The History And Place To Visit Behind A Forty Million Value of Japanese Koi, Nishikigoi

Sep 01 2020
Sep 01 2020

Nishikigoi in Japan was originally bred as an ornamental carp in Nagaoka city (formerly Yamakoshimura) in Niigata prefecture. There is a museum built in Ojiya City within Niigata Prefecture, where koi lovers can marvel at its exquisite beauty and learn about the history of Japan National fish. The koi fish is symbolic in Japanese culture and is closely associated with the country's national identity. The koi fish is a symbol of luck, prosperity, and good fortune in Japan. You will learn more details in the article.

The Origin Of Nishiki-goi Traced Back To Edo Period About 200 Years Ago


The name “Nishikigoi” was a term first used almost 200 years ago during the Edo period. The ornamental carp originated from the Yamakoshi village from the Niigata prefecture in Japan. The first Nishikigoi was produced by farmers breeding black carp (or Magoi) as a food source to survive severe winter weather conditions, the result born from this was a vibrantly colored carp with a good figure that stood out from the rest with its rare beauty. As awareness grew, many started to appreciate Nishikigoi like a beautiful work of art.

The Reason Why It Was Named After Nishiki-goi Is Than Its Color Is Similar To Japanese Fabric

There are different legends about why the corp was named as Nishikigoi. First, according to the legend, the Niigata prefectural government fisheries who saw the Taisho three colors at the Takezawa village, a chief officer, who admired Nishikigoi complimented that "Too much beauty in it.” In Japanese, “Nishiki" means silk fabric woven with gold, and such beautiful and elegant one is called "Nishiki ~." Nishikigoi is precisely like an elegant carp like silk fabric.

The second theory is that Nishikigoi had various names due to its colorful pattern such as “color carp," "flower carp," "patterned carp," etc. before. It is said that "Hana” (which means flower in Japanese) , "Iro" (which means color in Japanese) during World War II was not suitable at the wartime. It is said that it became a "Nishikigoi" because of its neutral name. Last, there is also the theory that the nickname "Nishikigoi" is attached to Taisho three color, which is red, white and black which is exactly the typical color of Nishikigoi. It was gradually used in a broad sense.

Around 1940, the name "Nishikigoi" was officially decided in Japan, and today the name "NISHIKIGOI" is used around the world.

Nishikigoi Is Symbol For Peace And Related To Japanese National Identity


Due to its high value, more and more Nishikigoi fan raise Nishikigoi at their home to show off their status and a luxury taste in a hobby. In the future, Nishikigoi of Japan origin will become famous for its beauty and precious value in many countries around the world and will be attracting attention.

Japanese Nishikigoi originated from the 1950s and began to be exported internationally as well.

In recent years, Nishikigoi has gained much attention from collectors and enthusiasts from within Japan and all over the world. They have become an iconic symbol of Japan culture that can potentially sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. For many decades they have been popular in Japan, where top breeders take their most prized Nishikigoi to participate in highly competitive "beauty parades and Contests."

Japan Nishiki-goi Is Very Difficult To Breed


To find the proper koi classification you will need to look at their colors, patterns, and body conformation. Each type of koi fish variety has it’s own specific details for identification and can be described based on another classification of Japanese Koi type.

For example, a Showa Sanke is a koi with calligraphic Sumi pattern. Showa Sanke in Japanese translates to Showa three colors, and the three most common colors in identifying this breed are black, red and white. Kokaku, the oldest and most well-known variety of koi, have a solid white base with patterns of red overlaid on top of the white. Top quality Kohaku displays a bright, blemish-free white combined with deep, vibrant red tones. The even distribution of the pattern along the body is also very important.

Nishikigoi Village Is A Nishikigoi Museum, Exhibiting History And Information About Nishikigoi

Nishikigoi Village

Nishikigoi Village is a facility built by Ojiya City and managed by Ojiya City Industrial Development Center. The aim in building this facility was to bring as many Koi Lovers as possible, being Japanese or foreigners, to learn and appreciate Japans national fish in person. Besides the data exhibition room, there is a 180-ton indoor pond, and four more ponds in the garden.

You can enjoy watching Nishikigoi swimming in the 180-ton indoor pond and four outdoor garden ponds with variously sized waterfalls, or you can visit the exhibit halls to study the history of Koi and breeding methods. There is a collection of exquisite Nishikigoi on display in the ponds where visitors can also feed them, plus there are two exhibition shows held in spring and winter.

Adopt Or Own A Beautiful And Colorful Nishiki-goi In The Carp Farm

Nishikigoi Village

Ojiya Nishikigoi no Sato is the only place in the world where a wide variety of live Nishikigoi is on display, along with materials showing the history of their improvements. Nishikigoi is usually raised in mud ponds from spring to autumn, so their beautiful figures cannot be seen from a close distance during these seasons in breeding districts. To solve this problem, the city of Ojiya opened Nishikigoi no Sato in October 1989, so that visitors can see genuine Nishikigoi in their birthplace and also swimming in clear water throughout the year. With the intention of developing the local industry and advancement of the tourist industry, the city established the Nishikigoi ownership system so that many tourists can become the owners of Ojiya-bred Nishikigoi. Currently, there are approximately 100 privately owned koi in the garden pond on display.

Ojiya-shi Industrial Development Center is responsible for the sale and care of Nishikigoi, plus they cooperate with the city of Ojiya and the Ojiya Nishikigoi Farming Cooperation. The purchased Nishikigoi Under this system, the newly owned purchased Koi will be raised and displayed free of charge with no management fee required.

The sales price of Nishikigoi (with consumption tax included) will be classified under two categories by their size:

· 50,000 yen body length around 50 cm
· 30,000 yen body length around 40 cm


Address : 1 - chome 1 - chome 8-22 in Ojiya city, Niigata Prefecture
TEL: +81-258-83-2233 (Nishikigoi Village in Ojiya city)

Nishiki-goi Sato opens everyday at 9am until 6pm from March to November, then 9am to 5pm from December to February.
The admission fee is 510 yen for adults, 300 yen for both elementary and junior high school students.

By train
From Tokyo Station, take the Joetsu Shinkasen Max Toki service to Nagaoka Station which takes about one hour and half hours. From Nagoka Station, take the local JR Joetsu Line to Ojiya Station. From there, you can walk to the venue which will only take about 10 minutes.

By plane
Take the domestic flight from Haneda Airport to Niigata Airport which costs about 24,000 yen. If you own an international passport and not a resident in Japan, you can purchase a discounted flight ticket. From Niigata Airport, take the Niigata-Airport Limousine Bus bound for Niigata Eki Minamiguchi. After arriving at Niigata Station south exit, transfer to local JR subway to Nagaoka Station. From Nagaoka Station, take the Joetsu Line to Ojiya Station.

Nishikigoi Village (Nishikigoi no Sato) Niigata

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