited as, in a normal year, I travel to Japan three times to buy Koi.

I have been coming to Japan for over 20 years and it wasn’t always like this. My first trip to Japan had only five days of buying Koi and we had to rely on a broker to take us around. We were limited to what that broker wanted to sell us.

Over the years the trip got longer, we were able to free ourselves of our broker, then one trip became two, and then three trips a year. I couldn’t have done this alone and all of this was possible with the help of breeders that we developed friendships with. The bottom line is you have to have help and you must have a shipping agent.

During Covid, with Japan shutting down completely for long periods of time, I was thankful to get in last year and am so looking forward to this trip. I am looking forward to things getting back to normal and having it so that all dealers can come back.

In the meantime, I have booked my hotels, my rental car and I am ready to go. I invite you to follow along with the first US dealer, back in Japan, driving himself around hand selecting some of the best Tosai available this time of year from several regions.

Today I visit Murata and Ikarashi.
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Re: Tokyo/Ojiya/Isawa/Horishima/Minuma bound PSKoi Spring 2022

Postby Russell Peters » April 12th, 2022, 5:58 am

One of the families I have developed a good friendship with is the Kawakami family (Torazo Koi Farm) Tsuyoshi has been there for me more times than I can remember and now that his daughter, Yuki Kawakami, is helping out it is on a new level. These are the people that help me when I need it. If I want to see a new breeder they will call, if I need some translating Yuki is there, while I was in quarantine this year, and last, Yuki was there to joke around with me and pass the time on Messenger.

This year was no exception. She is very bright and has a quick wit that has, on more than one occasion, had me laughing out loud at one of her messages. I strive to do the same and I sent her a GIF when I was released from quarantine that got the response, "I can't stop laughing,ha!" Made me smile the whole day.
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