Travel journal: For The Love of Koi

by Guest Writer 2 December 2009 One Comment

This is just a small guide on how to buy Koi fish in Japan when you do not have enough time to spend there.

carp fish animal

Beautiful carp / koi fish

Undoubtfully, the best koi breeds are the ones you can find in Japan, and only in Japan mostly. Initially, the famous place for koi breeding in Japan is in Niigata prefecture, on the northwest coast of Honshu. But it is rather difficult to buy koi fish there when you will only be in Japan for a few days. Nevertheless, my passion for koi fish still brought me to Japan and with my current job, I’ll get to travel there at least once in a few weeks but time is a major issue. I only have one or two day of stay at most. So, my best bet of getting new breeds of koi fish is by visiting fish farms nearest to where I usually stay in Narita.

Koi fish can only last for about 10-12 hours out of the pond and on carriage. So it really depends on how long your flight will take. Mine took about 6 hours and 15 minutes back to my home country from Japan so that left me with only about 4 to 6 hours to get the fishes back into my pond back home. I start my journey early in the morning (exactly around 7.30 am) to the nearest fish farm in Chiba called ‘Tani Fish Farm’.

Way to ‘Tani Fish Farm’ in Chiba prefecture.

Since I’m staying in Holiday Inn Narita, my starting point is at Narita Airport which is only a few minutes walk from my hotel. From there, I took a train on the Keisei Line to Keiseinarita Station. It cost about ¥250 per way. From the station you will have two choice to opt for in order to get to the fish farm which is either by taxi or community bus. But since time is a big issue here, there is only one option that stands out most, which is to take the taxi to the fish farm, and it will take approximately 10-15 minutes depending on the traffic condition. The fare does not waver anywhere more than ¥3500 per trip.

Here’s the full address of the place:-


1379 Shimokata, Narita city, Chiba-pref., 286 Japan

PHONE: 0476-26-9111/FAX: 0476-26-1341


Here’s the website for more information and gallery, it’s in Japanese though, so you probably need some translation or have learnt Japanese language yourself:-

The entrance to the farm is free of charge and there is a wide variety of fishes available here and particularly and mostly nishikigoi, both big and small ones. The prices ranging starts from ¥2000 and can reach up to ¥500,000 for tetagoi (which is the highest grade of koi fish). Nevertheless, they rarely sell tetagoi because the breeder himself (the owner of Tani fish farm) will take the opportunity to grow it himself up to 2 years before auctioning it to the worldwide collectors, and of course, the price may rise drastically and could even reach millions of yen. Very few workers can speak english here though there are a few that would be able to help you just enough for some business transaction but one thing I can say is how sincere their service is and the people there take pride of what they do.

I always ended up buying a few on my own everytime I came to the place. They will usually pack the fishes for me in a special plastic with ¼ or ½ of water according to the size of the koi fish, with 100% oxygen supply. I always take the cab back straight to my hotel to save on time and that usually cost me about ¥6000. The koi fish will go to checked in boxes of live fishes with special handling care on the cargo to be transported back to my country. It was a great satisfaction to be able to see authentic breeds of koi fish in my pond.


Written by guest writer, Mr Borman K – An avid fan and breader of koi fish.

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One comment

  1. linda

    I would like to purchase koi eggs from Japan. Japan is noted for having the most exotic and beautiful koi. I anyone can help me with my search for a possible supplier, please contact me. Thanks Linda


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