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You’ll really sound like a pro if you can pull this tongue twister out on a dime. The name translates to “5 million koku,” which is a reference to a bumper crop yield early in its development. For context, one “koku” of rice is 180 liters in volume. That’s a huge amount of rice!

Gohyakumangoku was developed in 1957 for Niigata prefecture’s cold climate and dry style. It grows quickly and is relatively sturdy in the cold. This rice was foundational to Niigata’s signature “tanrei karakuchi” style. It lends itself well to light, dry and crisp sake, though the large, very round “shimpaku” (starchy white core) can be difficult to polish without cracking. This is another rice grown nationwide, but the largest growing region is in southwestern Niigata.

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