The 6th Umaissho Grand Prix 2022 (Hokuryu Town, Hokkaido): Winner of the rice category - Hokuryu Town, Soba category - Amaryu Town, Sake category - Amaryu Town & Hokuryu Town

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

On Monday, December 19, from 4:00 p.m., the "6th Umaissho Grand Prix" was held at the Hokuryu-cho Community Center (Main Hall), sponsored by the three town councils (Amaryu Town, Numata Town, and Hokuryu Town) to promote the improvement of farming operations.

The winners of the "6th Umaissho Grand Prix" were Hokuryu Town in the rice category, Uryu Town in the soba category, and Uryu Town and Hokuryu Town in the sake category.

The 6th Umaisho Grand Prix

About 40 people, including mayors and officials of the three towns, officials of the Kitasorachi Agricultural Cooperative Association, and members of the Kitasorachi Branch of the Sorachi Agricultural Development and Extension Center, participated in this event and thoroughly enjoyed the tastes of each product.

第6回うまいっしょグランプリ 2022(北海道北竜町)
The 6th Umaisho Grand Prix 2022 (Hokuryu Town, Hokkaido)
Ladies and Gentlemen

Rice category judging (new rice)

  • Amaryu Town:Uryu rice "Yumepirika
  • Numata Town:Yumepirika" snow rice
  • Hokuryu Town:Himawari Rice "Yumepirika

      Soba category judging

      • Comparison of buckwheat (variety "Kitawase") from the three towns


      Sake Category Judging

      • Junmai Ginjo Uryu" (Junmai Ginjo Sake) made with 100% Ginpu sake rice produced in Uryu Town (manufactured by Kinjitake Shuzo Co., Ltd.)
      • Snow Nagori Zuika", a pure rice sake aged in a snow chamber, using 100% "Comet" sake rice produced in Numata Town (manufactured by Takasago Shuzo Co., Ltd.)
      • Junmai Ginjo-shu "Hokuryu Comet" made with 100% Hokuryu-machi sake rice "Comet" (Kinpitsu Shuzo Co., Ltd.)

      Opening remarks: Mr. Yutaka Sano, Chairman of the Three Towns Agricultural Improvement Promotion Council and Mayor of Hokuryu Town

      北竜町長 佐野豊氏
      Mr. Yutaka Sano, Mayor of Hokuryu Town

      I would like to say a few words on the occasion of the "6th Umaissho Grand Prix" hosted by the Council for the Promotion of Improved Farming in the three towns of Amaryu, Numata, and Hokuryu.

      This year we have had really good weather since the beginning of July. The crop index for rice is "106". Most of the Yumepirika rice is low in protein, and we are happy to have a lot of delicious rice.

      As for the farmers' economy, we are in a very difficult situation due to the crisis in Ukraine, which has caused the price of fertilizers, fuels, and other production materials to rise sharply. The price of new rice has risen for the first time in three years, and I believe that the difficult situation will continue.

      Now, people tell me that the rice in Hokkaido has become really delicious. I believe that even in Hokkaido, the rice from this area of Northern Sorachi, Amaryu Town, Numata Town, and Hokuryu Town is the best.

      The other day, we received a shipment of new rice from the town of Rangetsu. When we sent them sunflower rice to thank them, they immediately called us and complimented us, saying, "The mayor lost, the rice from Hokuryu-cho is better than ours. I believe that the rice from this area has become the best tasting rice in the world.

      I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the many people involved in agriculture, including the Director of the Tagawa Branch Office, the guidance of the people at the Sorachi Extension Center, the JA Farming Section staff, and the people at the town's Industry Section, who are all present here today. I would like to express my gratitude to all of you. Thank you very much. I look forward to your continued guidance in the future.

      We will begin judging immediately after this, and I am really looking forward to seeing what the results will be this year.

      Hokuryu Town has never won a single Sunflower Rice competition, so we hope to win the Sunflower Rice competition. I would like to say a few words and make a speech at the convention. Please accept my best regards today." said Mayor Sano.

      Explanation of Judging Method

      The overall chairperson was Ms. Keiko Tsugiki, Manager of the Industry Division of the Hokuryu Town Hall.

