Showing posts sorted by relevance for query koshihikari. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query koshihikari. Sort by date Show all posts


Rice, kome, types of rice


Types of Japanese rice / Reissorten

Rice plant (ine 稲, sanae 早苗 )
Rice grains are called "kome, mai 米"

Oryza sativa var. japonica

cooked rice is gohan ご飯 or meshi 飯 (めし)

There are many local brands, some quite expensive.
burandomai ブランド米, ブランドマイ
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Many are short grain rice types.
There is also mochigome もちごめ もち米, sticky rice brands.
Some sources quote it as "pearl rice".

mochigome is not only used crushed for mochi rice-cakes, but also for "sekihan 赤飯" festival rice with red beans and "okowa お強" steamed mochigome with red adzuki beans.

. Rice cakes (mochi 餅) Reiskuchen .

CLICK for more tanadamai photos

tanadamai 棚田米 rice from terraced fields
rather tasyt, since the temperature differences from day and night are usually large in mountainous areas
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

aigamo mai
あいがも米 / アイガモ米 / 合鴨米
rice grown in fields with aigamo ducks
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
a popular organic farming methods for paddy rice. Various brands are on the market.

The ducks feed on the insects and leave their excrements as fertilizer.

a brand called hatsushimo ”ハツシモ”, first frost.
. . . CLICK here for "first frost" Photos !

合鴨米ミルキークイーン Aigamo mai Milky Queen
. . . CLICK here for "Milky Queen" Photos !


akagome, akamai 赤米(あかごめ、あかまい)
red rice, one of the kodai mai.
roter Reis

kodaimai 古代米 "rice of olden times"
Reis aus der guten alten Zeit

kodai no akamai 古代の赤米 "red rice of old"
Has been planted since the Asuka period, introduced from China.

shinzenmai 神饌米 red rice for the gods

There are three shrines in Japan where red rice is used for food offerings in ceremonies.
岡山県総社市の国司神社 Okayama, Kunishi Jinja
... in two locations 新庄国司神社・本庄国司神社

長崎県対馬市の多久頭魂神社 Nagasaki, Takuzudama Jinja
with more than 13 ceremonies per year. rice is grown in "temple fields 寺田".

鹿児島県種子島の宝満神社 Kagoshima, Tanegashima, Hooman Jinja
Rice is grown in 御畔 fields. More than 2000 years of tradition.

Akamai Sama - The red rice of Tsushima, Nagasaki
akamai shinji 赤米神事 ritual of the red rice

Tsushima is an island between Japan and Korea, and was an important trade stop-over for the sea trade since olden times. Rice from the mainland came via this island to Japan.

In the "fields of the Gods" at Takuzutama Shrine (たくずたまじんじゃ 多久虫玉神社) there are 15 farmer families who keep the tradition. They cultivate the rice for offerings. Each family is leading the ceremonies for one year. After the harvest they prepare a large tawara straw bag with seed rice of the first harvest, called the "tanemomidawara 種籾俵" and hang it high in the tokonoma space for prayers. They add some special seaweed, nezumi mo ねずみ藻, to the decoration to appease the god of the sea.
The deity in residence at the shrine is Takamimusubi no mikoto 高皇産霊尊 at a special shrine, Takamimusubi jinja 高御魂神社.

On the 10th day of the first month in the new year, they take the bale down, put a ceremonial garment around it and carry it to the shrine in a procession along every household. Torches lit the way and people kneel along the road to pray to the deity.

The sacred shrine fields of Takuzutama Shrin

The red risps of the rice ears. 赤米の赤穂
akage mai 赤毛米
source : hero1945


Shrine Izoo no Miya 伊雜宮 Izo no Miya

Ise no o-taue 伊勢の御田植 (いせのおたうえ)
planting rice at Ise

Rice for the Gods
. Ise Grand Shrine 伊勢神宮 Ise Jingu .


genmai 玄米 - げんまい brown rice

unpolished rice
It comes in many regional varieties.
brauner Reis, ungeschälter Reis

. . . CLICK here for Photos !


Akebono 曙 アケボノ Morgensonne im Frühling
. Akebono - spring morning light.


061 rice akitakomachi

Akita komachi, Akitakomachi あきたこまち
"The Beauty Komachi from Akita"

named after the beauty Ono no Komachi (ca. 825-900), born in Yuzawa Town, Ogachi City, in the southeast of the prefecture.
short grain
Iwate, Akita
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
. WKD : Ono no Komachi .


Asahi 朝日 morning light

domannaka どまんなか

fukuhikari "shining luck"


fukkurinko (hukkurinko) ふっくりんこ happy child
Glueckliches Kind
This is also a play with the sound of fukkura, for a fluffy soft cooked rice.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


Fukuoka, Kyushu

hananomai, hana no mai
Yamagata, Chiba

Fukushima, Tochigi, Chiba




hime no mochi ひめのもち / ヒメノモチ
"mochi for the princess"

Mochi fuer die Prinzessin
Developed as mochi-grains in the year 1962 at the Tohoku Rice Research Center 東北農業試験場.
It is resistant against many dieseases, like imochibyo いもち病 and yields a large harvest.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
. Rice cakes (mochi 餅) Reiskuchen .


hinohikari ”ひのひかり”light of the sun
Fukuoka, Saga, Kumamoto, Oita
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


hitomebore ひとめぼれ "Liebe auf den ersten Blick"
"falling in love with a person at first glance"
short grain, good in cold regions
Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima

Hitomebore is one of the most popular brands in Japan, grown in large areas ranked second in the year 1994. It is quite resistant to natural damages.
It tasts good when hot or cool.

. . . CLICK here for Photos !


hoshinoyume, hoshi no yume 星の夢  "dream of stars"


Kinuhikari, kinu hikari キヌヒカリ sparkling silk
Glitzernde Seide

This brand has been developed in 1988. The plant is a bit shorter than Koshihikari, but does not bend so easily. The taste is the same as Koshihikari.
Kinuhikari has short culm and high lodging resistance.

