Banner image of Niigata Japan tour with Taro Kodama

Koi Hunting Season Is Coming Soon!

Konnichiwa! (Greetings)

Each year from October to November, Niigata breeders harvest all the koi from their ponds.

This is the season that Niigata, home of the Nishikigoi, gets very active.

Everyone is looking forward to it. Everyone is anxious to see how the koi have improved while they were in the mud ponds in the summer time. This is the time that dealers from all over the world come to purchase the koi they like. The reason why is that the fall is the best time to get good quality koi, because there are a lot of them. If you miss this opportunity, you may have to wait until next fall.

Image of Taro Kodama

Every year, we head to Niigata to buy koi during the Fall. The breeders whom we visit are only the top-level and most reliable koi breeders in the world. The morning starts early in Niigata, We will get out the door as soon as the sun rises and visit many koi farms in a day to look for the koi we like. Why don’t you join us? I’m sure there is a perfect match waiting for you.

This year we will be including an outing to the southern koi regions where we will visit big name breeders such as Omosako.

I hope you will join me. I look forward to hearing from you.

To reserve your seat, contact me at or call (808) 354-7031.

Sincerely in koi,

Q&A for the trip

Q. How much does it approximately cost?

A. It does not cost much. Here is the approximate cost per person. A round trip airline ticket is around $1000-$1500 depending on where you are departing. Transportation in Japan is $200-$400 Hotels. Meals in Niigata are about $100/day.

Q. Is it a package tour?

A. It is not. Because everybody has a different schedule, each participant will arrange the airline tickets to Tokyo. Once you are in Tokyo, I will guide you to meet me. Once you are with me, I will arrange everything including the hotel.

Q. How many days do you recommend?

A. The longer the better of course, but I would say, you need at least 3 nights to scratch the surface of Niigata. 5 nights or longer is ideal.

Space is limited, so please contact me as soon as possible to reserve your spot.

This year I will be in Niigata from October 11–31. I will do my best to accommodate your schedule, and the days you can stay in Japan. To reserve your seat, contact me (Taro Kodama) at or call (808) 354-7031.


Headshot of Mr. Grant Patton
Headshot of Mrs. Penny Patton

“A Fabulous Trip to Japan”

Each day we visited different breeders in different parts of the Ojiya district including Musigame and many other small communities. Koi is the common bond throughout this part of Japan and an integral part of the culture. Sometimes we would return to check and compare a koi we had seen earlier. Sometimes we had to make quick decisions.

One day in the Dainichi warehouse there was a concrete pond of 2 year old showa that had arrived the day before. As we were looking at hundreds of beautiful young showa Futoshi Mano, president of Dainichi Koi Farm, walked up and asked if we had a favorite fish.

I looked at all of those fish wondering, when Penny said, “Yes, that one.” They netted it, and we bought it. Mr. Kodama smiled. Fortunately, it is a special fish that we took to Louisville this year. Lucky!

— Grant and Penny Patton, Charleston, SC

Read entire journal of their tour

Headshot of Mr. Tony Malone

“Go to Japan with Taro! You'll think you're in Heaven!”

You see, explore and experience places and people you have only read about in books. When I met “celebrities” like Mr. Isa, Mr. Igarashi, and Mr. Hirasawa (Marudo), it was like being at the Oscar's in Hollywood, only better! And go with Taro! He knows them all, and they all know him, which makes things go quite smoothly. I could have stayed for a month!

— Tony Malone, Chicago, IL

Headshot of Mr. Tyler Hirashima

“If you are in LOVE with koi like I am then you have to go to Niigata with Taro!”

I have known Taro for 5 years now, and he is an awesome and fun guy to be around, but he is even a better person to go with to Niigata. The best part is, he knows all the top breeders in Niigata. Whether you are going just to go and don't know what you want, there are literally thousands upon thousands of choices. But I would recommend going with a list of koi you want because Taro knows all the places to find rare koi that you may never find at a lot of dealers.

The best part of my trip was that we got to wake up early in the morning and see Isa Koi Farm harvest some of the best Nisai koi. The feeling of witnessing that can’t be described in words. Don't take my word for it go to Niigata you won’t regret it!

— Tyler Hirashima, Honolulu, HI

Headshot of Mr. Peter Wong

“I always wanted to visit Japan.”

Taro made it happen for me and he made the trip very pleasant, easy and fun. Taro make sure everybody is well taken care of. He picked me up at the Niigata station. He made sure my room was ready for me. Every morning, we wake up and had breakfast together, then Taro will drive us around to go Koi Hunting. Taro and his father help me pick out the best quality koi in all the breeders. Every night, we went out for dinner and drinks, everybody had a very good time. I also had a unique experience — Mr. Mamoru Kodama (Taro's father) and I spend a day together, he let me do some culling with him, and I felt privileged to be his private student for a day.

I recommend the Niigata koi hunting trip to anyone who is interested in koi, not only will you find some great looking koi, it's like you are in koi heaven, there are so many to choose from. Moreover, Taro make things so easy and fun, and you also get to meet a lot of new friends. Not to mention the authentic Japanese food.

— Peter Wong, Ada, MI

Headshot of Mrs. Joan Kinney
Headshot of Mr. James Kinney

“…Each time it was an unforgettable experience!”

James and I have been to Niigata twice with the Kodamas, and each time it was an unforgettable experience! Taro and his dad are most accommodating, asking us what breeders we would like to visit and making the necessary arrangements to take us there, taking us to local restaurants, and bridging the language barrier.

If you adore koi, then this is the trip for you! You are with fellow koi enthusiasts and much information can be shared. We highly recommend this trip — a wonderful KOI experience!

— Joan and James Kinney, Mililani, HI


You pay for your travel, hotel and meal expenses. There are no fees for my tour (however, if the commission does not reach $1000, please kindly pay the difference.)

Purchasing koi

  • The commission for koi purchase is 20% of the sale price.
  • Your koi can be shipped together with our koi. Due to the volume of our combined purchases, the freight is usually much cheaper this way.
  • It is also possible to ship koi directly to you from Japan. We can arrange that. Kodama Koi Farm will make all the shipping arrangements. The shipping and handling fees from Niigata to the USA is the customer's responsibility.

To reserve your seat, contact me, Taro Kodama, at or call (808) 354-7031. I look forward to hearing from you!