      役場産業課・続木敬子 課長
      Keiko Tsugiki, Manager, Industry Division, Town Hall

      New rice, new buckwheat, and sake from three towns (Amaryu Town, Numata Town, and Hokuryu Town) will be judged in a sake eating contest.

      Screening Criteria

      • Rice :Aroma, gloss, sweetness, consistency, texture
      • Soba :Aroma, texture, and throat texture
      • Sake:Aroma, umami, richness, lingering taste

      Vote by circling the one you think is the best tasting, taking each condition as a whole.

      review form

      Judging: Rice Division

      Rice is served freshly cooked in the same rice cooker.

      Served freshly cooked
      Rice category
      Take your time to savor the flavors.

      Judging: Soba category

      The soba noodles were freshly made and boiled in the kitchen on the first floor of the community center by the staff of Soba Shokubu Hokuryu.

      Freshly battered and boiled soba
      Soba with color, luster, and aroma
      Taste carefully and carefully.

      Judging: Sake Category

      Taste slowly at room temperature.
      Careful examination of different tastes


      After the judging, each person went to the ballot box.

      Voting in the ballot box!

      tally (of votes)

      Hokuryu-cho won in the rice and sake categories!

      tally (of votes)
      Hokuryu Town won the rice category!

      commendation or awards ceremony

      Announcement of Judging Results

      • Winner.Rice category : Hokuryu Town
      • Winner, soba category: Uryu Town
      • Winner.Sake Section:Amaryu TownHokuryu Town


      優勝 お米部門:北竜町
      Winner, rice category: Hokuryu Town
      優勝 おそば部門:雨竜町
      Winner, soba category: Uryu Town

      Greetings from the winners of each division

      Rice Category Winner: Mr. Hirokuni Kitakiyo, Representative Director of Hokuryu District, Kitasorachi Agricultural Cooperative, Hokuryu Town

      きたそらち農業協同組合北竜地区代表理事 北清裕邦様
      Mr. Hirokuni Kitakiyo, Representative Director, Hokuryu District, Kitasorachi Agricultural Cooperative Association

      At the beginning, Mayor Sano mentioned that we have not won the first prize for rice, but this year we have won the first prize for rice with flying colors. This year's Yumepirika rice produced in Hokuryu Town has a low-protein content of over 80%, and 96% if 7.4 or lower is included. This means that we have obtained tasty rice that is actually low in protein.

      In addition, with amylose under 19%, we feel that the rice will be delicious no matter where we serve it. I think we have had great weather for our crops this year all the way through to fall.

      Although the environment is difficult, it is one of the farmers' joys to produce delicious rice.

      I hope next year will be another good year, and I would like to greet everyone by thanking you all for helping us win first place. Thank you very much," said the Hokkien district representative.

      Soba category winner: Mr. Hisashi Nishino, Mayor of Amaryu Town, Uryu Town

      雨竜町長 西野尚志様
      Mr. Hisashi Nishino, Mayor of Uryu Town

      I was hoping to get one today, but I got two, so I am very happy. The only thing I won was sake. Last year we held this event in Uryu Town, and I really appreciate your support today," said Mayor Nishino.

      Comment: Mr. Yoichi Tagawa, Director, North Sorachi Branch, Sorachi Agricultural Extension Center

      空知農業改良普及センター北空知支所長 田川洋一様
      Mr. Yoichi Tagawa, Director, North Sorachi Branch, Sorachi Agricultural Extension Center

      The Soccer World Cup ended yesterday, but such a great Grand Prix was held today.

      Rice categoryHowever, this year we were able to obtain delicious rice with a very high low protein content.
      Yumepirika" is produced in three towns in such close proximity to each other, and the flavor characteristics of each town's rice were well expressed.

      • The No. 1-ranked rice from Hokuryu-cho is a very distinctive rice that is both sticky and soft. Sticky rice is relatively suitable for the elderly!
      • The rice from the town of Amaryu, which came in second, is crisp and has a nice texture, and is more for young men!
      • The third-ranked rice from Numata-cho is sweet and refreshing, with a taste that is suitable for women!

      All of these are delicious rice that are hard to rank.

      Soba categoryIn the case of the "K", you may have thought the color was different from what you saw, but I think there was a slight difference in color depending on the way the powder was ground.

