Yamada Nishiki (Japanese: 山田錦) is a short grain Japanese rice, famous for its use in high quality sake. It is particularly desired by sake brewers for its ability to absorb water and dissolve easily.
Yamada Nishiki is the most commonly grown sake-rice (sakamai). In 1923 Yamada Nishiki was created by crossing Yamadaho and Tankanwataribune. In 1936, the rice was named Yamada Nishiki. This special rice is mainly grown in Hyogo-ken, its original area, but also Okayama-ken and Fukuoka-ken.
The rice can be classified into five groups, in which only the first three classes may be used for premium sake. The highest class is again divided in two and will cost about 30,000 Yen for sixty kilogram (as of 2008).
The highest class is, however, hard to get even for a top-class sake brewer, and depends on the relationship between the brewer and his rice grower.