HomeEnglishStriving to be the Best Rice-producing Area in Japan

Production Volumes

Hokkaido rice ranks among the best in Japan in both yield and area under cultivation.

Hokkaido boasts Japan’s largest output of many agricultural and livestock products, and competes for top place with Niigata every year.

High-ranking prefectures in area under paddy-rice cultivation
(glutinous and non-glutinous rice)

High-ranking prefectures in paddy-rice yield
(glutinous and non-glutinous rice)

Source: “Production of Paddy Field Rice and Upland Rice, 2018,” Statistics Department, Minister’s Secretariat, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries


More than one Hokkaido rice cultivar has been granted a “Special A” ranking, the highest con-ferred, in Japan’s annual rice taste test.

Yumepirika and Nanatsuboshi have been given a “Special A” ranking for nine years in a row—a recognition of producers’commitment to taste.

Taste ranking

*Source: Japan Grain Inspection Association This ranking is based on a standard rice that is a blend of Koshihikari rice from different producing areas.

*Rice cultivars are ranked on a scale of one to five in comparison with the standard rice: Special A (particularly excellent), A (excellent), A’(roughly equivalent), B (slightly inferior) and B’(inferior).

*In 2010, Yumepirika was tested as a reference cultivar (i.e., not an official entrant).


To further enhance the quality of rice, Hokkaido introduced a set of regional rice sorting criteria in 1997.

Per-grain protein content affects the taste and color of rice.
Grains are carefully selected to meet varied needs.

Sorting criteria

*The above shows the sorting criteria for Nanatsuboshi, Hoshi no Yume and Kitakurin.

*Kirara 397 is categorized as general rice when protein content is 8.8% or below.

*Unique criteria based on protein content are also used for Yumepirika, Fukkurinko and Oborozuki.

Hokkaido Rice Production Processes

Essential for the Japanese diet,
rice is grown with great care in Hokkaido.

March and April

Cultivation of seedlings
in greenhouses


Planting of seedlings
in paddies


Active tillering


Water adjustment


and pollination

September and October

and harvesting

From September/October

Dryness adjustment,
inspection and storage

From September/October

Milling and shipment

From September/October

Delivery to
dinner tables