Japan Visits Minnetonka

We have been doing a lot of work on the pond and yard to get ready for a special dinner. Last night I had the opportunity to host Takahiro Omosako of Omosako Koi Farm. At the end of 2015, I decided that it would be good to learn about a particular breed of koi a little more in-depth. I picked Shiro Utsuri because it wasn’t one of the big three (Kohaku, Showa, Sanke) and I really liked the idea of trying to decipher the black and white mystery. Shiros take about 5 years to develop so it’s also an exercise in patience. Omosako koi farm is known for their shiro utsuris and is probably the best breeder. In early winter, I ordered some shiro utsuri tosai…then I bought a couple of larger shiros…decided to have one pond devoted only to shiros and generally enjoyed watching them develop. Koi Acres happened to have a shiro utsuri growout that spring and announced that Omosako would be coming out to judge the group. Well the wheels turned in my mind and I asked to host a little dinner. Who wouldn’t want to have the time to chat with a breeder and share their pond?

So to prepare for this visit, the pond builder worked even longer hours after work to get as much completed as possible. We moved the koi into the pond the night before the dinner and up to an hour before dinner, he’s busy finishing off the temporary facade. It’s so nice to have someone who makes even the temporary look good. (The long term plan is to wrap the lower pond with the Japanese style charred wood.)

June 8th, the filtration equipment is ready to go!!
June 8th – almost ready for the koi
Here’s my pond builder about one hour before dinner – the facade is made out of fir and will look good until we get our charred wood siding.

We had a great evening with our guests. Of course my koi dealers – Devin and Mikki Swanson (Koi Acres)…Mikki’s parents, Michael and Gleci Hernandez (Koi & Pond, Phillipines & Tomigai koi food)… koi dealer, Shawn McHenry (Mystic Koi, Upland, CA)…John Hall (koi keeper in the Chicago area)…. and Takahiro Omosako. Hiro is a very pleasant, easy going guy and answered many questions about my koi personally as well as koi in general. The funniest thing is that he immediately recognized the omosako special (nonmetallic kujaku) that we purchased from Devin a few weeks ago. That koi is now the Takahiro special and I’ve named him Saul.

the Takahiro Special (nonmetallic kujaku…)
The lower pond looks pretty good for an unfinished project.
Here’s the start of taking group photos in all configurations…
Shawn McHenry (Mystic Koi), Takahiro Omosako (Omosako Koi Farm), Devin Swanson (Koi Acres), Michael Hernandez (Kois & Pond), Mikki Swanson (Koi Acres), John Hall (riff raff from Chicago πŸ˜‰and koi keeper), Gleci Hernandez (Koi & Pond)
Mikki Swanson (Koi Acres), Takahiro Omosako (Omosako Koi Farm), Devin Swanson (Koi Acres), Gleci Hernandez (Kois & Pond), Shawn McHenry (Mystic Koi) and my favorite pond builder
The lower pond and deck area is a little unfinished but the pond builder’s idea to put up a temporary facade that people could sit upon was spot on.
Michael Hernandez of Koi & ponds, Philippines and Tomigai koi food, is supervising the grilling skills of my pond builder. Michael is one of the primary reasons we have the deeper ponds now. He was the one who showed Tony the little video clip of the Konishi Karashigoi and said “you need depth to develop this kind of koi”. I’m going to have to make sure Michael doesn’t speak with my pond builder too much πŸ™„
Takahiro Omosako, Omosako Koi Farm, Japan kindly signed my shiro utsuri certificates
So fun to have a little bit of Japan come to Minnesota! Some day I hope to travel TO Japan and visit some of the koi farms. The next best thing is if the breeder shows up at your house for dinner!

In a few hours we’ll be heading up to Koi Acres for the growout judging and Takahiro Omosako will be speaking to our local koi club members. It’s nice to be partially finished but there is still a lot of work to do!

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