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Sake Brands from Kyūshū Win Top Two Prizes in Paris Contest (News)

Paris, Oct. 8 (Jiji Press)—Sake brands from the Kyūshū southwestern Japan region finished first and second at a contest in Paris, according to the contest results announced Sunday. At the Kura Master contest, Shichida Junmai Ginjō Omachi 50 from Tenzan Sake Brewery Co. of Saga Prefecture was awarded the top prize, Prix du president. "Hananoka Ōka" from Hananoka Shuzō Co. of Kumamoto Prefectu…
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EU to Relax Import Restrictions on Japanese Food (News)

Brussels, Sept. 26 (Jiji Press)—The European Union plans to ease its import restrictions imposed on Japanese foodstuffs following the 2011 nuclear accident in Fukushima Prefecture, informed sources said Tuesday. The EU plans to exempt rice produced in Fukushima and some other items from a total of 10 prefectures from extra checks for radioactive contamination, the sources said. A final deci…
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Yamadanishiki Reigns Supreme Among Sake-Brewing Rice Varieties

Japan’s sake brewers use more than 100 varieties of rice, but their favorite by far is Yamadanishiki. Here is a look at their reasons.
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An Agricultural Wonder: Japan’s Vanishing Terraced Rice Fields (Photos)Kit Takenaga (Photographer)

Terraced rice fields, constructed and refined by farmers over centuries, were once a common sight on Japan’s hillsides. Today, though, they are disappearing from the landscape. These photographs document the natural, agricultural, and cultural heritage of the tanada.
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What Japan’s Farmers Really Need Is FreedomAsakawa Yoshihiro

While welcoming Prime Minister Abe’s decision for Japan to participate in the TPP free trade talks, agricultural journalist Asakawa Yoshihiro takes issue with the Abe administration’s farming policy, calling for bold moves to free Japan’s farmers and food producers.
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Why Rice Is Vanishing from Japanese TablesIwamura Nobuko

Japanese families are spending more on bread than rice for the first time ever, according to recent government findings. Iwamura Nobuko draws on the survey her own team has administered for the past 15 years to explain the historical and cultural factors underlying this shift.
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The Road to Japan’s Top Rice

A number of new varieties of rice are posing a formidable challenge to the established, high-grade Koshihikari brand. Prominent among them are the newcomers from Hokkaidō. How was a region unsuited to rice cultivation able to develop what may become the finest rice in the land?
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The Local Flavors of Popular Railway Box Meals

Ekiben are box meals made with ingredients and packages particular to a certain train station, railway line, or region. Thousands of varieties are sold across Japan. Eating ekiben is part of the fun of railway travel. Here we look at the five most popular ekiben in Japan.
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