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Best Rice Cookers To Buy In Japan

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If you live and work in Japan, you probably know that rice is a national delicacy.  To enjoy rice regularly, the Japanese rely on rice cookers which make rice cooking fun and easy to do.  

Since rice is a national staple, you might as well adapt to the rice-eating culture which is sure to be very rewarding not only because rice is so nutritious but also because it’s extremely malleable. 

Although rice is delicious, highly nutritious, and cheap in Japan, it’s also an important aspect of social life in Japan. If you ever have colleagues over from work, rice is a great option and the right rice cooker can enhance your experience tremendously. 

A rice cooker will bring a different level of ease to your cooking, helping you de-stress, and in so doing, enhance the tastiness of all your meals. 

Rice cookers are a great gifting option as Japanese manufacturers are famed for their production value and quality features all over the world. Also, because Japanese rice cookers come loaded with so many features, they always cost a little more. 

To help you choose, the section below has a list of (5) of the best Japanese Rice cookers on the Japanese market to help you narrow down your search to the best ones available in the country.

Best Rice Cookers To Buy In Japan: A Quick Look

Iris Ohyama rice cooker

Iris Ohyama rice cooker

Weight: 5kg
Material: Polypropylene, aluminium
Special features: Calorie monitor
Review sample: 1655 ratings
Review score: 4.1/5

Zojirushi IH Rice Cooker

Zojirushi IH Rice Cooker

Weight: 4.6kg
Special features: Temperature control
Cooked-rice capacity: 1L
Review sample: 318
Review score: 4.2/5

Panasonic rice cooker

Panasonic rice cooker

Weight: 4kg
Inner Surface: Bintochan Charcoal
Special feature: Heat retaining pot
Review sample: 260
Review score: 4.1/5

Tiger rice cooker

Tiger rice cooker

Weight: 3.9kg
Material: Steel
Special feature: Tacook double cook
Cooked-rice capacity: 1.8L
Battery: Lithium
Review sample: 673
Review score: 4.2/5

Mitsubishi rice cooker

Mitsubishi rice cooker

Weight: 4.1kg
Inner Surface: Charcoal
Special feature: Oven-cook feature
Review sample: 458
Review score:4.3/5

Best Rice Cookers To Buy In Japan: More Details

Iris Ohyama Rice Cooker, IH Type

Iris Ohyama Rice Cooker, IH Type

This Irish Ohyama Japanese rice cooker is one the best you can find in the market as it comes complete with features that automatically alter the cooking mode to fit the brand of rice you’re cooking. 

With this model, you get a lot of range as it can cook at least 31 types of rice; from white rice to no-wash rice, takikomi rice, rice gruel, and genmai. If it’s rice, then the Iris Ohyama cooker will do a job of it.

The Iris Ohyama has two different modes of cooking; boil and steam. The available modes are the distinctive cooking mode, eco mode, and fast cooking mode.

With power requirements of about AC100V( 50/60Hz) and a consumption rate of 1130W of power, you can get a fully cooked meal in less than an hour. Also, it comes complete with a rice scoop and measuring cup made from polypropylene that makes it heat resistant. 

The Iris is also a great option if you’re trying to be careful with your calorie consumption as it comes with features that help you keep track of how many calories each meal you cook contains.

At 5.5kg, it comes in a lightweight frame that makes it easy to move around. Even though it’s also a minor food processor packed with these features, it retails at about  ¥10,000 ($100) that is why it’s one the best to find in this country.

Zojirushi IH Rice Cooker

Zojirushi IH Rice Cooker

If you’re on the market for an excellent inside-out rice cooker, the Zojirushi IH is an excellent option as it steams the rice from inside making it soft and delicious. 

One of the keys to making a great rice meal is having complete control over how it feels to the tongue. The Zojirushi Japanese rice cooker comes with special controls that allow you to adjust your meal based on texture. 

The Zojirushi is also fitted with superior temperature control. 

Unlike other micro food processor cookers that tend to harden the rice after a few hours of boiling pressure, the Zojirushi Japanese rice cooker can keep the rice soft for up to 30 hours if that’s what you want.

Underneath this cooker is a temperature regulating sensor that retains the moisture of your meal, keeping soft and warm and always ready to serve. 

The cooker has two options to choose from; the Umstuya that takes away the dryness, smell and discoloration from the rice, and the High that keeps the rice temperature at the appropriate levels for consumption.

Got some baking skills? 

It is great for baking too. It has a baking/fermentation option that works for bread as well as fluffy cake baking.

The Zojirushi Japanese rice cooker offers superior temperature controls as well as seamless transitions between rice boiling and baking that’s hard to find  if you’re on the market for a rice cooking hybrid. Click the link and make your purchase while you still can!

Panasonic Rice Cooker

Panasonic Rice Cooker

If you want a rice cooker that looks good, boils better and cooks fast, the Panasonic is the one for you. 

While other options on this list offer inside-out rice-cooking and great range, the Panasonic offers a compelling combination of great aesthetics and fast cooking that’s hard to find anywhere else. 

One of the most scintillating aspects of owning this cooker is that it comes with a specially designed diamond-coated copper heat-retaining pot.

This feature ensures that the heat from its IH system is transferred evenly, encapsulating your meal with the right amount of heat all over and cooking it soft and quick if that’s what you prefer. 