Ibaraki, Shiga, Fukuoka

A new rice cultivar 'YUMETSUKUSHI' ユメツクシ
developed by Fukuoka Agricultural Research Center in 1993 was selected from the cross between 'KINUHIKARI' and 'KOSHIHIKARI.


kirara きらら sparkling
strahlend. Kirara 397
This was the first brand that changed the image of rice from Hokkaido from being unpalatable to a really delicious treat.

Traditionally, producing rice in Hokkaido was difficult because of the island’s long, cold winters. However, in 1980 after many years in development, the delicious Kirara 397 variety which is resistant to the cold climate was born. Hokkaido eventually became Japan’s leading rice producing prefecture, topping rival Niigata. Its rice brands such as Nanatsuboshi and Hoshi No Yume won Hokkaido rice an A rank (second out of five) from the Japan Grain Inspection Association in 2004. And yet wholesale prices of Hokkaido rice remained low. That year the price of Japan’s leading rice brand, Niigata’s Koshihikari, was 19,138 yen per 60 kilogram while Akita prefecture’s Akitakomachiwent for 15,646 yen.
Yet Hokkaido’s Kirara 397 only managed 12,888 yen, a price that could not even recoup farmers’ production costs.
source :


koshihikari こしひかり コシヒカリ, 越光
"light from Koshi"

"NOT: the shimmering hip"
beams from Koshi, Strahlen von Koshi
short grain from Fukui
also from Uonumasan
Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Saitama, Chiba, Niigata, Ishikawa, Nagano, Gifu, Aichi, Mie, Shiga, Kyoto, Hyogo, Tottori, Shimane, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Tokushima, Kagawa, Koochi (Kochi), Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, Kagoshima

Koshihikari was first created in 1956, by combining 2 different strains of Nourin No.1 and Nourin No.22 at the Fukui Prefectural Agricultural Research Facility. It has become very popular now in Japan, in part due to its good appearance. It is one of the most highly-grown varieties of rice in the country, and its taste is said to differ per region. Some people think very highly of the Koshihikari harvested in Uonuma area of Niigata Prefecture and so traded at the most expensive price in all of Japan.
The character for koshi (越) is used to represent old Koshi Province, which stretched from present-day Fukui to Yamagata. Koshihikari can be translated as "the light of Koshi ".
Other rice varieties close to its strains, such as Akitakomachi, Hitomebore, and Hinohikari have been created afterwards by cross-breeding Koshihikari with other Japanese varieties of rice.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


Kumasan no Chikara ”くまさんのちから”熊産の力
Kumamoto, Kyushu

CLICK for more photos
mirukii kuiin ミルキークィーン "Milky queen"
a new brand developed from koshihikari.
with a low amylose content, so the rice is more sticky. The grains are almost transparent before cooking and quite beautiful.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


from Hyogo

Mangetsu mochi 満月餅 "full moon mochi"
It shows a rabbit in the moon pounding rice.

. Pounding rice in the moon .

Mie mochi 三重餅 Mochi-rice from Mie prefecture
"Mochi aus Mie"


Murasaki ムラサキ - Murasaki Mai ムラサキ米
lit. purple rice
violetter Reis
a kind of genmai, unhulled rice.

But this name also reminds us of Lady Murasaki Shikibu of the Heian Court.

. Murasaki Shikibu ... 紫式部 .


Koochi, Kochi


Niigata soosei

Notohikari, Noto hikari

Sagabiyori さがびより "Fine weather in Saga"
From Saga prefecture, Kyushu.
This variety has been developed by the Prefecture, because it is more resistent to the summer heat and changing weather patterns bring more heat to Saga.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


from Akita

sasanishiki ささにしき bamboo grass brocade
short grain
from Sendai, Miyagi
Created as a mixture of Hatsunishiki and Sasashigure at Furukawa Agricultural Experiment Station in Miyagi prefecture in Japan in 1963.
It keeps its taste even when cool. So it is suited for Sushi and Onigiri.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
Iwate, Yamagata, Akita



early ripe


Tsugaru otome 津軽乙女 girl from Tsugaru


Tsugaru Roman 津軽ろまん - つがるロマン
romantic Tsugaru

Romantisches Tsugaru.
Grown at the foot of Mount Iwaki.
It was derived from Koshihikar, and is seen as the "grandchild" of this brand.

From the Tsugaru peninsula of Aomori.

The illustration of the package features this famous
. Nebuta Festival ねぶた .

and with good rice, you make a good ricewine!

六花酒造 津軽 うめ カップ

With fresh water from the mountains of Shirakami Sanchi
and white rice from Aomori, Mutsu Homare むつほまれ
with plum patterns reminding of the Hirosaki Castle
and Mount Iwaki

and in a black bottle



yamahooshi, yamabooshi




Yume pirika ゆめぴりか beautiful dream
pirika is a word from the Ainu language, meaning beautiful.


Rice Tasting Event
Sapporo and Tokyo, in March and May each year



This rice field in the village of Inakadate, Aomori Prefecture, Japan, tells the story of an ancient battle between a warrior monk and a little hero-archer.
Over 1,000 villagers helped creating this amazing field.

This other field represents ‘The tale of the bamboo cutter’, also known as Princess Kaguya, which is a 10th century Japanese folktale, and considered the oldest extant Japanese narrative.

More is here
source :

Ganbaro がんばろ

. Japan after the BIG earthquake March 11, 2011 .


Kurz- und Langkornreis

Für den Handel unterscheidet man zwischen den beiden Extremen:
Langkornreis (auch Brühreis, Patna, es gibt sowohl trocken kochende indische und javanesische als auch klebrig kochende japanische Reissorten) und
Rundkornreis (auch Milchreis).
Langkornreis hat eine Länge von mehr als 6,0 mm. Das Verhältnis von Länge zu Dicke ist größer als 2 und kleiner als 3 bei Japonica, bzw. 3 und mehr bei Indica. Mittelkornreis ist 5,2–6,0 mm lang und das Verhältnis der Länge zur Breite beträgt weniger als 3. Rundkornreis ist 5,2 mm lang oder kürzer und das Verhältnis Länge zu Breite beträgt weniger als 2.

