The Tokyo Olympics not only put Japan in the international spotlight but also brought to attention an everyday food that is a staple of the Japanese people. It is none other than the humble Onigiri (rice ball)!
Olympic athletes, journalists and visitors took to social media to post their discovery of the amazing Japanese convenience store. Better known locally as the Konbini, this ubiquitous 24/7 store can be found at almost every corner of major cities. Its shelves are stocked with tantalising food offerings, unexpected of a convenience store, and foreign guests raved about it.
But the Onigiri stole the limelight. Bewildered Anastasia Bucsis, former Olympian speed skater and sports reporter for Canada's CBC Sports, posted a plea on Twitter asking how to unwrap an onigiri. 7-Eleven Japan responded swiftly with a video, explaining the correct way and shedding light on the clever design of the onigiri’s packaging.
Anastasia’s follow-up post updating that she was “doing much better” garnered 2.6million views and tons of positivity from the Japanese people. The power of social media.
Now that everyone is more acquainted with the onigiri, let’s take a look at some of its popular flavours, in preparation for the next time we visit Japan!