Because the Panasonic is made to blend right into the spatial scheme of your home, the Panasonic cooker comes with a revolutionary body and no buttons. Instead, it has a soft touch glass panel that’s user-sensitive, and intuitive. 

If you’re on the market for a beautiful rice cooker that’s easy to use and durable, the Panasonic is exactly what you need to buy. 

Tiger rice cooker

Tiger rice cooker

If you’re looking for a rice cooker that does all things rice well and more, the Tiger is a fantastic expression of Japanese ingenuity that no one who needs a rice cooker should pass up. 

The incredible thing about the Tiger is that it offers the tacook feature that allows you to cook two dishes simultaneously for the price of one.

How this works is that steam is generated from the rice cooker and rises to a cooking plate (it comes in the package) which fits right atop, and absorbs the pressure into heat to cook your other dish at the same time.

For safety, the Tiger Japanese rice cooker prevents flavour-transfer from the cooking plate above so that nothing unwanted seeps into your rice unnoticed. 

With this feature, you will never have to worry about rising electric or gas costs as you’ll always be able to get things cooking in a way that saves time and energy all at once. 

The Tiger also comes with full clay-coating to prevent any unevenness in the distribution of heat across the boiling meal in a way that guarantees the same delicious fervour from the first scoop to the last.

Also, to ease the stress of cooking, once you push a button, the cooker prepares your rice soft and delicious as its automatic cooking system actively monitors the food until it’s prepared just how you like it.

The Tiger is the perfect cooker if you have guests over, and have little time to prepare as it helps you whip up a meal with minimum effort. 

Besides, if you need to attend to multiple things at a time, the Tiger Japanese rice cooker comes with two preset options that allow you to delay your cooking as you deal with other things.

Once it ships, you get a slow cooking feature that allows you to prepare your soups, and stews in it and a porridge option for your sumptuous risottos and porridge rice. If you want multiple functions and flexible rice-cooking design, the Tiger rice cooker is your muse. 

Mitsubishi Electric rice cooker

Mitsubishi Electric rice cooker

If you like raw power and want an electric rice cooker that will hit your rice like an oven, the Mitsubishi electric cooker is the one for you. 

The Mitsubishi is also great if you’ve never cooked rice before as it comes with an easy to use design and full description buttons that are easy to locate and intuitive to use. 

This way, as you get to grips with the intricacies of rice cooking, you always have a reliable, consistent presence that does everything for you just right. 

With the Mitsubishi, you get a pot inside the cooker which is finished with shaved charcoal and recreates that oven-cooked texture which is difficult to replicate, and even more complicated to explain in words. 

Its broad-brimmed inside pot shape enhances the continual boiling process that traps in the flavor. This means that all your meals can retain that natural scent that defines everything beautiful about your home. 

While the Mitsubishi is a specialty rice cooker in many ways, you still get Meigara Houjun Taki mode which is great for just about every single rice variant you’ll find in Japan.  

If you’re searching for an oven-cooked rice experience that’s hard to find anywhere, the Mitsubishi will serve it to you on a platter. 

FAQs when buying Rice Cookers in Japan

What size of rice cooker should I get?

This depends to a large extent on how many people you’ll be cooking for. If you’re single or a couple then you won’t be needing a huge cooker except you host. 

Also, new brands like Mitsubishi, Panasonic and Zojirushi can cook small portions of rice in their large cookers perfectly so if you can opt for these options as well as they offer a wide range of features that are well adapted to different meal sizes. 

In the end, the question of size really boils down to your questions around your budget and the features you prefer in a cooker.

What features should I look out for?

They’re a number of pertinent features you should lookout for when buying a cooker. One is a timer. It’s very crucial to get a cooker with a timer because it provides the flexibility you’ll need when you have multiple tasks to finish. 

Ease of use is also something to look out for when purchasing a cooker. A quick read through the manual and once or twice of usage should be enough to get your cooking going. 

Also, you should get one with a durable, non-stick bowl so the rice easily comes off and you can wash it out without any hassle. A beeper to alert you when the rice is done, and keep-warm features are other options you should consider when purchasing a rice cooker.

How much do I need to spend on a rice cooker?

While rice is usually the main consideration, most of the cookers on this list are multi-functional and flexible and so, while you’re making this investment, spending some money is entirely justified.

For the most part, a budget between ¥8,000 ($80) and ¥20,000 ($200) is sufficient to get you all the features you’ll ever need or want in a rice cooker. 


Rice cookers are an important aspect of Japanese culture. They’re also very useful in daily life. If you live and work in Japan, a rice cooker is a necessary utensil for your kitchen. 

Whatever your specific use case is, there’s definitely a cooker for you as there are a wide range of cookers that come with very well tailored features for your utmost convenience. 

While getting one of these will certainly make things easier in your kitchen, it’s also likely to galvanize your social life when friends and colleagues come visiting. 

Also, they come in all shapes and sizes and whatever your budget is, there’s certainly one for you. 

Whatever you do, make sure to read this blog and others like it for information as small differences in design and engineering can meaningfully impact your overall experience. 

5 Best Japanese Gas Stoves to Buy: If you’ve just moved to Japan from Europe or North America, you’ve probably spent most of your life using electric burners and so the Gas stove shaped space in your kitchen holder is a bit of marvel to you. 

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