Saturday, October 16th, 2016 pt. 2

Saturday, October 15th, 2016 | No Comments »

Boss Black coffee. You can get it steaming hot straight from the vending machine any where in Japan. It’s how I like to start my mornings and what’s keeping me going right now as I type this. Per-usual, I awoke in the hotel room hobbled over to my slippers and wandered down the hall to the nearest vending machine, handed over my 230 yen (roughly 2 dollars) and happily headed back to the room. We planned on taking it slow today. Grab a quick breakfast in the lobby, catch a taxi to the train station and hop on the bullet train to Nagaoka to be met by Masato Hoshino (Koda Koi) and spend the rest of the day with him. And you know what? It couldn’t have gone any smoother.

Good morning Tokyo! With the coffee in the foreground.


Inside the hotel lobby




The real reason we went to Japan.

Arriving at the train station was a bit of a struggle only because we didn’t have the slightest clue where to go. After checking with EVERY SINGLE terminal we finally found it. The station it’s self is a busy chaotic organized maze. With food everywhere! Because of our lets take it easy attitude we arrived an hour early were able to take our time, even enjoy a few beverages. Like I said, today could not have gone any smoother.


Shawn at the ticketĀ kiosk




Having boarded the train we found our seats and settled in for the two and a half ride from Tokyo to Nagaoka.



ArrivingĀ in Nagaoka. Huge difference in scenery compared to Tokyo’s huge building

Getting off the train we were met by Masato who had taken time out of his busy schedule to take us to lunch and make sure we checked into our hotel on time. We decided on a standard in Japan for food. Ramen. Ordering ramen is by far the easiest thing in the world. You simply walk up the the restaurant and out front is a vending machine where you insert your money and pick which one you’ll have. Then go inside set your tickets on the counter and the waiter brings out your food when it’s ready. Easy peasy.

I’ve got no idea what these say but I know one of them is a spicy miso. My favorite.



After lunch we headed up the mountain to Koda Koi Farm. Masato had some customers that were stopping by and me and Shawn were excited to see what he had available this harvest. The mountains in Nagaoka are incredible to say the least. I always try and explain how green and lush they are to people back home but I can never do it justice. Driving through the winding roads with the window down and the crisp air flowing through the car is one of my most treasured moments in Japan.




Arriving at the farm brought back several memories of my last visit here three years ago. It still looked exactly as I remember it. Koda has three main greenhouses on the premises. One strictly for his tosai, which is the largest. A quanstet hut set atop a six foot foundation where he keeps his nisai, and a rigid-frame poly coated green house which houses his larger fish ranging in different ages and sizes.






Just a few of Koda’s awards won over the years.

We spent the rest of the day here looking at Koi and have a good time with Masato and the customers that stopped by. Masato has two more harvests tomorrow that we’ll be attending as well as a small koi show. I’ll have pictures of the koi we selected out of this batch up tomorrow, so sit tight.



Till next time, adios.



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