"Washoku", a registered UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage and Japanese rice from Tochigi

Japanese rice at the center of attention

In December 2013, "Washoku, traditional dietary cultures of the Japanese" was registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, making Japanese food once again attract global attention. This also has led to an increased volume of rice exports. Targeting further expansion of rice exports, we put a lot of effort into promotions to overseas markets such as South East Asia and the US.

Secrets of the great taste of Tochigi rice

1. Fertile soil
2. Mineral-rich water resources
3. Long daylight hours
4. Frequent "thunderstorms" during summer

The ingredients of the great taste of Tochigi rice are "fertile soil", "mineral-rich water resources", "long daylight hours", and frequent "thunderstorms" during summer. Tochigi prefecture is one of the areas in Japan that has the "longest daylight hours", which makes rice sweet. Thunderstorms bring the temperature down at night, making rice store nutrition to withstand the weather. A large day-night temperature difference during summer, which is rice's growth period, adds more flavor to the rice.

Rice varieties harvested in Tochigi prefecture


Koshihikari (trade name: Tochihonoka)

Glossy and aromatic

Koshihikari was the most produced breed by 1966. It earned the "Special A" (the highest) rank in the rice taste test by the Japan Grain Inspection Association from 2013 to 2016, in 2018, and 2019.



Large grains and a good taste even when cold

Tochigino-Hoshi was ranked "Special A" (the highest) in the rice taste test by the Japan Grain Inspection Association in 2015 as well as from 2017 to 2019. It attracted a lot of attention in 2019 since it was chosen to be used at "Daijosai", an important ceremony accompanying imperial enthronement.



Natural rice sweetness and flavor

Nasuhikari is a Tochigi native brand developed in 2005. Since it is cold resistant, it is grown primarily in the northern part of the prefecture. It earned the "Special A" (the highest) rank in the rice taste test by the Japan Grain Inspection Association from 2010 to 2015, in 2018, and 2019.

Washoku and rice

Rice contains a lot of nutrients, such as starch, that works as the physical energy source. Rice and miso soup, pickles, and other dishes form the basic Washoku menu with a good nutritional balance.
Rice is an essential part of Washoku, which attracts global attention as a healthy diet.

Introducing Tochigi rice to the world

To promote the attractive features of Tochigi rice to people in many countries, we have carried out a wide variety of PR activities.
At PR events, we coupled the rice and various ingredients that would go well with it, such as Tochigi Wagyu, and served it to visitors. Visitors enjoyed it very much.

Tochigi Wagyu and sushi
Tochigi Wagyu and sushi rice go well together

Rice PR activity in the USA
Rice PR activity in the USA

Rice PR activity in Thailand
PR activity in Thailand

Rice PR activity in Singapore
PR activity in Singapore

Eat Tochigi !
- Rice -

There may be many people who think "I want to eat Tochigi's tasty rice!" but don't know how to cook it.
In this video, two foreigners living in Tochigi prefecture who love onigiri learn from a Washoku chef how to cook rice. Then, they fully enjoy the taste of onigiri made with "Tochigino-Hoshi", the rice variety perfect for making onigiri!

Producer's comment (Tochigino-Hoshi)

Summer in Tochigi prefecture is characterized by a temperature difference created by the hot daytime and a temperature drop at night after thunderstorms. This temperature difference gives rice the power to grow strong, resulting in production of tasty rice. Compared to other breeds, "Tochigino-Hoshi" has clearly larger grains, which become sweeter as they are chewed more. We, producers, are growing rice with constant care to ensure its safety. We hope you will try our Tochigi rice.

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