Die nach ihrer wirtschaftlichen Bedeutung wichtigsten Unterarten von Oryza sativa sind:
Oryza sativa ssp. indica, Langkornreis (Patna-Reis, Basmati-Reis)
Oryza sativa ssp. japonica, Langkornreis, auch Klebreis sowie Risotto-Reis
Oryza sativa ssp. javanica, Mittelkornreis
Oryza sativa var. glutinosa wird zum Beispiel in China oder Thailand angebaut.

Unterart japonica (Oryza sativa ssp. japonica)
Das Korn ist weicher als Langkornreis, wird im deutschsprachigen Raum vor allem für Milchreis gebraucht und ist auch unter dieser Bezeichnung im Handel. Die Körner sind kurz und dick, beinahe rund.

In Japan selbst wird dieser Reis normalerweise ohne Salz in Wasser gekocht und mit Gemüse, Fisch und Fleisch gegessen. Dabei handelt es sich nicht um eine Beilage, da der Reis als zentraler Bestandteil der Mahlzeit angesehen wird.

Auf Grund der großen Nord-Süd-Ausdehnung des Landes und somit sehr unterschiedlichen klimatischen Bedingungen werden viele verschiedene Reissorten angebaut. Die wohl bekanntesten sind Koshihikari und Sasanishiki. Der Reis wird sowohl poliert (hakumai: 白米 oder seimai: 精米) als auch unpoliert (genmai: 玄米) im Handel angeboten.

Neben dem „normalen“ Reis gibt es Reissorten, die für besondere Zwecke angebaut werden.

So ist Mochigome (餅米)
die japanische Bezeichnung für den trüben Klebreis, der normalerweise gestampft wird, so dass eine zähe, klebrige Masse entsteht, die sowohl für traditionelle Süßigkeiten benutzt werden kann als auch als Suppeneinlage oder geröstet als Mahlzeit.
Sakamai (酒米)
ist eine besonders großkörnige und stärkehaltige Reisart, die zur Herstellung von Sake, japanischem Reiswein, gebraucht wird.
Roter und schwarzer Naturreis sind in Japan unter dem Namen
Kodaimai (古代米) auf dem Markt, sie werden wegen ihres hohen Preises üblicherweise dem normalen Reis nur beigemischt.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

indikamai, indika-mai インデイカ米 / インデイカ種 Indica rice
good for risotto, pilaf and fried rice.

Worldwide use

ukiine, uki-ine 浮きイネ floating rice, deepwater rice
in Mali, a traditional rice growing method, where the cutting occurs with boats floating along the rice fields.
The stems grow up to five meters when the Niger river water starts to float the fields.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Things found on the way

History of Rice Cultivation
Rice has been cultivated in China since ancient times and was introduced to India before the time of the Greeks. Chinese records of rice cultivation go back 4,000 years. In classical Chinese the words for agriculture and for rice culture are synonymous, indicating that rice was already the staple crop at the time the language was taking form. In several Asian languages the words for rice and food are identical. Many ceremonies have arisen in connection with planting and harvesting rice, and the grain and the plant are traditional motifs in Oriental art. Thousands of rice strains are now known, both cultivated and escaped, and the original form is unknown.

Read more: rice: History of Rice Cultivation
source :


043 rice kodaimai genmai

kodaimai -
the smell of the gods
from ancient times

Gabi Greve, June 2009

Related words

***** WASHOKU : Dishes with Rice
"Gohan" ご飯 or "meshi" 飯 めし.

***** WASHOKU : General Information

Rice plant (ine) . A list of kigo.

New rice (shinmai) 


"Planting rice"
Ohno Bakufu (1888-1976)
source : facebook





Niigata Echigo


Niigata prefecture

Niigata Prefecture (新潟県, Niigata-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located on Honshū island on the coast of the Sea of Japan. The capital is the city of Niigata. The name Niigata literally means "New Lagoon".
Niigata prefecture was originally divided into Echigo Province and Sado Province until the Meiji Restoration. During the Sengoku period it was ruled by Uesugi Kenshin.

The major industry in Niigata is agriculture. Rice is the principal product, with Niigata ranking 2nd (after Hokkaidō) among the prefectures for total rice output. The area around Uonuma is especially known for its Koshihikari variety of rice, which is widely thought of as the highest quality rice in Japan.

Rice-related industries are also very important to the local economy. Niigata prefecture is known throughout Japan for its quality sake, senbei, mochi, and arare. In sake production, Niigata is third in the country after Gunma and Kyoto prefectures.

The prefecture is famous as the original home of the ornamental carp known as koi, and the best-quality koi are still considered to come from the farms of Niigata.

Niigata is known for the following regional specialities:

Uonuma koshihikari rice: considered the best quality rice in Japan.
Shoyu (soy-sauce) and Yofu (western-style) katsudon.
Shoyu sekihan.
Sasa-dango, sasadango (mochi balls filled with red bean paste, seasoned with mugwort and wrapped in bamboo leaves).
Po-po-yaki (steamed bread flavored with brown sugar).
"Tsubame-Sanjo ramen" (ramen made using thick udon-style noodles).
Kirazu (dishes using okara).
Kakinomoto (edible chrysanthemums).

