Japan Spring Koi Buying Trip 2019 16 April 2019

Koi hunting in Japan with Utopia Koi on our spring 2019 trip

What a trip ………

What a way to start the 2019 spring Koi season……. 

As all our customers know we like to innovate and be different. We don’t follow the crowd and definitely like to push the boundaries.

Utopia Koi is part of a select group of Koi dealers that does actually travel to Japan to hand select the fish we sell to our customers. Many Koi dealers purport to be doing this but the actual number of Koi dealers that do travel to Japan is a small select number and most Koi dealers don’t. Yes they post pictures of Koi farms and breeders but that is just a facade. “a marketing stunt”.

Utopia Koi is the real deal and commits to regular trips to Japan to buy and sell Koi. We firmly believe making the journey to Japan is the only way to get the best fish possible for our customers.

 

 
GETTING TO JAPAN IS ALWAYS FUN ……. HERE ARE SOME INTRESTING FACTS 
  • Japan is 9 hours ahead so when its 12.00 noon in the UK its 9PM in Japan.
  • A fast flight to Japan from the UK is around 14.5 hours.
  • The distance from the UK to Japan is around 5,713 miles.
  • Japans currency is Yen. At the minute each £1 is worth around 140 Japanese Yen.
  • Fish are shipped from Japan to the UK in heated cargo holds on commercial passenger planes.
  • A standard box of fish weights roughly 20kg and costs around £250/£300 to ship to the UK. Boxes can be bigger and cost more when required. 
  • A standard economy flight to Japan costs in the region of £800.
KLM MADE US SAD ……..

Usually flights are smooth and on time. Economy is pretty horrendous so seats with leg room if your 6ft are a necessity rather than a nice to have. If your feeling flush and want a bit of luxury in your life a business class seat will set you back somewhere in the region of £2500/£3500.

We selected flights with KLM for our 2019 spring trip. Unfortunately KLM messed up our connecting flight from Schipol airport to Tokyo giving us an unwelcome 24 hour stay in Amsterdam, plunging thousands of passengers in to kayos. Lost luggage and hotel curtesy toothpaste wasn’t exactly what we envisaged at this stage ….. More a cold Sake and a bit of Sushi.

CEDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE ……

After spending a few hours superglued to the phone chastising KLM we finally managed to get an alternate flight to Frankfurt and then on to Tokyo Haneda via ANA. What a breath of fresh air ANA where and so, so helpful. Its amazing how a free seat upgrade can make everything seem ok again and when it comes from the airline that isn’t at fault at all but clearly cares about its passengers its always appreciated. Thank you ANA. 

ONWARDS & UPWARDS…… HOORAY……. TOKYO STATION

Normally when we fly to Tokyo we land at Narita airport but this time we landed at Haneda. Quicker, faster and a super cool sky rail link to Tokyo central station. We all agreed that Haneda is a great option and one we will definitely opt for in the future. 

 

TRAINS, PLANES & AUTOMABILES …… ERRRRR……. CARS, PLANES & SHINKANSEN.

After around 48 hours of cars, planes, hotels, taxies, buses, metro links, and a good old bit of shanks pony we finally arrive in the mountains and checked in to our home for the next ten days or so.

The New Ortarni Hotel is admittedly not the cheapest hotel available and many opt for a less expensive Japanese style hotel room which are very small but at around £70 per night we feel the New Ortarni is very reasonable and the hot buffet style breakfast is just what you need to set you up for a days Koi hunting.

Hotel Room at the New Ortarni Hotel

SO DOWN TO IT ……..

We may not have had our luggage at this stage but the Koi, they were awaiting ……..Quite often we visit and revisit Koi breeders facilities during the course of one of our buying trips looking for that elusive fish one of our customers has asked us to find for them. Im sure some of our customers just like to test us. We usually have a request for something obscure. It usually goes something like “Please can you find me a four leaf clover and a unicorn” We always aim to please”.

Here are some of the breeders that we regularly visit just to give an indication:

  • Yamazaki
  • Odakan
  • Marusho
  • Marusada
  • Miyatora
  • Maruhiro
  • Marusei
  • Yagenji
  • Dainichi
  • Isa
  • Masaki
  • Iwashita
  • Kansuke
  • Kase
  • Ikarashi Yorijo
  • Izumiya
  • Marudo
  • Marujyu
  • Marusaka
  • Otsuka
  • Oya
  • Torazo
  • Yamamatsu
  • Kaneko
  • Shintaro 
WOW AND BREATH……… 

We like to visit and re-visit Koi breeders checking fish and varieties that are available making absolutely certain that if two Koi breeders have the same variety of Koi we are buying the best fish at that time from the breeder we feel has the best fish to offer Utopia Koi and our customers. This trip we traveled somewhere in the region of 800 miles.

