When it comes to food production, rice is the most important food supply in Japan. It is part of Japanese staple food. Japan is the ninth largest producer of rice in the world. Rice season for Northern Japan is from May-June to September-October. Central Japan is April-May to August-October, while Southern Japan is from April-May to August-September. All over the world, Japan, as a whole, is known to be very delicate. Japanese palate has been known to be very distinctive about rice since cultivating the highest quality of rice in all of the world has long been Japan’s pride.
When buying rice, a customer should consider the place where rice is produced, its firmness, sweetness, and the palatableness or savor. Brand name can place next in consideration, however, you can also stick to one brand and sample crops of the same variety grown in different regions so flavor can be compared. An expert suggested that it is best to try sample rice grains from various regions like Hokkaido or Kyushu if you are not sure which rice variety to pick.
Koshihikari is the best branded Japanese rice. It is stickier and has a fuller and richer flavor and best for dinner, Obento and Western-style meals. Yumepirika rice is getting popuplar nowadays.
2. SEITEN NO HEKIREKI (AOMORI) – A well-balanced rice with elegant sweetness and delicious taste, larger grains, soft texture, and shiny appearance and has a firmness and taste even it cools down. It also goes well in all dishes.
3. AKITAKOMACHI (AKITA) – It’s springy, has a strong flavor and sweetness, and a wonderful smell. It has a high level of moisture, so it’s delicious even when cold. It’s good with gently flavored Japanese food, and perfect for sashimi and sushi.
4. TSUYAHIME (YAMAGATA) – Rice is very glossy and has a beautiful white appearance. The sweetness and flavor of the rice penetrates through your mouth. The balance of the stickiness and the flavor is perfect. It goes well with simple foods that show off the flavor of the rice.
5. HITOMEBORE (MIYAGI) – It’s known as hitomebore (‘love at first sight’) is soft and glossy when cooked, with a slightly sticky, yet smooth, texture. Best enjoyed in sushi or with furikake rice seasoning.
6. KOSHIHIKARI (NIIGATA) – Known for being springy, sticky, and aromatic. The sweetness and flavor spreads through your mouth, and it’s a delicious type of rice.
7. SAINOKAGAYAKI (SAITAMA) – Rare rice and carefully selected for “Kotonori legendary rice”. Not too soft but glossy with it cooked, it has moderate stickiness, sweetness, it is easy to eat with fluffy texture.
8. HARUMI (KANAGAWA) – Haruma-born rice “Harumi” acquired the highest rating “Special A.” The JA Farming Agriculture and Technology Center with Kinuhikari and Koshihikari are making improvements. Rice has large grains, sticky, glossy and rich in sweetness.
9. AKISAKARI (FUKUI) – Developed as an excellent rice-producing area, pure water sources from a branch of the Hakusan mountain range and the Kuzuryu river, soil which was cultivated properly to produce the best crops, and the weather, which is distinct in all four seasons. Akisakari rice is sticky, glutinous and glossy even when cold.
10. TENKOMORI (TOYAMA) – Named under the name of Tohkaku series with high evaluation as Toyama brand rice, the name itself is an appetizer. The grain is shiny, beautiful and with sweetness on it and the taste is superior.
11. KINUHIKARI (HYOGO) – Hinohikari and Kinuhikari are short-grain rice, and is a cross-breed of Koshihikari and other rice brands. These two kinds of rice are commonly used when making fried rice, curry rice, and other dishes that are a mixture of rice and other ingredients.
12. KINUMUSUME (SHIMANE) – Cultivated in Nishidani, Yasugi City, Shimane Prefecture. It has a distinctive sweet taste with white silky and glossy appearance.
13. NIKOMARU (KOCHI) – The most expensive rice in Japan because of its aroma and texture. Nikomaru grains are shiny and sticky when cooked.
14. YUMETSUKUSHI (FUKUOKA) – is a mutant variety combined with another mutant variety Kinuhikari induced by gamma rays. This hybridization improves the taste of both mutant varieties.
15. HINOHIKARI (KUMAMOTO) – Has small and thick grains. It is a blend of Koshihikari and another brand called Koganebare.It inherited a strong flavor and great balance of stickiness and aroma, so it’s a very high-quality type of rice.