Kanzuri (a special seasoning from Myōkō (Myookoo, Myoko) made by leaving chili pepper exposed on snow, then adding flour, salt and yuzu).
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Tenchijin (天地人)
is the 48th NHK Taiga drama for 2009! NHK大河ドラマ
The life of Naoe Kanetsugu 
直江兼続(なおえ かねつぐ 1560 - 1619)
Kanetsugu in Yamagata


Niigata Dishes 新潟郷土料理

abura-age 油あげ deepfried tofu pouches
Tochio aburage あぶらげ (aburaage is called "aburage" in Tochio 栃尾), where there is even an "aburage matsuri" festival あぶらげまつり.
They are made with 100 % Niigaga soybeans. With leek and ginger, they are a delicacy.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

anbo あんぼ balls from rice and vegetables
rice flour and finely chopped vegetables of the season, sansai and soy beans are kneaded with them. A food for the cold winter morning breakfast.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

ayu no ishiyaki 鮎の石焼 ayu fish fried on hot stones
You collect stones by the riverside and heat them up for 2 hours. Thes the innards of the fish and miso paste are fried on the stone. It is just a little bitter in taste.

boodara no nitsuke ぼうだらの煮付け simmered dried cod
boodara 棒鱈 "stick tara" is tara cut in three pieces and dried.
It is simmered with sugar and soy sauce for half a day to get the bones soft.
boodara is a kigo for spring.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
tara たら【鱈】codfish, haddock

botamochi ぼたもち rice cakes covered with sween bean paste
... see mochi

dengaku 田楽 food on skewers, with misopaste
Dengaku dance and food with amazing details
Usually firm tofu and eggplants on skewers, grilled with miso paste. Also satoimo potatoes, fish and other vegetables are grilled like this.

donbikoni, donbiko-ni, どんびこ煮 donbiko-ni cooked heart of salmon
speciality of Murakami area.
Cooked in sweet sauce. Precious food since there is only one heart in each fish caught.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

egoneri (igoneri) えごねり(イゴネリ)seaweed
The seaweed "egogusa エゴ草" from the wild sea of the Nihonkai is full of minerals.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
. The Azumi clan 安曇族  and ego /igo dishes .

Fucha ryori, fucha ryoori 普茶料理 Chinese monk quisine

gajini がじに cooked innards of salmon
from Murakami area. Cooked in a hodgepodge with vegetables and spicy sauce.

gibasani, gibasa-ni ぎばさ煮 boiled gibasa seaweed
also called akamoku あかもく or nagamo ナガモ "long seaweed"
It grows in shallow sea water and grows to seven meters long.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


CLICK for more photos hegisoba, hegi soba へぎそば buckwheat noodles
from Ochiya town 小千谷そば
Buckwheat flour is mixed with the seaweed funori 布海苔(ふのり), hitting the dough in a special way. (nori 糊 glue). The noodles are quite firm.
hegi 片木 is a thin wooden board hegi ita 剥板, that was used like a shingle for a roof.
They are served in small portions arranged like shingles, "swinging the hand once" 一手振り.
They are almost like zarusoba.

hime takenoko 姫たけのこ / 姫竹の子 small thin bamboo shoots
They are put in miso soup or boiled as a sidedish.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

ibushi daikon いぶし大根 smoked radish
small radishes are smoked for about one week. Then it is cut and pickled in rice bran miso
(iburi gakko is from Akita)


kachidokimeshi (かちどき飯)"rice to win the battle"
This was given to the warriours before sending them to battle, to encourage them, by their lord, Uesugi Kenshin 謙信公.
It includes kezurimono in auspicious five colors けずりもの, sengoku war sashimi 戦国さしみ, aburiyaki grilled meat 炙り焼き, nuka misoni boiled in miso 糠味噌煮, kurumi hitashi walnuts 胡桃浸し, kuromai black rice (brown rice) 黒米(玄米), atsumejiru soup 集め汁 koo no mono pickles 香の物, mizugashi mixed fruit 水菓子.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

kaguramiso, kagura nanban miso 神楽南蛮味噌
CLICK for more pepper photos kagurananban (kagura namban) is a kind of bell pepper. It has its name because it is full of bulbs like the mask for a kagura dance. In the village 新潟県中頚城郡中郷村 it is called buta koshoo, ぶたこしょう pepper for pigs.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

kanzuri かんずり chili paste
fermented chili paste with yuzu citron and salt, kept in the snow and matured for 3 years. Sauce for nabemono
from the high areas of Echigo
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

kensayaki, kensa-yaki けんさ焼き "rice grilled on a sword tip"
When Uesugi Kenshin fought his many wars around 1550, he had his soldiers put onigiri on the top of the sword and grill them slightly before eating. It was his way to show resprct to the rice-growing farmers of his province.
Now it is eaten for the New Year and harvest festivals.
A bit of miso paste can be put on the grilled rice.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

kiku no hana no sunomono 菊の花の酢の物
vinegared chrysanthemum flowers
Speciality of Niigata and other areas of Tohoku in Northern Japan. Eaten in autumn.

kinpira キンピラ simmered root vegetables
Kinpira (Japanese: 金平) is a Japanese cooking style that can be summarised as a technique of "sauté and simmer". It is commonly used to cook root vegetables such as carrot, burdock and lotus root, seaweeds such as arame and hijiki and other foods including tofu and namafu (生麸) (wheat gluten).
The dish features the use of soy sauce and mirin, as well as often slivered chili peppers.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

In Niigata, kinpira is put into rice flour dumplings, kinpira dango キンピラ団子, (considered a sweet or oyatsu for the three o'clock snack)
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

kinpira soba キンピラ蕎麦 where the kinpira is put into the dipping sauce and then eaten with the buckwheat noodles.

kiriai きりあい daikon pickled in miso
daikon radish boiled, cut very small and mixed with miso. Some yuzu citron, black sesame and sugar is added. It can be put on rice just like this.
shiso-iri kiriai しそ入りきりあい with perilla leaves
from Iwaya Onsen 岩室温泉
Iwa is a postal town at the "Northern Route" hokkoku kaidoo 北国街道.
another speciality of Iwaya is
suika misozuke すいか味噌漬 watermelon pickled in miso
Iwaya onsen manjuu 岩室温泉饅頭
Iwaya senbei 岩室せんべい
. . . CLICK here for Photos of the hot spring!

