Rice used in sake brewing is different to what we eat.
The main differences between 2 kinds of rice are as below;

  • ・ Larger grain

 As grain is larger, when polished it is difficult to break up

  •  ・Bigger Shinpaku

 Inner core which is Shinpaku has starch and has a important role in koji and sake making.
 Outer core has protein or vitamin which will be a noise in sake brewing, but umami when eat.

  •  ・Easy to brew

 Characteristics such as absorb water more make it easy to make sake and koji


As you can see above, sake rice and eating rice is different and also it was designed to be different.
Upon ling history, not only breweries and their technique developed.
Farmers developed rice variety for sake brewing in their region.
Now, you can find some example of sake rice below to understand how each variety different.


Example of sake rice

  • ・Yamada Nishiki 山田錦

 The most suitable for sake brewing and so-called King of rice.
 80% is produced in Hyogo prefecture and A+(Highest rank) is only produced in Hyogo. Tends to be rich taste.

  • ・Gohyakumangoku 五百万石

 Produced in Hokuriku region such as Niigata, and has the largest planting area
 2nd famous rice after Yamada Nishiki, and tends to be refreshing taste and crispy finish

  • ・Omachi 雄町

 Found in 100years ago and only sake rice used in today’s brewing. It is a root of Yamada Nishiki and Gohyakumangoku.
 95% of total production is in Okayama prefecture. Tends to be roundy-shaped and rich taste.

  • ・Hattan Nishiki 八反錦

 It is a cross between Sake rice Hattan and eating rice Akituho, and grown in Hiroshima.
 Tends to be refreshing crispy finish.

  • ・Goriki 強力

 Recently revived sake rice in Tottori prefecture, and originate from Omachi
 It is required to have some knowledge and technique to brew, but sake with this rice is good for aging and have identical acidity.

  • ・Ginpu 吟風

 Improved variety for sake brewing in Hokkaido
 Tends to be full-bodied rich taste

  • ・Kame no O 亀の尾

 Grown in Shonai in Yamagata prefecture, originating from eating rice
 You can feel gentle acidity and clearness from clean water in Yamagata

  • ・Dewa Sansan 出羽燦々

 The sake rice only grown in Yamagata prefecture
 dry and refreshing taste.