8 Best Japanese Rice Brands 2023

by Erika Shinomoto
best Japanese Rice Brands

If you’re into cooking Japanese cuisine then you have to use authentic Japanese rice. Here are the best Japanese rice brands you could choose from to make your favorite rice-based Japanese dish!

Rice is a staple in Japan and its cultural significance in the country cannot be overstated. It is one of the essential elements of Japanese cuisine and in several parts of the world. Whether you want to make sushi or delve into some Japanese cooking, we are sure this guide will help you as here, we bring to you some of the best Japanese rice brands. 

Best Japanese Rice Brands: Quick Summary

Best Japanese Rice BrandsCheck price
Koshihikari RiceCheck latest price on Amazon
Tamanishiki Super Premium Short Grain RiceCheck latest price on Amazon
Kijima Tsuyahime Yamagata White RiceCheck latest price on Amazon
Hitomebore RiceCheck latest price on Amazon
Akitakomachi RiceCheck latest price on Amazon
Sasanishiki RiceCheck latest price on Amazon
Nozomi Super Premium Short Grain RiceCheck latest price on Amazon
Ubara Extra Premium Japanese White RiceCheck latest price on Amazon

What is Japanese Rice?

Japanese rice includes ordinary rice, known as Uruchimai and glutinous rice, known as Mochigome. Both of these are short-grain rice and are characterized by their sticky texture, and yet, they cannot be used interchangeably. They are used differently. 

Related: Make authentic Japanese udon at home. Check out the top udon brands here!

Which Is The Best Japanese Rice Brand

We tried and tested over 20+ Japanese rice brands to find the best Japanese rice brand. We found that Koshihikari rice is the best Japanese rice brand. Here’s why:

Koshihikari rice is grown in various regions of Japan, including Niigata, Toyama, and Yamagata Prefectures, where the climate and soil conditions are ideal for cultivating this premium rice. The grains of Koshihikari are plump, firm, and slightly sticky when cooked, providing a delightful mouthfeel.

Koshihikari rice has a rich and sweet flavor with a subtle umami taste. It is often praised for its pleasant aftertaste and delicate fragrance, enhancing the overall enjoyment of a meal.

Koshihikari Japanese Rice Brand

Koshihikari rice is probably one of the most popular and best Japanese rice brands. It is known for its flexible, aromatic, and sticky grain. One of the most-cultivated in Japan, Koshihikari rice, gives you a burst of flavors with every bite. It has superior quality, which makes it a popular choice in Japanese restaurants. 

Cooking Koshihikari is quite easy, and there is no unique process involved. The preferred and common method is steaming, but it can be cooked in a rice cooker too. 

japanese rice vs jasmine rice

Key Features:

  • Popular brands of Japanese rice
  • Known for its flexible, aromatic, and sticky grains
  • Most-cultivated in Japan
  • Gives you a burst of flavors with every bite
  • Superior quality
  • Trusted by restaurants in Japan
  • No unique process involved in cooking 
  • Steaming is the most preferred technique, but it can be cooked in a rice cooker too.

Related: Prepare a well-portioned bento box with rice, veggies, meat, and dessert with these Japanese style bento boxes. Check it out!

Tamanishiki Super Premium Short Grain Japanese Rice Brand

Another brand that you should look out for is Tamanishiki Super Premium rice, which is a blend of Koshikihiri Rice and Yumegokochi Rice. One of the best Japanese rice brands, this variety of short-grain Japonica rice has excellent texture and flavor. The rice is quite sticky when cooked, and so is excellent rice to eat with chopsticks. It also pairs well with your favorite food. 

This sticky rice is ideal for cooking onigiri and sushi, as well as other Japanese home cooked dishes.

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where to buy japanese rice

Key Features:

  • Yet another famous rice brand
  • Blend of Koshihikiri Rice and Yumegokochi Rice
  • Has excellent texture and flavor
  • Sticky in texture when cooked
  • Great to pair with your favorite food and to eat with chopsticks
  • Ideal rice to make onigiris and sushis

Related: What’s better than some ice cream after your meal. Try out these Japanese ice cream brands!

