Today I'm traveling to Kobe for work and most of the way from the train window iT's just rice paddies. Actually, the season for harvesting rice has started a few weeks ago in Isumi, but not everywhere yet in Japan. The beautiful yellow-green rice paddies that undulate in the wind are one by one being cut short. The smell is also changing. When this season starts it is also the end of summer, and this year it's pretty bad with a lot of rain. Really a lot! And it is also the season for new rice or shin-kome (新米). As new tea in spring, new rice is an important ingredient for Japanese. The taste of new rice is subtle and more refined than usual rice, but it is as much for its gustative properties than for its signification as a the mark of the beginning of autumn, which in Japan is usually long, warm and beautiful.
Almost every year I buy a bag of new rice that lasts pretty much a year in Ohara. I only buy organic rice or Eco rice (the yellow Eco mark on the right side of the bag on the picture). There are also many types of rice (kind of breeds) depending on regions, usually I like Koshihikari type (an habit I got from traveling to Tsunan where they mainly grow Koshihikari), but this time I picked a different type since it seems the Koshihikari has not been harvested yet. When still very new I use it mainly for plain white rice or little preparation, after a few months, I don't bother anymore.