Do you know the paintings on the pond, Nishikigoi?

Do you know the paintings on the pond, Nishikigoi?

I went to a Japanese garden called Kokoen Garden in Himeji City.

It is a Japanese garden next to the famous Himeji Castle.

There were many beautiful Nishikigoi swimming in the pond there.

There are a lot of Japanese gardens with Nishikigoi in Tokyo, but this one looked very nice from the building and the stone bridge in the garden.

I’m Nobu, I like traveling overseas and in Japan, visited 25 countries. I’ve got the license of the certificate English guide in Japan for 7 years.I show you hidden Japan which you have never seen and heard of!

What is Nishikigoi?

Koi that are not black are called irogoi, especially red ones are called higoi.

And those that have been improved in color and spots as ornamental fish are called Nishikigoi.

In particular, there are many varieties of Nishikigoi according to their patterns, such as Kohaku, Taisho Sanshoku, Showa Sanshoku, Kogane, and Asagi.

Nishikigoi are popular for breeding, and are sold at a high price based on their mottled patterns, vivid colors, size, and shape.

Also, German Koi with large and only partial scales have been introduced into Japan.


It is generally believed that the breeding of Nishikigoi began in the 19th century in Japan, mainly in Ojiya City and the former Yamakoshi Village (now Yamakoshi area of Nagaoka City) in Niigata Prefecture.

It is said that farmers working in the paddy fields noticed that some of the koi were brighter in color than others, and caught and raised them.

The background of Nishikigoi cultivation in Ojiya City and Yamakoshi Village in Niigata prefecture. The backgrounds are,

History background of the production area

1) there was a custom of cultivating carp in fallow rice fields for emergency food in winter.

2) because of the mountainous area, there were many hidden rice fields and the farmers were relatively wealthy.

The breeding of Nishikigoi was promoted as a hobby of the farmers who could afford it.

And good quality Koi came to be sold. From then on, aquaculture continued to progress, and by the 20th century, many patterns had been developed.

Varieties of Nishikigoi

The most prominent one is called “Kohaku,” which is red and white.

The extent of the development was not known to the public until it was exhibited at the Tokyo Taisho Exposition in 1914.

But after the Tokyo Exposition, interest in Nishikigoi increased throughout Japan.

Furthermore, the pastime of keeping Nishikigoi spread throughout the world after the invention of the plastic bag.

And advances in airplane and ship technology made the export of Nishikigoi fast and safe.

These factors have made it possible to export Nishikigoi all over the world with a low loss rate.

Today, Nishikigoi are widely available in many pet stores and can be purchased through specialized dealers, especially of high quality.

The export value of Japanese Nishikigoi in 2019 was 4.72 billion yen, five times more than in 2000.

The top destinations are Hong Kong and Europe (Germany and the Netherlands).

And many Koi lovers from abroad enter their Koi in the All Japan Nishikigoi Show.

It’s where they can pay over 200 million yen per Koi.

If you’re interested in the painting on the pond, check Nishikigoi out!!

I’m Nobu, one heart enjoy together!!!

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>Enjoy Tokyo and Japan as locals do!

Enjoy Tokyo and Japan as locals do!

TOKYO travel TIPS is the site which offers local updated information of Tokyo and Japan. There are many traditional, modern culture , festivals and beautiful nature in Tokyo and Japan. We want to share with travel beginners and repeaters to Tokyo and Japan! Let’s enjoy as locals do!