Kijima Tsuyahime Yamagata White Japanese Rice Brand

Tsuyahime Rice is gaining a lot of popularity in Japan and has surpassed Koshihikari Rice. The sticky, shiny, and sweet grains of Tsuyahime rice are much bigger than most Japanese rice. One of the best Japanese rice brands, it also has a delicious and delectable taste, even when the rice is cold. 

It is quite easy to cook Tsuiyahime rice, which is also why it is preferred over other brands so much. 

koshihikari rice brands

Key Features:

  • Has gained almost as much popularity as Koshihikari Rice
  • Has sweet, sticky and shiny grains that are much bigger than most other Japanese rice
  • Has a delicious after taste, even after the rice is cold
  • Quite easy to cook

Related: Soy sauce is an important ingredient in Japanese cuisine. Check out these Japanese soy sauces here!

Hitomebore Japanese Rice Brand

Hitomebore rice is one of the lesser-known varieties of Japanese rice but nevertheless, one of the best Japanese rice brands out there. It has a soft and glossy texture when cooked. Although it is slightly sticky, the rice is nevertheless quite smooth. It also has a slightly sweet flavor that remains the same even when you reheat it. 

It is a great rice variety to make sushi as it retains its shape well. Thanks to its resilience, it can be used to prepare a wide array of delicious cuisines. You can pair it with stir-fry dishes as well as with gravy and soups. 


Key Features:

  • One of the lesser-known varieties of Japanese rice
  • Has a soft and glossy texture
  • Slightly sticky, yet smooth in texture
  • Has a slightly sweet flavor, which is delicious
  • Perfect for making sushi as it retains its shape well
  • Can be used to prepare a wide variety of dishes
  • Can be paired with everything, from stir-fry to gravy and soups

Related: Sit back and enjoy a glass of plum wine after a tiring day. Check out the best Japanese plum wine here!

Akitakomachi Japanese Rice Brand

Akitakomachi rice, one of the best Japanese rice brands, is a rich-tasting, premium white rice that is probably one of the best. It has a delicious taste and superior quality. The springy texture, gentle sweetness, and an intense flavor make this rice quite popular amongst the masses.

It becomes sticky when freshly cooked; the composition of the rice is also quite chewy. It retains its shape and size well, and so is ideal for making sushi and onigiri rice balls. 

japanese rice types

Key Features:

  • Rich-tasting premium white rice
  • Has a delicious taste and superior quality
  • Has springy texture, gentle sweetness, and an intense flavor
  • Quite popular amongst the masses
  • Becomes sticky when freshly cooked and remains delicious even when it is cold
  • Chewy texture
  • Retains its shape and size well and so is ideal for making sushi and onigiri rice balls

Related: Your Japanese dish is incomplete without these Japanese spices and herbs. Check it out! 

Sasanishiki Japanese Rice Brand

The short-grain rice that gets shiny and fluffy when cooked. It is not as sticky as the others and has a smooth texture that goes down the throat smoothly.

The refreshing feel, when paired with a delicious flavor, makes this rice one of the best Japanese rice brands! You can pair this with any food, whether gravy or soup. It is also ideal rice for making sushi.


Key Features:

  • Shiny and fluffy short-grain rice
  • Not as sticky as the others
  • Smooth texture allows for easy and smooth swallowing.
  • Has a refreshing feel and delicious taste
  • Can be paired with any food

Related: Here’s a yummy snacking option for you! Super addictive Japanese potato chips. Order it now!

Nozomi Super Premium Short Grain Japanese Rice Brand

The short grain super premium rice by Nozomi is developed using Japan’s highest quality Koshihikari rice. One of the best Japanese rice brands, it has an excellent flavor and a very delicate texture. This rice gives you a very palatable taste that works well with anything you pair it with. However, since it is quite sticky, it is ideal for making wonderful sushis. 

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Best Japanese rice brands

Key Features:

  • Super-premium short grain rice
  • Made using Japan’s highest quality Koshihikari rice
  • Has an excellent flavor and a delicate texture
  • Gives a palatable taste that works well with other dishes
  • Ideal for making sushi

Related: Not in the mood to cook? Order take out! Here’s full review on different food delivery services in Tokyo!

