Now we went to Niigata, in the region of Japan, which is famous for the breeding of Koi carp (Japanese: Nishikigoi).
The landscape with numerous terraced rice fields has been used for centuries for the breeding of (food) carp. As we have already shown our microscopes on many Koi shows in Europe, it was an exciting experience to visit the world-famous breeders in Nagaoka and Ojiya to learn more about keeping, breeding and trading. The animals at the roadside are not ignored either. A splendid wasp spider steals the show from the most beautiful Koi for 10 minutes... The enthusiasm of the expedition participants is not limited to fish. Then the visit to the earthquake museum in Nagaoka is impressive. Koi expert Martin Symonds had witnessed the catastrophic Chuetsu quake of 2004 himself. Koi breeding in Japan almost came to an end, as the earthquake not only claimed numerous human lives. More than a million Koi did not survive the quake because ponds had dried up or the power failure that lasted for days when snow began to fall crippled the installations in the fish houses. The few Koi that survived the quake were rescued from the ponds by a helicopter in a joint effort of the breeders and the local administration. The Nishikogoi tradition of Japan could continue.