CLICK for more photos koshihikari コシヒカリthe most famous brand of rice
Rice, kome, types of rice

koshihikari matsuril コシヒカリまつり
rice festival
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


Kubiki no oshizushi くびきの押し寿司 station lunch
from Naoetsu Station 直江津駅 and JR越後湯沢駅
ekiben from Kubiki area 頸城地方(くびきちほう)
Three different flavors in three layers. With local koshihikari rice.
CLICK here for PHOTOS !

miruku yookan ミルクようかん milk desert
made from milk, sugar and kanten jelly. It comes in a container like yoghurt. Taken out it looks like a white piece of tofu. Cut into pieces, eaten with fruit.

藻塩 salt with seaweed
from Sado Island 佐渡
Salt of Japan

nasu no abura itame なすの油炒め fried eggplant
There are many different types of eggplants in Niigata. round eggplants 丸なす, long eggplants 長なす, eggplants "like brushes" 鉛筆なす、and 十全なす、水なす、漬けなす、巾着なす ...
Most of them are also prepared for tsukemono pickles.

nina 煮菜 "simmered leaves"
from leafy vegetables like Nozawana 野沢菜 and taina タイ菜
Simmered with beans and abura-age tofu pouches.
..... ni namasu 煮なます simmered daikon
grated daikon radish with crushed beand simmered with sugar and vinegar.

nodoguro のどぐろ / のど黒 "black neck" fish
expensive fatty white fish
CLICK here for PHOTOS !

noppejiru のっぺ汁 Vegetable broth with mixed ingredients
noppe stew, Noppe-Eintopf


okoshigata おこし型 colored sweet dumplings
Sado beanpaste cakes
filled with anko sweet bean paste. They are very colorful, pink, green and yellow. They come in various auspicious forms, flowers or animals, made to stand up on decoration shelves, for example the Doll festival, the Boy's festival or O-Bon for the ancestors.
Sado Island
. . . CLICK here for Photos 佐渡のおこし型 !

okowadango おこわだんご balls
with okowa rice outside and sween anko inside
from Washima village 和島村

sankaku chimaki 三角ちまき rice wrapped in triangular form
prepared by lokal farmewifes for the husband to take to the field work.
Now it is mostly eaten as a sweet snack with kinako soybean flower.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


sasadango 笹団子 (ささだんご) dumplings

sasazushi 笹寿司 Sushi served on sasa leaves
Sasa japonica. During the battles at Kawanakajima, there were no vessels to serve the food in. So the soldiers took these leaves, which are abundant, and placed their food on them.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Kawanakajima no tatakai 川中島の戦い
were fought in the Sengoku Period of Japan between Takeda Shingen of Kai Province and Uesugi Kenshin of Echigo Province in the plain of Kawanakajima, in the north of Shinano Province. The location is in the southern part of the present-day city of Nagano.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


Shagiri manjuu しゃぎり 饅頭 Murakami village

shake no sakebitashi 鮭の酒びたし salmon in rice wine
from the Murakami area 村上地方
Salmon pieces dried hard in the cold wind of the Sea of Japan were defrozen by putting them in a bit of hot rice wine and mirin.
salmon pickled in Japanese wine, marinated in Sake
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

shinsetsujiru miyuki jiru 深雪汁 "deep snow soup"
soup made of rabbit meat ウサギ肉. With pieces of radish, carrots, satoimo potatoes, shimeji mushrooms, konnyaku and burdock, it is full of nurishment on a cold winter day.

suketo no okijiru スケトウの沖汁 / スケトの沖汁
halibutt soup on the boat
prepared by fishermen on the boat. On the fishing trip to Sado island they caught sukettodara すけとうだら(介党鱈) and cut it into bite-size in a pot with miso soup or salt water.
Alaska pollack, Theragra chalcogramma
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


CLICK for more photos Takahashi ame 高橋あめ made with millet
from Echigo, the store Takahashiya makes them in the 14th generation
桜花くびきの里 hana saku biki no sato
“粟の古代飴”awa no kodai ame, millet sweets in the old style
They were the appointed sweet makers of the Lord. 御用菓子師
高橋孫左衛門商店 Takahashi Magozaemon Ameya 高橋あめや


tori no karaage (kara-age) 鳥のから揚げ deep fried chicken
They serve a half chicken with one wing and one leg, all covered in curry powder and then deep fried for about 10 minutes. It is quite a volumous portion.
CLICK here for PHOTOS !


tsuttoko つっとこ New Year Food
packed in straw and hung in the cool space between the kitchen and outside.
About 14 different ingredients from the local fields are packed in a straw bag for each member of the family. A mikan was a special treat, so was a boiled egg. Home-made konnyaku was also put in the package.
Toge Shuraku, Matsudai Area 峠集落(松代エリア)(Tooge Shuuraku)
They also use wild rabbit for the zoni New Year soup in Toge.
yama-usagi ozooni 山ウサギお雑煮


umazurahagi, umazura hagi ウマズラハギ "hagi with the face of a horse"
Thamnaconus modestus
Local people call it UMAZURA, horse face.
fish with a hard skin, which can be easily wrappef off. Eaten as Sashimi, with the liver in soysauce to dip.
CLICK here for PHOTOS !

Uonuma mochi 魚沼餅 mochi with rice from Uonuma town
Koganemochi 小金餅
This is the best rice in Japan to prepare mochi.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

wappa-han, wappameshi ワッパ飯
cooked rice and seafood are steamed in a bamboo basket

wappa-ni, wappani わっぱ煮 boiled in a wappa basket by placing hot stones into the broth of fish and vegetables
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

yukiguni maitake 雪国まいたけ
Sheep’s Head, Hen of the Woods
Grifola frondosa
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
This is a special brand from Niigata. It even has a corporation in America to sell these mushrooms.
Maitake mushrooms KIGO
vinegar from yukiguni maitake 雪国まいたけ絞り黒酢
maitake tempura まいたけ天ぷら
Reference : fresh Kosher maitake mushrooms

zenmai abura itame ぜんまい油炒め fern fried with oil
Osmunda japonica, Taubenfarn
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
see: sansai, mountain vegetables

zooni 雑煮 New Year Soup
prepared with salmon and chicken meat and plenty of local vegetables.
Mochi are also put into the soup. They say it is the best zooni of all Japan!

