Travel Japan: Koi Ponds

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Rainbow Fish

Rainbow Fish

You've probably seen koi fish at Japanese restaurants before, but while you're in Japan, visiting a koi fish pond is a nice way to unwind after a day of hectic travels. Koi fish have been a staple in Japanese culture for hundreds of years, bred for their aesthetic values and showcased in koi ponds or gardens. While koi fish a a selective breed of carp, there are many varieties due to the range of colors sought after. Some of the most popular colors for koi fish include: white, black, red, yellow, blue, and cream. Koi are also valued for pattering and for their scales.

Japanese Gardens

Japanese Gardens

Finding koi fish isn't a particularly difficult challenge while in Japan. Most Japanese gardens feature koi fish ponds for patrons to enjoy. Ritsurin Garden in Takamatsu is a great option for seeing koi fish while enjoying the atmosphere. Most gardens feature koi fish for their beautiful colors which add to the scenery.

Feeding the Koi

Feeding the Koi

One of the best things to do at a koi pond is feeding the koi fish. For about 200 yen, I was lucky enough to get two long sticks of fish food to share with the little critters in the ponds. Standing at a comfortable distance, I threw a few pieces of the fish food for the koi. Within seconds, the fish came up to devour the treats. I finished passing out bits of those two sticks of fish food for less then two minutes, but it felt well spent. Many people take pleasure just by watching the koi, but interacting with the fish seems like a lot more fun, especially when you consider the fact that you've traveled from far away to see them. Even if you choose not to feed the koi, it's worth trying to snap a shot of these majestic fish.

If you're really lucky, maybe you'll get a shot of the koi above water while you feed it!

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