ONE TO ONE KOI FINDING SERVICE

The very best way to stay up to date with Utopia Koi whilst we are in Japan is via our Facebook social media site or better still contact us before we leave for Japan and discuss what your looking for and we will go out of our way and try our very best to find “the one” for you.

Our main aim whilst we are in Japan buying Koi is finding the Koi and managing to purchase them at sensible levels of money.

We love showing off all the amazing Koi we have sourced and managed to purchase for our customers but instead of posting a blog each day giving a minute by minute account of where we have been and what we have eaten for lunch we choose instead to post stylish snap shots of cool fish we have found and keep in close contact with our customers that have asked us to find them specific fish. Even when we are on the other side of the world we love to chat with our customers and when we are in Japan that’s no exception. 

Times have moved on massively in Japan. Whilst we are in Japan we have a pocket WIFI device that allows unlimited data streaming.

Imagine this……. You’re looking for that special koi you’ve looked and looked for in the UK at loads of Koi outlets across the length and breadth of the country. You stumble across Utopia Koi on facebook or on the world wide web and think ” yeah just another Koi dealer”. Are we ???

Utopia Koi is different. We are a boutique Koi business offering a “one to one” Koi finding service to our customers and most of the Koi we sell never see social media or websites. We specialise in offering a personal shopping experience for Koi from a distance of 5000 miles away. Now I’d say that’s different and something special.

We aren’t a shop open to the general public to pop in and out as they fancy a coffee on a rainy Sunday afternoon although we do make a mean Americano. Instead we have looked long and hard at the world of Koi having kept Koi to a high standard for over 2o years ourselves. During that time we’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly.

Instead Utopia Koi is set up to facilitate a personal Koi shopping experience for our customers whilst we are in Japan, bringing those purchased fish back to the UK. Quarantining them in state of the art facilities and delivering them to your door in pristine health.

  • We travel to Japan so you don’t have to.
  • We give you the time you need on a “one to one” basis to find that fish you’ve been looking for.

When we are at the side of a pond in Japan, bowling fish for a customer to view via high definition video in real time chatting away to them on the phone that’s us putting modern technology to practical applications in the real world revolutionising the way you can buy Koi. Like we said we don’t follow the crowd and we love to innovate.

We have been buying and selling Koi for many years so although you may not have been aware of Utopia Koi until recently we aren’t new kids on the block and yes we do know what we are doing.

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL 

So high definition video simply isn’t enough for you…… Ok no problem! Get that luggage packed and join us for a trip. Hey we’ll even give you a Utopia Koi T-Shirt to make you feel like part of the team.

We are often asked if we take customers to Japan. The answer is yes we can and will.

Kuoni we are not and its all about the Koi, Sake, Super Dry (Japanese Beer) and of course Japanese’s BBQs with the occasional duty free fridge magnet. Seriously though, yes customers are welcomer to join us to buy Koi in Japan. We arrange everything but you pay directly for flights, accommodation and food etc.

If your adventurous and feel like making a trip of a life time then we’d love to chat with you. Send us a message on our contact form or drop us an email to hello@utopia-koi.co.uk 

WE ARE BACK IN THE UK. WHATS NEXT ?

It’s all go as usual. All the fish we have purchased will ship to the UK in the next week to two weeks and then undergo a full quarantine procedure.

We will continue to update our new website. We hope you like it…..

Not only do we sell Koi from Japan along with every conceivable pond product you can think of on our website but we build magnificent ponds and offer installation service for filter upgrades as well as offering fibreglassing services.

If you fancy a filter upgrade get in touch and we’ll gladly assist. We are a national company so just because we are based in the North of England please don’t think we won’t travel to build you your pond of your dreams. We will and we do.

ITS BEEN A FANTASTIC SPRING TRIP FOR 2019. THANKS FOR READING AND HOPEFULLY WE’VE ENTERTAINED AND INFORMED YOU A LITTLE.
PLEASE DONT HESITATE TO CONTACT US VIA OUR CONTACT FORM OR EVEN BETTER STILL GIVE US A CALL AND SAY HELLO AND INTRODUCE YOURSELF.
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