Ubara Extra Premium Japanese White Rice Brand

Ubara is extra premium rice that has a delicious taste that is brought to you from Ibaraki prefecture. Ubara has a larger grain size than several other rice brands. The texture of the rice is soft and chewy.

The rice is cultivated in an environmentally friendly method in rich soil and clean water. The rice has a delicious sweetness and a chewy texture. The delicate taste remains even when the rice becomes cold. It is ideal for making sushis, onigiri balls, rice balls, and several other Asian dishes.

uruchimai 1

Key Features:

  • Extra premium rice with a delicious taste
  • Larger grains that have a soft and chewy texture
  • Cultivated in an environmentally friendly method in rich soil and clean water
  • Delicious sweetness that remains even after the rice becomes cold
  • Ideal for making sushis, onigiri balls, rice balls, and other Asian dishes

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Types of Japanese Rice

Japanese rice, known as “Kome” in Japanese, is a staple food in Japan and plays a significant role in Japanese cuisine. There are several main types of Japanese rice, distinguished by their grain characteristics, taste, and preferred uses. Here are some of the main types:

  • Uruchimai (polished rice)

This is the most common type of Japanese rice and is often simply referred to as “rice” in Japan. It has the outer husk, bran, and germ removed, leaving behind the starchy white endosperm. Uruchimai is sticky when cooked, making it ideal for sushi, onigiri (rice balls), and other traditional Japanese dishes.

  • Genmai (brown rice)

Unlike uruchimai, genmai is unpolished rice that retains its bran and germ layers. It has a chewier texture and a nuttier flavor compared to polished rice. Genmai is considered healthier than polished rice due to its higher fiber content and nutrient retention.

  • Haigamai (partially polished rice)

Haigamai is a type of rice that falls between uruchimai and genmai. It is partially polished, which means it retains some of the bran but has a more polished appearance than genmai. Haigamai offers a balance between the stickiness of uruchimai and the health benefits of genmai.

  • Mochigome (glutinous rice)

Mochigome is a short-grain rice with a higher starch content, giving it a sticky and chewy texture when cooked. It is primarily used to make mochi, a traditional Japanese rice cake, and other sticky rice-based desserts.

  • Japonica rice varieties

Within the category of uruchimai, there are different varieties of japonica rice that are cultivated in Japan. Some popular examples include Koshihikari, Sasanishiki, Akitakomachi, Hitomebore, and Yamada Nishiki. These varieties vary in taste, texture, and preferred uses, and they are often associated with specific regions in Japan known for rice cultivation.

Best Japanese Rice Brands: FAQs

What about arsenic found in Japanese rice?

Arsenic is found in soil where rice is grown. If you’re worried about arsenic content in your rice then 

  • You can choose white rice instead of brown rice. In white rice, the rice bran is stripped away. Rice bran is what holds the arsenic compound. Since rice bran is stripped away in white rice the levels of arsenic content is much lower in white rice. 
  • Choose high quality and popular Japanese rice brands. Reputable Japanese rice brands test the rice before they sell it in the market and some of them even publish the results on their website
  • Make sure that you clean the rice properly before cooking. Soak the rice for a while and then rinse it properly.

Why is Japanese rice the best?

Japanese rice is often considered the best due to its superior taste, texture, and quality. It has a delightful flavor with a subtle umami taste, a tender and slightly sticky texture when cooked, and visually appealing grains. Japanese rice varieties like Koshihikari are carefully cultivated in regions with ideal climate and soil conditions. The meticulous cultivation methods, attention to detail, and the cultural significance of rice in Japan contribute to its high quality. However, “best” is subjective, and rice preferences may vary based on personal taste and cultural background.

What rice do Japanese eat daily?

The rice that Japanese people commonly eat on a daily basis is called “Uruchimai,” which refers to polished white rice. Uruchimai is the most common and widely consumed type of rice in Japan. It is sticky when cooked and has a mild, neutral flavor that complements a wide range of dishes. Japanese households typically have a rice cooker to prepare Uruchimai rice effortlessly.

Rice plays a central role in Japanese cuisine and is often served alongside various dishes such as fish, meat, vegetables, and soups. It is a staple food that provides energy and nutrition, forming the foundation of many meals in Japanese culture.