zuiki no sunomono ずいきの酢の物 cooked stem from yam
from the yam potato yatsugashira 八つ頭
Zuiki from Wakayama
芋茎(ずいき) Zuiki Taro and the 随喜 Zuiki Vegetable Festival

Worldwide use

Things found on the way


mugi aki ya ko o oi-nagara iwashiuri

ripened barley--
with a child on her back
the sardine vendor

Kobayashi Issa

In a prescript for this haiku, Issa writes,
"Feeling pity for a woman from Echigo on a business journey."
Echigo is one of the old provinces of Japan, today's Niigata Prefecture. Mugi is a generic term that refers to several grains: wheat, barley, oats, and rye. Shinji Ogawa explains that the phrase "barley's autumn" (mugi no aki) refers, in fact, to the summer season. The name derives from the fact that ripened barley "is comparable to the sight of a rice field in autumn." The grain is ready for harvest, but the baby bundled on his or her mother's back is just starting life.

Not mentioned in the haiku, but implied, are the field workers to whom the mother is selling her sardines for their lunch break. The haiku presents a scene teeming with life: the field of golden grain, the hungry harvesters, the mother, the child.
Tr. and Comment : David Lanoue


Makoto Ueda mentions in his book,
Dew on the Grass: The Life and Poetry of Kobayashi Issa,
that there is an earlier version of this poem in Issa's Eighth Diary:

iwashi mese mese to ya naku ko oinagara

"Sardines! Sardines!"
she calls, with a baby
crying on her back

Ueda points out, however, that this "poem is deficient as a hokku since it lacks a season word. The revised version [which Issa included in The Year of My Life] corrects that deficiency, creating a sense not only of the season but of the surrounding landscape."

Larry Bole, Translating Haiku Fourm

Related words

***** WASHOKU : Regional Japanese Dishes

. Folk Toys from Niigata .






JULY ... shichigatsu 七月



.............. July 12, 2010

Announces Japan-wide Sale of
Pizzas made from Domestic Rice Flour

Pizza Hut Inc., a major pizza delivery chain with branches all over Japan, has been selling pizzas made using domestic rice flour since May 2010. In support of the activities of "Food Action Nippon," which runs national campaigns to improve Japan's food self-sufficiency, and its Rice Flour Club, which promotes rice flour consumption, Pizza Hut has begun using rice flour in its pizza dough.

Pizza Hut has refined its dough recipe to maintain its unique texture and flavor over the past three years, as this was the company's highest priority regarding the introduction of rice flour. To ensure safety and reliability, as well as consistency in the quality and quantity of rice, the company opted to use Koshihikari brand rice from contracted farmers in Tainai City, Niigata Prefecture, and succeeded in creating good rice flour by milling the Koshihikari using two-step milling technology.

Pizza Hut became a partner in the "Food Action Nippon" promotion in September 2009, aiming to promote domestic agricultural production. It has also joined the Rice Flour Club as part of its sale of pizzas made from rice flour. Pizza Hut now aims to develop other rice flour products in order to act as a bridge between rice producers and consumers.
source :



.............. July 3, 2009

 "The Niigata Sake Book"
新潟県酒造組合 (編集)
Translated from Japanese, publisher: Japan Times
"Niigata Seishu Tatsujin Kentei Koshiki Tekisuto Bukku"
Japanese published in 2007


Tobacco Cafe / Cafe Tobacco 喫煙カフェ 新宿
Near Shinjuku station

Since most places in Tokyo are now non-smoking areas, this is an oasis for smokers.


.............. July 4, 2009

宮崎ビーフバーガー Biggest Burger at Miyazaki Seagaia

The world's biggest hamburger.
It weighs 136.2 kilograms -- bigger than the world record of 84.14 kilograms. Here is is at Sunbeach Hitsotsuba in Miyazaki on Saturday, July 4. The burger was made by 15 Phoenix Seagaia 宮崎シーガイア Resort chefs over eight hours, using 70 kilograms of beef and 30 kilograms of pork. It will be submitted for registration in the Guinness Book of Records if one sells over the next year. It sells for 150.000 Yen a piece.
source :


.............. July 3, 2009

an environmentally conscious home renovation company based in Saitama Prefecture, Japan, started procuring organic rice for its employees in March 2009. The objective of its Komé-Mamé Project (Komé-Mamé (kome mame) means rice and beans) is to increase employee interest in food and agriculture while supporting organic farmers within Saitama.
Shimosato farm in Ogawa, Yoshinori Kaneko
source :


.............. July 9, 2009

Ramen robot replaces fleshy chef at Yamanashi eatery

Yamanashi -- "Momozono Robot Ramen," a ramen shop that opened here in November last year, is gaining popularity not only for its delicious ramen noodles, but for its robotic chef.

The ramen-making robot was built by 60-year-old shop owner Yoshihira Uchida, who spent about 20 million yen on its construction. Customers can place their orders on a computer in the shop, customizing various aspects such as the levels of soy sauce, salt, and richness of the soup. Uchida says there are 40 million different flavor permutations.

The noodles themselves are cooked by a human, with the robot creating a perfectly blended soup which is then delivered to the human chef via a conveyor belt, who adds the noodles and toppings. The whole process takes only about two minutes, a minute shorter than instant cup noodles. Prices of ramen per bowl are 500 yen for regular size and 300 yen for small size.

Uchida developed a love of electronics during elementary and junior high school, which he went on to study at the Musashi Institute of Technology (now Tokyo City University) and the University of Toyama's graduate school, focusing on electronic circuits and motors. After graduating, Uchida worked on noodle-packing machines at a food manufacturer until he retired from the company last year.

While working for the company, Uchida, a huge noodle lover, opened a soba noodle shop 10 years ago. He later started to make ramen -- which received mixed comments from friends, with some saying the taste was strong, and others too weak. In the end, Uchida hit upon the idea of creating a robot that can allow customers to choose the flavor they want.

source : (Mainichi Japan) July 4, 2009

. . . CLICK here for Photos !


