Goldfish Festival – Nishikasai
Breeding and keeping goldfish is almost a national sport here in Japan. I don’t think I have ever met anyone who has never kept some sort of Goldfish. On Sunday I happened to be in Nishikasai, just on the border between Tokyo and Chiba Prefecture, and saw the annual goldfish fair or festival. Originally from China, breeding goldfish has been popular in Japan for hundreds of years and these days there are a lot of different varieties, colors, and sizes. This goldfish festival had most of the best breeders in the East Tokyo and Chiba areas, with fish going from 10 yen a piece to 80 000 yen for the rarest kinds! There was also a huge kingyo-sukui (catching goldfish) event in one of the ponds, but not as big as the one I saw in Mishima a week earlier (a subject for the blog sometime next month). Kids were wading out in the pond to catch as many fish as possible in a few minutes. If I ever have a house with a garden (I doubt it) I’ll make sure to have the garden pond stocked with a lot of goldfish!