What is the Nutritional Value of Japanese Rice?

Rice is a great source of energy through carbs. It is naturally free of sugar, cholesterol, gluten, and sodium. Brown rice is rich in fibre and higher in minerals, vitamins when compared to white rice. However, manufacturers do add nutrients to white rice to make up for all that is lost during the processing. 

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So you can choose the type of rice that best suits your body or the dish you want to make. If you prefer a higher fibrous diet then opt for brown rice otherwise white rice is a good option for you!

Which type of Japanese rice is good for diabetes?

Japanese rice like GABA rice, Japanese brown rice, and Haiga rice is recommended for those with diabetes. These are whole grain rice types with low glycaemic index which means that the rice releases its energy slowly. This ensures that your blood sugar levels stay stable which is extremely important for those with diabetes. 

How to Store Japanese rice?

Make sure to store rice in an air sealed tight container away from high heat, humid and direct sunlight. In humid areas like Japan, wheat weevils are very common. And if you don’t seal your rice container properly, these black insects can get into your rice and can contaminate your bag of rice.

Is Japanese Rice same as Sticky Rice?

In most western countries, Japanese rice is often referred to as sticky rice due to its sticky texture. However, there is a difference between Japanese rice and sticky rice. When we say sticky rice, we are referring to glutinous rice or sticky rice. So while Japanese rice has a sticky texture, it should not be confused with sticky rice.

What makes Japanese rice sticky?

Japanese rice has high moisture and starch content which makes it sticky and clingy. Starch is made of amylopectin and amylose and when amylopectin content is high and amylose is low – it results in sticky rice. And this is the variety of rice grown in Japan. To make good sushi, this distinct stickiness of the Japanese rice is vital.

Is there a difference between Japanese Rice and Korean Rice?

Japanese rice and Korean rice are almost the same. They are both short grain cultivars of Japonica rice and have the same sticky texture when cooked. The only difference between the two comes from the method and the place of cultivation. The difference between Japanese rice and Korean rice also arises from how the rice is prepared. You can easily substitute one for the other.

Where can I buy Japanese rice?

Most of the major stores like Walmart, Whole Foods, Target, and local grocery stores sell some common brands of Japanese rice in their Asian aisle. You can also visit Japanese or Asian food stores to get Japanese rice. Alternatively, if these are not the options for you, you can easily get Japanese rice from Amazon or other online grocery stores selling Asian food.

Which Japanese rice brand to buy? 

Here are some of our favorite brands that you may want to try – 

  • Koshihikari Rice
  • Tamanishiki Super Premium Short Grain Rice
  • Kijima Tsuyahime Yamagata White Rice
  • Hitomebore Rice
  • Akitakomachi Rice
  • Sasanishiki Rice

Is Japanese rice and Sushi rice the same?

There is a difference between Japanese rice and Sushi rice. Sushi rice is steamed Japanese rice flavored with vinegar-based seasonings. This variant is used only for making sushi. Japanese rice, on the other hand, is cooked plain for everyday meals, whether it is for Japanese curry or onigiri rice balls. 

Which is the best Japanese rice brand for sushi?

One of the highly regarded Japanese rice brands specifically for sushi is “Tamaki Gold.” Tamaki Gold is a premium short-grain rice that is known for its exceptional quality and suitability for sushi making. It is cultivated in California using traditional Japanese farming methods, resulting in grains that have a perfect balance of stickiness and firmness. Tamaki Gold rice absorbs flavors well, making it an excellent choice for sushi preparation. It has a delicate texture and a subtle sweetness that enhances the overall taste of sushi. Its consistent quality and popularity among sushi chefs have established Tamaki Gold as a preferred brand for sushi rice.

Also Read:

  1. Best Japanese rice crackers
  2. Best Japanese breath mints
  3. Best Japanese drip coffee
Koshihikari Rice
best Japanese Rice Brands 1

Make sushi, onigiri or any other Japanese rice based dish with the best Japanese rice brands. Check it out here!

Product SKU: 000987YGH654

Product Brand: Koshihikari

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: 13.48

Price Valid Until: 2023

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:

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