.............. July 13, 2009

Suntory Holdings Ltd and Kirin Holdings Co

Japan's top two beverage makers, Kirin and Suntory, are considering merging their operations, a Suntory spokesman said Monday.
A merger would help the companies overcome a saturated domestic market with an aging population and compete more strongly with large international brands.

source : Mainichi Shinbun, July 13


.............. July 18, 2009

Miele Guide
The Miele Guide is a regional guide book to restaurants in Asia.
It is published by Singapore-based Ate Media, and officially sponsored by the German home appliance maker Miele.
They will launch a charity month in Asia, with more than 50 hotels participating.
They promise to donate 15 percent of this to the United Nations World Food Program.


International Tokyo Toy Show 2009
Jul 17, 2009 - Jul 19, 2009
The International Tokyo Toy Show kicked off Thursday at Tokyo Big Sight.
Cooking toys are a great hit this year.

WASHOKU : Toys and Food


.............. July 24, 2009
Beer for 100 Yen !
Sapporo Beer, Ebisu Stout Creamy Top
エビス スタウト クリーミートップ
Yebisu Creamy Top Stout
CLICK for more photos


.............. July 29, 2009

Chewing gum FITs (フィッツ)ロッテ Fit's ミックス / ロッテ Fit's シトラス
in three flavors and easy out of the box
CLICK here for PHOTOS !


Related words

JANUARY ... ichigatsu 一月

FEBRUARY ... nigatsu 二月

MARCH ... sangatsu 三月

APRIL ... shigatsu 四月

MAY ... gogatsu 五月

JUNE ... rokugatsu 六月

JULY ... shichigatsu 七月

NOVEMBER ... juuichigatsu 十一月  

DECEMBER ... juunigatsu 十二月  




Danshi Gohan Men are Cooking



Men are cooking ! (danshi gohan)

Danshi Gohan 男子ごはん

More and more men are cooking in Japan.
Some elderly out of necessity, some young ones out of interest.
Some because it has become quite "fashionable".

The TV show "Taichi and Kentaro Danshi Gohan" is very popular, and has even become a book.
The book of men's cooking
"Boy's Food"

CLICK for more english information

with pop star Taichi Kokubun and the cooking teacher Kentaro.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


bentoo danshi 弁当男子 lunchbox men
men who prepare their own bento box lunches.

"Boxed-lunch men" try to cater for themselves !

CLICK for more photosSpecial bento boxes are now sold to cater to a male taste and BLOGs have come up with photos, recipes and advise for the male cooks. Supermarkets also sell ingredients for this kind of lunchbox.

Advise on how to arrange your ingredients
CLICK for more photos


Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Thoughts of rice and Japanese men
by Kaori Shoji

If you’re like me or the men in my life, you probably broke down and wept for joy on June 4, when Japanese midfielder Keisuke Honda scored the goal that bagged Japan’s slot in the FIFA World Cup next year. At such sports events, one or another of my brothers turn up at my place, hauling their boozy, hulking frames from the corner of some sports bar (Ueno, not Shibuya) and blubbering incoherently about how wonderful it is to be Japanese. “Tokorode (ところで, by the way) is there any kome (米, rice)?”

In our family, the shime (締め, finale) to any joyous occasion, from weddings to soccer victories — is the shiromeshi (白メシ, white rice). Not ramen or the recently popular udon, but a piping hot bowl of rice. My father grew up in a komedokoro (米所, rice growing) region, and he used to talked about ta-ue no kisetsu (田植えの季節, the season of rice planting), which is right about now, and how the boys in his neighborhood took off from school to help out in the paddies. He could tell the taste of different rice varieties — (Koshihikari from Uonuma in Niigata prefecture was his choice for No. 1), and got annoyed when my mother served non-rice dinners. “Kome wo tabenaito tabeta ki ga shinai” (「米を食べないと食べた気がしない」 “I don’t feel like I’ve eaten unless I’ve eaten rice”) was an oft-heard paternal complaint.

My brothers were the same way and consequently, my mother cooked up to issho (一升, 10 cups) of rice a day to keep the peace. The isshodaki (一升炊き) rice cooker dominated our tiny kitchen and I privately seethed with resentment that brownies and purin (プリン, puddings) never came forth from its quarters. The refrigerator was primarily stocked with gohan no otomo (ご飯のおとも, rice companions) such as tsukudani (佃煮, veggies or fish simmered in soy sauce, sake and sugar) and furikake (ふりかけ, dried fish and vegetable flakes). As a matter of course, the brothers all hung out by the isshōdaki clutching rice bowls and panting like wild dogs.

Keisuke Honda by the way, is reputed to be a dedicated rice-lover, along with most of his teammates. The story going around among soccer fans is that the Nihon Daihyou (日本代表, Japan national team) only really started performing well after getting a Japanese chef on board to feed them komeshoku (米食, rice meals) and cut down on eiyō dorinku (栄養ドリンク, energy drinks). It also seems to be the jōshiki (常識, common practice) in the Japanese sports world for athletes to marry young, so they could have someone at home to cook proper rice meals.

Interestingly (and tellingly), the word for rice (ご飯, gohan) is the same for as “gohan” — meaning meal. The holy trinity of a Japanese meal consists of rice, misoshiru (みそ汁, miso soup) and otsukemono (お漬け物, pickled vegetables). The combo was once held in contempt, mainly in the decade following WWII as shabby and under-nourishing. It is now however, being minaosareta (見直された, re-examined) as one of the most sustainable and healthy fares in the world.

On the other hand, Japanese women, tired of cooking rice for their men, are likely to turn to kashipan (菓子パン, processed bread products) for snacks and solo-meals. Nutrionists have warned that this is the fast-track to ill-health and declining looks. And get this: many Japanese men profess that the sight of a woman using her ohashi (お箸, chopsticks) properly and eating happily from a bowl of rice, is a huge turn-on. As rice is a metaphor for hōjō (豊穣, bountiful rice crops, or the state of fertility and prosperity), this seems to make sense.

