TOKUSHIMA, Oct. 26 – A pond with approximately 5,000 Nishikigoi carp in Minami town, Tokushima Prefecture, has become a new colorful attraction for tourists. The carp are grown by a 74-year-old farmer in his ex-rice field.
Four years ago, the farmer, Hisao Akiyama, turned his 10-are rice field into a koi pond of approximately 40 centimeters deep to grow Nishikigoi carp to launch a new business. He covered the pond by nets to protect the fish from birds and named it “Nishikigoi-no-ike (pond of Nishikigoi).”
His carp grew pretty well with no outbreak of diseases in the pond in the mountains that provide rich flow of water. One day, he decided to open the site for visitors to end up, unexpectedly, having approximately 10,000 visitors, mostly families, annually.
At first, he sold his Nishikigoi to his customers, but the fish gradually learned from their experience that humans use a net to catch them. They became wary and started to stay away from people. “This is not right if my visitors are not enjoying watching my Nishikigoi,” he thought and quit the business.
Four years ago, the young Nishikigoi was approximately 4 centimeters, but some of them are now tenfold. “I never expected to have this many visitors here and my Nishikigoi will get bigger and bigger,” he said.