Is “Nita Rice” tasty? Characteristics and Cooking Tips of Japanese Rice



Is “Nita rice” delicious?

What kind of rice is “Nita rice“? It has received an “Extra A” rating in the “Rice Taste Ranking”. Whether you are thinking of trying it or have always eaten it, check its characteristics!

This article is about

  • What are the characteristics of “Nita rice”?
  • Is “Nita rice” tasty?
  • What’s the best way to eat “Nita rice”?
  • What is the point of cooking “Nita rice”?
  • Why is it called “Nita rice”?

“Nita rice” is a local brand of Koshihikari rice

rice terrace

Nita rice” is Koshihikari grown only in Okuizumo Town, Nita County, Shimane Prefecture. In other words, “Nita Rice” is a local brand and the variety name is “Koshihikari.

It is also known as “Uonuma rice”, the most highly acclaimed rice in Japan,  in the East, and “Nita rice” in the West for its deliciousness.

Is “Nita Rice” delicious?

Nita rice” received the highest ranking of Extra A in the “Rice Taste Ranking” published by the Japan Grain Inspection Association.

*The “Rice Taste Ranking” is done every year, and the rating may change from year to year.

What is “Rice Taste Ranking”?

“Rice Taste Ranking” has been conducted annually since 1971. In the test, a blend of Koshihikari rice from multiple production areas was used as the reference rice and compared to the variety from the area under the test.

The rice is evaluated as follows: “A'” for rice that is generally equivalent, “extra A” for rice that is particularly better than the standard, “A” for rice that is good, “B” for rice that is slightly inferior, and “B The results are compiled and published as a taste ranking every year.

Japan Grain Inspection Association

In addition, it was awarded “the Gold Prize” in the “International Rice and Food Taste Analysis Competition” for the fifth consecutive year since 2010. As a result, the brand received the “Gold Premium Rice AAA” award and was commended as the highest honorary organization.

What is the “International Rice and Food Taste Analysis Competition”?

This is a “rice competition” that has been conducted by the Association of Rice Gastronomists since 2000 (Heisei 12).

The competition was started to focus on the taste of rice and to encourage the “revival of rural areas, agriculture, and rice cultivation,” which had been in decline.

Japan Association of Rice and Food Taste Appraisers

Why “Nita Rice” is so delicious


Nita County, where “Nita rice” is produced, is said to be “the best rice-producing area in western Japan.” The environmental conditions are similar to those of Uonuma in Niigata Prefecture.

It is a region of heavy snowfall and high altitude, which causes a large temperature difference between day and night. This temperature difference allows the starch in rice to be stored, resulting in sweet and tasty rice.

In addition, it is surrounded by forests and the rice is cultivated with mineral-rich melted snow water flowing from the forests.

Furthermore, most of the rice paddies in Nita County are traditional terraced rice paddies. Farmers spend a lot of time and effort cultivating this rice because it cannot be done entirely by machines like large rice paddies on the plains.

What does “Nita Rice” taste like?

Nita rice” is said to be so delicious that once you have tasted it, you will never forget it.

  • White and beautifully glossy after cooking
  • Strong flavor and stickiness
  • Rich sweetness
  • Firm and sticky texture

The best way to eat “Nita Rice”


The rice has a rich sweetness, so please enjoy the taste of the rice as it is freshly cooked. It is also delicious cold, so you can enhance the flavor of the rice by making a salted rice ball. It also matches with any side dish, Japanese, Western, or Chinese.

Another recommendation to eat with rice is “Okuizumo Sansho Jako Nori“, which is made in Okuizumo, a mythical village in Unnan City, Shimane Prefecture. It is a tsukudani (food simmered in a sweet and savory sauce) made of fresh aromatic sansho (Japanese pepper) cultivated in the rich natural climate of Okuizumo, nori (seaweed) with the rich aroma of the Seto Inland Sea, and jako (baby sardines) caught in the Sea of Japan.

Fewer chemical fertilizers and pesticides


In addition to rice production, Nita County is also active in raising “Shimane wagyu (Japanese beef)” and producing shiitake and maitake mushrooms. The “fully matured compost,” which is decomposed and fermented by microorganisms from cow manure and waste generated in these production processes, is used as a fertilizer for “Nita rice“.

This allows the rice to be grown with fewer chemical fertilizers and pesticides. This is called “recycling-oriented agriculture” and is a sustainable, human-and-environment-friendly agricultural method. The entire production area is involved in this farming method, and in 2003, the farm received the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries Award in the Environmentally Friendly Agriculture Promotion Contest.

The market price

The approximate price of “Nita rice” is as follows in Japan. Because “Nita rice” is grown in terraced rice paddies, not all the work can be done by machine as in large rice paddies on the plains. Farmers put a lot of time and effort into growing this rice.

  • 2 kg (4.4 lbs): 1,500 – 2,000 yen
  • 5 kg (11 lbs): 4,000 – 4,500 yen
  • 10 kg (22 lbs): 6,500 – 7,000 yen

Nita rice” is Koshihikari rice grown only in Okuizumo Town, Nita County, so production is not large. If you cannot find it in stores, amazon is an easy way.


  • Nita rice” is Koshihikari grew only in Okuizumo Town, Nita County
  • It has Strong flavor, stickiness, and beautiful gloss
  • Prices range from 2,500 – 3,500 yen for 5 kg (11 lbs) to 4,500 – 5,000 yen for 10 kg (22 lbs)

I hope you try the rice and like it!



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