You’ve probably caught on that rice goes above and beyond its function of mere food. Consider the traditional meshi mori onna (飯盛り女, rice-serving women) who worked in rural inns well into the 20th century. On the surface, their job was to ladle the rice and pour out the tea. If during this brief interlude the woman and the traveler guest were to hit it off, she would sneak into his room at night. It wasn’t outright prostitution but an exchange that involved rice along with cash and sex. The first factor neutralized the other factors, and made it less cold and business-like. Which leads me to a personal conviction that most Japanese relationships involve a bowl of rice somewhere.

My grandmother, who was on rice duty from the day she was old enough to stand at the kitchen sink to a week before her death, used to say “Otoko ni wa okome wo takusan tabesasenakereba ikenai” (「男にはお米をたくさん食べさせなければいけない」”Men must be fed a lot of rice)” — for any marriage to work. The younger women in the family scoffed at such gender inequality. But I will say this: my grandfather adored and worshipped her.
source : - June 2013

Related words

***** WASHOKU : General Information



Shimo Jinja vegetables


Frost Shrine (Shimo Jinja)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Topic
***** Category: Humanity


Shimo Jinja  霜神社  (しもじんじゃ) "Frost Shrine"
A village shrine with these deities
One of the oldest shrines in Japan.
Shimo no miya 霜の宮, more than 2500 years old.

Amatsukami nana hashira 天神七柱 "seven pillars of heaven"
This deity is also venerated in the shrine
Juniso Jinja in Kamakura
source : ecokama

Ama no nanaboshi (Shishisei) 天の七星 The Seven stars in the Sky
the big dipper is Hokutoo Shichisei 北斗七星, also identified with this deity.

Kihachi Ten 鬼八天 see below


CLICK here for PHOTOS !

The farmers pray here that no frost (shimo) will come to the fields in late summer. They also pray for an abundant harvest. They make a fire to keep the gods warm (hitaki gyooji 火たき神事 / 火焚神事). This is the only ceremony of this kind in Japan.
It is performed to keep the evil Kihachi Hooshi 鬼八法師の怨念 from making trouble.

霜延祈願 prayer for no frost
August 13 preparations begin, August 19 the fire is lit under a stone to keep the gods warm and kept burning for 60 days, to warm the seven deities, while prayers for an abundant harvest are spoken. This is done by special shrine maidens (hitaki otome 火焚き乙女), who stay at the shrine for all this time.
CLICK for original, yomiuri shinbun

On October 16 the fire is extinguished. The shrine maidens are finally allowed to go home.
On the evening of October 16, a kagura dance is perfomred.
On October 19, the big shrine festival is held.
On October 29, the prayer session for NO FROST is finally over
mangan no hi 満願の日.

This festival is an important intangible cultural property of Japan since Showa 57.
In former times, one girl of about 10 years had to keep the fire alive with her grandmother, but lately grown-ups keep turns, because the children have to go to school.

The rice for offerings comes from three fields of the paritioners (ujiko). The rice brand is "koshihikari".
霜宮火焚(ひたき)神事 Shimomiya hitaki gyooji


Aso Shrine (阿蘇神社 Aso-jinja)
Aso is one of the oldest and most prominent shrines in Japan

Aso Shrine at Mount Aso in Kyushu is traditionally held to have been a center of worship before the accession of the Emperor Jinmu. The shikinaisha shrine complex at Ichinomiya in what is today Kumamoto prefecture was said to have been established in 281. Ichinomiya literally means "the first shrine" -- of which means in other words that Aso was the first shrine in the province of Higo.

Records link the founding of the shrine to the reign of Emperor Keikō. By the middle of the 11th century, the shrine was involved in national issues as they played out across Kyushu. During the ascendancy of the Kamakura shogunate, the Hōjō clan exercised a significant influence over the affairs of Aso Shrine.

This Shinto shrine is dedicated to the veneration of Tateiwatatsu-no-Mikoto たけいわたつのみこと, who was a grandson of Japan's first emperor and the brother of Emperor Suizei, the second monarch on the traditional list of emperors. In the same period that Emperor Jimmu was establishing his palace at Kashihara at the foot of Mount Unebi in Yamato province,Tateiwatasu was sent to Aso where he helped establish a number of agricultural communities; and later, he is said to have built a palace at Miyagi.

The original location of the shrine is uncertain because it was destroyed and rebuilt many times in or near the crater of Aso-zan. The present buildings date only from the Tempo era (1830-1843).
 © wikipedia

〒869-2221 熊本県阿蘇郡阿蘇町役犬原1005 
旧肥後国 阿蘇郡


The Legend of Kihachi 鬼八 (きはち)

He fought with his lord, Takeiwatatsu no Mikoto, who liked to shoot arrows from the mountains at the farmers. He had Kihachi run after the arrows and bring them back to him, so he could continue his target shooting. Kihachi brings them back but gets tired after the 99th attempt. The lord is angry and wrestles with Kihachi, but Kihache releases a big fart and the lord let go of him. When the lord finally catches Kihachi, he cuts off his head, but whow and behold, the head comes right back on his neck. Also when his arm is cut off, it comes right back. So the lord cuts his arms and legs and has them burried at different places.

After cutting off his head for a second time, the head goes straight to heaven and curses the lord and the people, causing them frost in summer to damage their crops.
So the lord, in order to save the people from starving, begs Kihachi to forgive him and builds Shimomiya to worship him as the
"Frost God" Shimojin 霜神、Kihachi Ten 鬼八天).

CLICK for original LINK ...

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

. Hoshida Jinja 星田神社 Osaka .
and Ame no minaka nushi no kami 天之御中主大神


Frost Shrine -
the crops shiver
even in August

Nakayama Ishino 中山石野, 2005

Related words

***** WASHOKU : Kumamoto prefecture

***** . Aso Shrine Festivals 阿蘇神社