2009.

Your Koi is run by Sue and Tony McCann, koi keepers for over 25 years who first visited Japan in 1992. We so fell in love with the country and the culture that we visited nearly every year up to 2003, we missed visiting in 2004 the year of the earthquake but since then have visited twice a year in Spring and Autumn to purchase a select number of koi for re-sale and to guide customers who wish to visit Japan and purchase koi. Our approach is much different than many other koi trips in that we place great emphasis in enjoying the “Japanese Experience", staying in some Japanese style hotels, enjoying Japanese Hot Spring Baths and ensuring that we include some sight seeing and experimenting with the various type of Japanese food. This combined with a more relaxed approach to koi buying where we do not attempt to visit vast numbers of breeders in one day, staying only a short time but rather taking time to study the koi, discuss the aspects of the koi with breeders, particularly those that we have known for many years and have a good relationship. We drive our guests around the farms and speak enough Japanese to not require the services of an agent or guide. Our best recommendation is that most people who have travelled with us have made arrangements to visit again.

Spring trips are ideal for the purchase of Tosai but other sizes are also available and prices can be less than in October although the choice may also be less.

Autumn trips provide the opportunity to see many harvests and check out koi which you may have purchased and left to grow on in Japan.

We welcome visitors who would like to travel out with us, travel back with us or merely visit Japan and stay with us for a shorter time. If you have never visited Japan before we will give full and clear instructions on how to meet us and how to return to the UK.


ITINERARY FOR AUTUMN 2008 VISIT TO JAPAN

On arrival in Japan we will spend 2 days in Kamakura, on the coast, home of the Giant Buddha and many interesting examples of Japanese Culture.

We will then travel to Nagaoka to see many of the Nisai and Sansai harvests which take place in the middle of October, particularly those of Hiroi Koi Farm, Oomo and Marusho Koi Farm and featuring the harvest of some highest grade koi by Sakai Matsunosuke. We buy koi at any of the major koi farms providing that they are able to produce Health Certificates. Our trips are always designed to have the maximum time at each of the breeders with no pressure or clock watching. We will visit some of the areas interesting sights and temples, together with the Koi Museum attempting to provide as much of the “Japanese Experience" as possible.

Towards the end of October we will drive from Nagaoka to Shiga Heights in Nagano Prefecture and stay for 2 nights enjoying the beauty of the Japanese Alps. Our last destination is Isawa in Yamanashi Prefecture and stay 2 nights to visit Isawa Nishikigoi Centre (Sakai, Isawa). We will stay in a Japanese style hotel but this also offers Western Style rooms. If you are not able to join us this time follow the trip on the blog on www.yourkoi.co.uk


WHAT YOU HAVE TO PAY

We have set out all the costs that relate to trips to Japan with the exception of course of your own koi purchases. We usually travel with Air France from Manchester to Paris and onwards to Tokyo which is competitive on price and the best service we have experienced.

Transport £ sterling
All costs may vary with the current exchange rate

Return flights approx 600.00
Train fares from Airport to Nagaoka 90.00
Car Hire and tolls Nagaoka to Isawa 75.00
Coach from Isawa to Narita 20.00
Hotels (average price per person per night) 50.00
Average cost of meals per day 15.00
Car hire in Nagaoka 100.00


Koi Purchases ?
Commission on Koi (minimum £250) 20%
Shipping to UK approx Per Box 150.00


TIPS

• Travel light, a pull along case is a must.

• Tell Credit Card Company you are in Japan

• Travel Insurance

• We usually visit the local supermarket the first day in Nagaoka. There are tea bags and sugar in the room (and green tea) but we like to buy fresh milk. The beer in the hotel fridge is expensive so it is a saving to buy from the supermarket and put it in the fridge. The wine in the supermarket is quite good. The water in the hotel is good but if you want bottled this is also at the supermarket along with any fruit or snacks you may want to take with you up the mountains.

• Laundry facilities in the New Otani are great, you leave it at the front desk before 10am and it is in your room when you return. Much better to launder than to carry.

• Breakfast at the New Otani is very good, so stoke up. Eggs, bacon, chips, lots of fruit, toast and many different breads and preserves, a great range of Japanese food, give it a try!

• Lunches are usually on the hoof. We either pick something up at the supermarket or call into a Daily store on the way to the mountains. Sandwiches are available or lots of other food.

• Dinner will be at one of the many restaurants not too far from the Hotel. Dress is casual, jeans accepted but if we eat in the hotel trousers (for men) are preferred. We will make sure that there is Western food available as well as Japanese. We know quite a number of good restaurants. Dinner is usually early, you will be tired after a full day.

• We are usually up early to make the most of the daylight hours and see as many harvests as possible but we get back about 4.30 to 5pm as the light starts to go and all the koi look wonderful!


E-MAIL FOR A FREE DVD OF THE AUTUMN 2008 TRIP WHICH WILL BE AVAILABLE IN THE THIRD WEEK IN NOVEMBER tony@yourkoi.co.uk

Click on Japan Gallery to see photographs of our trips.