Best Japanese Rice Brands 2020

by Erika Shinomoto

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. 

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. 

Types of Japanese Rice

There are two main types of Japanese rice – Uruchimai and Mochigome.

Uruchimai, also known as Japanese short-grain rice, is the one that is used in everyday Japanese dishes. With this rice, we can make sushi, rice balls, sake, and rice vinegar, along with others.

Mochigome, also known as Japanese sweet rice, is most commonly used to make mochi rice cakes or traditional wagashi sweets. This type of rice is much stickier, chewier, and glutinous than the regular Japanese short-grain rice. 

Top Japanese Rice Brands

Best Japanese Rice BrandsPriceLink
Koshihikari Rice$13.48View On Amazon
Tamanishiki Super Premium Short Grain Rice$36.50View On Amazon
Kijima Tsuyahime Yamagata White Rice$49.99View On Amazon
Hitomebore Rice$32.94View On Amazon
Akitakomachi Rice$55.00View On Amazon
Sasanishiki Rice$33.99View On Amazon
Nozomi Super Premium Short Grain Rice$30.22View On Amazon
Ubara Extra Premium Japanese White Rice$44.50View On Amazon

#1 — 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. 

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!

#2 — 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.

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

#3 — 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. 

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!

#4 — 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

#5 — 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. 

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! 

#6 — 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

#7 — 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. 

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

#8 — 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.

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

Is Japanese Rice and Sticky Rice the same thing?

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.

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. 

Also Read:

  1. Looking for healthy snacking options? Try these Japanese rice crackers! 
  2. Pop in breath mint after your meal to keep your mouth fresh. Here are some Japanese breath mints you’ll love!

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