Experience Heavenly Rice from Kyoto’s Finest: “Hachidaime-gihey”

Royal Makers vol.1 ​

 Everything the RIHGA Royal Hotels offer, from the ingredients used in the restaurant to the amenities provided in each room, is produced by committed “makers.” In this series, we introduce you to the deep thoughts that the “makers” put into their creations and how the “hotel,” “makers,” and “guests” are all interconnected.

The True Charm of Rice

 The RIHGA Place Kyoto Shijo Karasuma, which opened its doors last year, offers a Japanese-style buffet breakfast with a special emphasis on the quality of rice. Among the many delicious menu items, Onigiri rice balls made from freshly cooked rice are one of the most popular. Upon opening, the hotel decided that its key feature should be its breakfast buffet with high-quality rice, and “Hachidaime-gihey,” a Kyoto rice company, has offered to pick, mill, and blend rice specifically for the hotel to make this a reality. 

 “Hachidaime-gihey” is a company established in 2006 by President Hashimoto Gihey, the eighth-generation owner of the long-established rice shop. Hachidaime-gihey operates restaurants, which it considers a theme park where visitors can have the best rice experience, and a wholesale business catering to numerous Japanese restaurants and establishments. It also works on promoting the charm of rice and supervises the development of Hitachi’s rice cookers and 7-Eleven’s Onigiri rice balls.

Kataoka Hiroki, Senior Manager of the Sales Section, Commercial Wholesale Division, and a 5-Star Rice Meister, told us about the company’s passion and purpose. 

Good Things Take Time

Kataoka Hiroki, “Hachidaime Gihey Co., Ltd.” Senior Manager of the Sales Section, Commercial Wholesale Division

 “Hachidaime-gihey” wishes that more people would enjoy the quality rice that producers all over Japan have put their hearts and souls into in its most delicious state. We believe that eating truly delicious rice will change people’s attitudes towards rice, eventually putting a stop to the recent decrease in interest in rice in Japan. 

 When it comes to the quality of rice, people tend to look at the production area and types of rice, but what we consider most important is the blending techniques. By combining delicious rice from different regions and varieties, we strive to create “a rich flavor that makes people want to ask for seconds.” The essential part of this process is the collection of data. The characteristics of crops change from year to year, and the impact of global warming is getting more and more significant every year. Therefore, in order to master the art of rice blending using the latest crop data, Hashimoto Gihey the president of the company, conducts more than 2,000 taste tests per year.

 Milling is another critical process. In order to bring out the true flavor of rice, we use a low-temperature milling technique that does not affect the taste of rice. The temperature for milling is set at 30 °C or lower in winter and 34 °C or lower in summer, and the whiteness standard is set at +18 (±1), focusing on the slow and mindful milling of rice, not efficiency.

 The rice blend we’ve created for the RIHGA Place Kyoto Shijo Karasuma is characterized by its sweetness that fills your mouth, as well as its smooth texture with well-defined grains. We also occasionally provide lectures on how to rinse and cook rice so that you can enjoy the most delicious Onigiri whenever you want. 

Hachidaime Gihey Co., Ltd.

RIHGA Place Kyoto Shijo Karasuma Breakfast Buffet ~Start Your Day with Onigiri~

Eight different fillings are offered, including Hamo (pike conger) and Ume plum, salmon and salted rice malt, and more. Onigiris come in a rather small size, so some people try all the varieties.

 At the RIHGA Place Kyoto Shijo Karasuma’s “Onigiri Factory,” you can enjoy a Japanese breakfast featuring Onigiris made with a rice blend created by Hachidaime-gihey. They offer eight different combinations of fillings, such as Hamo (pike conger) and Ume plum, and Kujo green onion and dried young sardines.

 At the buffet, you can also enjoy fish, meat, and other side dishes that go well with rice, as well as Obanzai with seasonal vegetables and pickles from the long-established Japanese pickle shop “Nishiri.” White rice served with dried bonito flakes and porridge also use the Hachidaime-gihey blend. As rice is the central theme of the restaurant, Sake from the Tanzan Sake Brewery in Kameoka, Kyoto, and rice-flour bread are also available.


RIHGA Place Kyoto Shijo Karasuma

551-Sanno-cho, Takatsuji-agaru, Muromachi-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto

Phone: +81(0)75-342-1121

Breakfast Buffet

7:00~10:00 (Last call 9:30)

Adults ¥2,000

Elementary School Students ¥1,000 

Children aged 4 or older ¥500 

※ The breakfast buffet is only available to guests staying at the RIHGA Place Kyoto Shijo Karasuma.

※All pictures shown are for illustration purposes only.

Text by Kobayashi Akiko

※All prices include tax.
※Opening Hours may be subject to change without notice. Please check the Opening Hours before visiting.