We, Japanese, have our own Kome (rice) culture.
We used to express how much income earning by amount of rice called "koku" or "goku" before Meiji era. We did had coins, but we used rice for it. I do not know why?
I would like to say that our culture is very much built on rice. We can not talk our culture without rice. Isn't that interesting?
Anyway, when I was a kid, there was a "Doma" (an earth floor) cooking boiled rice with "Maki" (firewood). It was so nicely cooked and taste beautiful. We can not have that experience anymore, but if you cook the top range of Japanese rice such as "Koshihikari" by using an iron pot, then you may find a lot of difference from just cooking it. It will be even better if you wash in appropriate way and soak in water for half an hour before you cook.