frequently asked questions
What is the best time to visit Niigata?
This depends on what you are looking for; there are mainly two seasons, as you may know:
Autumn: when the breeders will harvest the mud ponds and bring the fishes back that have spent growing during the summer. The actual harvesting of tosai will start end of September, and of all bigger sized fish from half October on till end of November.
Spring : when last year's tosai are strong enough to be shipped on long hauls. Starting from February till June.
Can I visit Niigata to buy koi outside of these main seasons?
Yes you can, as we are unlikely as some other exporters here in Niigata 365 days a year you can visit us almost any time. However weather conditions can be extreme in the area, heavy and early snowfall in winter and very hazy hot weather in summer can make your visit less comfortable.
We would say if you are looking for "top of the bill" quality fish, the autumn season is definitely the best time to purchase your koi. If you are interested in buying mainly tosai, mid ranged bigger sized fish the spring season is the best time to come. But things aren't that strict anymore, also in spring you will find still a lot of bigger sized high graded fishes available nowadays.
What can you tell us about pricing of the fish in the two seasons?
As kois are not displayed by price at the breeder's facilities you need really to visit the breeders to learn about prices. Since every koi is unique and different and therefore will command a different individual price. Obviously a koi that exhibit an excellent skin quality and body shape and holding great expectations will have a different price than one of lower grade. But that's not the only thing and surely not all what matters: Being close to the breeders is an important thing, unlike other businesses: Niigata breeders like foremost long-lasting returning customers instead the occasional big deal with an unknown customer, visiting them often to make sure in getting the best is another thing. The final price will depend largely upon experience and the way things and negotiations are handled.
Tosai(one year old fish)are differently sold: you will find at the breeders facility already culled and selected fishes often offered in different grades for a fixed price. Individually selecting fishes out of these stocks is often possible for a slightly higher price. Bigger sized fishes of last year's autumn harvest are often offered for better prices.
How are your buying trips organized?
As koi buying is a critical thing : your experience, expertise and budget will largely affect the quality of the koi you will be buying in the end. A novice in this business will need of course much different guidance than a returning experienced customer. We only do organize buying trips individual and fully customized upon customers' needs. We offer an array of possibilities and facilities to suit anyone's budget, just let us know what you need :
Fully guided schedules tours in the area with bi-lingual experienced staff.
Full services concerning bookings of your flight, hotels, rental cars (Bi-lingual drivers available.) if
you would like to travel on your own.
Preparing legal documents and health certificates for your shipment.
Forwarding, including transport services to designated airports here in Japan.
Air transportation to almost any destination worldwide.Buying trips Niigata