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24 Seasons of Rice: Delivering the Japanese Countryside to the World

  • Museum of Food and Drink 62 Bayard Street Brooklyn, NY 11222 (map)

There are over 300 varietals of rice grown across Japan. From snow-laced Hokkaido to tropically lush Okinawa, there are rice farms in every corner of the country. Just like other artisanal goods, the final product is a mash-up of terroir and story. So while there are over 300 varietals, there are an infinite number of outcomes. Each grain of rice with its distinctive qualities based on who, what, when, where and most importantly, why.

Momoko Nakamura, aka Rice Girl, roves the Japanese countryside, meeting with farmers who grow rice to the rhythm of nature, without the use of any pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers—truly a labor of love. She creates brown rice blends that speak to the traditional Japanese microseasonal calendar of 24 seasons in a year. Mid-summer the varietals are light and al dente. While mid-winter they are plump and rich.  

Join Momoko Nakamura, aka Rice Girl, for a lively presentation on the Japanese countryside, the spectrum of rice varietals, the microseasonal calendar, and how to cook brown rice perfectly every time. Presentation followed by a Q+A with MOLD editor LinYee Yuan and special Japanese rice tasting.

This program part of our Global Cultures, Global Cuisines series.



Momoko Nakamura, aka RICE GIRL, is the leading advocate for organic Japanese rice. She is often found roving the Japanese countryside, meeting with those who farm 100% fully organic rice. With training rooted in traditional Japanese eating practices and macrobiotics, RICE GIRL is an enthusiastic consumer of the food memories and kitchens of our Japanese grandmothers, and just simply wholly in love with rice. From the hundreds of varietals and farming regions, RICE GIRL hand-selects rice and creates seasonal blends to celebrate each micro-season. She also serves as a consultant to support people and businesses connecting with Japan.



LinYee Yuan is the founder and editor of MOLD (, a critically-acclaimed editorial platform about designing the future of food. Through original reporting, MOLD explores how designers can address the coming food crisis by creating products and systems that will help feed 9 billion people by the year 2050. In addition to the website and a self-published bi-annual print magazine, MOLD hosts events and exhibitions, works with next generation food brands, and commissions products from emerging designers.