      • The soba from the town of Uryu, which came in first place, was found to have a sweet and rich flavor!
      • The second place buckwheat noodles from Numata Town were hard in texture and dark in color, and we found them to be a perfect match with the dipping sauce!
      • The third-place buckwheat from Hokuryu Town was found to be sweet, fragrant, and refreshing!

      Sake CategoryIn the "2 towns" category, there was a tie for first place with two towns in first place.
      Both Amaryu-cho and Hokuryu-cho are sake brewed by Kinjitake Sake Brewery. They were very tasty sake.

      • The first-ranked sake from the town of Amaryu had a tangy, pungent, rich flavor. We thought it was more of a sake that would be preferred by those who love to drink!
      • The Hokuryu-cho sake, also ranked No. 1, has a clean taste that develops later, and is suitable for women.
      • The third place sake from Numata-cho is a rich, rice-flavored sake that I thought would be better served cold than chilled!

      Each of the three towns had its own flavor.
      As for buckwheat, the demand for domestic buckwheat is increasing due to the fact that foreign buckwheat cannot be used. Hokkaido soba is attracting a great deal of attention, and I hope it will continue to grow.

      As for sake, tourists say, "Hokkaido's rice has become tastier, but so has its sake.

      I hope that the consumption of rice, buckwheat noodles, sake, etc. will continue to increase and lead to the development of the region. Thank you for your hard work today," commented the Tagawa Branch Office Director.

      Everyone listens to the reviewer's words.

      Closing Remarks

      Mr. Hirokuni Kitakiyo, Vice President of the Three Towns Agricultural Improvement Promotion Council and Representative Director of the Hokuryu District, Kitasorachi Agricultural Cooperative Association

      きたそらち農業協同組合北竜地区代表理事 北清裕邦様
      Mr. Hirokuni Kitakiyo, Representative Director, Hokuryu District, Kitasorachi Agricultural Cooperative Association

      I would like to thank everyone at the industrial division of the Hokuryu Town Hall for their hard work today, from the set-up to the final grading. Thanks to you, we had a very enjoyable time.

      What makes me most happy today is that, as I mentioned earlier, we won the first prize for rice, and I am very pleased that we finally won the first prize in the sixth year after five years.

      There is not much difference in the taste of rice from any town. The rice may be slightly softer or harder, but the taste is almost the same.

      The towns of Amaryu, Hokuryu, and Numata on the west bank of the Amaryu River have the same climate. I believe that it would be beneficial to the farmers in each town if they could exchange cultivation techniques and develop new cultivation methods. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

      At the end of the day, we are less than two weeks into the year. This year has been a year of being swept away by Corona. I sincerely hope that next year will be a good year, blessed with good weather, and that we will forget about Corona.

      I sincerely wish you all continued success in your endeavors, and I would like to conclude my speech. Thank you very much for your kind attention today," said Mr. Kitakiyo, District Representative Director.

      With thanks to the 3 Towns Umaisho Grand Prix!
      (Mayor, Hokuryu Town Hall, JA Kitasorachi Hokuryu Branch Office members)

      With endless love, gratitude and prayers for the "6th Umaissho Grand Prix" where you can take your time to taste the new rice, new buckwheat noodles and sake from the three towns and enjoy the unique delicacies of each town.

      With thanks to the 6th Umaisho Grand Prix!

      all-time record holder


      • 1st (2017) rice category: Numata Town,Soba category : Hokuryu Town
      • 2nd (2018) Rice category: Amaryu Town, Buckwheat category: Amaryu Town
      • 3rd (2019) Rice category: the town of Amaryu,Soba category : Hokuryu Town, ,Sake category: Hokuryu Town
      • 4th (2020) Rice category: Uryu Town, Soba category: Uryu Town, Sake category: Uryu Town
      • 5th (2021) rice category: Numata Town,Soba category : Hokuryu Town, ,Sake category: Hokuryu Town
      • 6th (2022)Rice Division: Hokuryu TownSoba category: Amaryu Town,Sake CategoryUryu TownHokuryu Town

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      ◇ Photography and Editing: Noboru Terauchi Reporting and Writing: Ikuko Terauchi