There’s nothing coy about the region’s first-ever koi conference
- Credit: Nick Butcher
To enthusiasts, koi fish are endlessly fascinating creatures that have become big business and can change hands for more than half a million pounds... although the uninitiated might wonder what all the fuss is about.
To find out, they could do worse than attend a 'masterclass' being held in the region this weekend, featuring experts from around the globe.
Koi hobbyists and enthusiasts from across England, Europe, America, Asia and the rest of the world will descend on Homersfield Lake to hear from three leading Japanese breeders.
The inaugural UK Koi masterclass conference is being billed as a unique event and will be held at picturesque grounds on the Suffolk and Norfolk border. It is hosted by Martin Symonds, of Japan Koi Export.
Mr Symonds, who owns Homersfield Lake – a private membership water in Homersfield, on the River Waveney – has been selling and promoting Koi from the region of Niigata since 1981.
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His passion for Niigata koi has been the inspiration for creating this event tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday, which will see some of Japan's top koi breeders passing on tips about the fish and their koi farms.
Mr Symonds said: 'Koi in Japan is a national and cultural hobby, starting back in the early 1900s.
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'This conference is the first of its kind to take place in the UK, so we are very excited that this is happening.'
The breeders will be flying over some of their 'beautiful koi' – including their top Tategoi Tosai and Nisai from their farms – to show the conference guests.
'Koi keeping is a very popular hobby here in the UK and top koi in Japan are sold for more than £500,000,' Mr Symonds added.
'By bringing these breeders here we hope that people will learn and appreciate how to distinguish high quality koi.'
The two-day conference is aimed at all interested koi enthusiasts, who would like to learn more from the leading Japanese koi breeders, and other koi professionals who will give talks on various aspects of koi and koi keeping.
The two-day event will also host an auction on a select number of high quality Koi from other breeders in Niigata. After each lecture there will be a question and answer session. Tickets can be bought for either days or for the whole weekend.
As well as the leading Japanese koi breeders, other koi professionals who will give talks on various aspects of koi and koi keeping. The two-day event will also host an auction on a select number of high quality koi from other breeders in Niigata.
? For ticket details for this paid-for event, email Martin Symonds on email@example.com