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Onigiri BONGO in Otsuka, Tokyo

by Ryu_C@RakuRakuJP

When you stay at Hoshino Otsuka OMO5, you will definitely pass by the famous rice ball line store

If you travel to Tokyo, you will also choose to stay at the newly opened Hoshino at JR Otsuka Station.Otsuka OMO5 new tourist accommodationIf so, I believe that whether you go out to the station to take the JR train every morning, or return to Otsuka OMO5 from the station after completing a day's trip, you will definitely find that there is always a long-term queue for a store.

And this store is Onigiri BONGO "ぼんご Otsuka Honten", which specializes in selling handmade rice balls.

This Onigiri BONGO store is very special. If you look at it from a distance from the station, you may think it is a very ordinary takeaway store. Even if you have to queue up, it shouldn't take long. But as long as you walk over and take a closer look, you will find that a small store can attract many people to queue up, and the average queue is more than a few hours.

What is the attraction of Onigiri BONGO "ぼんご Otsuka Honten" that many people are willing to spend hours in line?

On-site, reasonably priced onigiri selection

If I told you to buy rice balls for breakfast or as a late-night snack, I believe you would go to the convenience store immediately and buy a few pre-made rice balls in the refrigerator. Although it is true that onigiri in convenience stores are very convenient, there are better choices at Onigiri BONGO for the same price.

The characteristic of Onigiri BONGO is that all rice balls are made on-site, and the price is very cheap. On average, you can buy one rice ball for ¥300, and you can get three different flavors of rice balls and a bowl of miso sauce for ¥1000.

If you choose to eat in the store, because Onigiri BONGO is designed like a sushi restaurant, you can watch how the store manager makes your onigiri for you on the spot!

The process of making BONGO rice balls in Otsuka, Tokyo
All the seats in the store face the kitchen, so you can see the whole process of making onigiri.

Basically, every rice ball is made on the spot, so you can watch how the chef divides the rice into equal portions, how to put different ingredients in the middle of the rice ball, how to hold the round rice ball into a triangular shape, and finally put it on top of the rice ball. Add a small amount of ingredients to let you know what the taste of the rice ball in front of you is.

Wait for the chef to bring the rice balls to you, and you can enjoy them! However, the rice balls at Onigiri BONGO are not small at all. If the stomach capacity is not very large, it is recommended to order one or two and wait until it is not enough to eat. It is not too late to add more.

Onigiri at Otsuka BONGO, Tokyo
Onigiri BONGO's rice balls are pretty big at all, and it's already the limit for girls to eat two.

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Meal options at BONGO ぼんご

The rice balls at Onigiri BONGO are generally a la carte, but on weekdays and weekends, there will also be a limited number of discounted packages for customers who are willing to spend time queuing up to eat in the store. The price is about ¥1000, including 3 A ¥300 rice ball and a bowl of miso sauce.

As for the à la carte rice balls, there are basically all kinds of flavors you can imagine and unexpected, and the price is mainly ¥300 per piece. Of course, you can also choose to increase the amount of food, mix several different flavors together, or just order some more expensive ingredients, but you need to pay a little more.

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Recommended ordering process at BONGO ぼんご

It is not very difficult to successfully eat Onigiri BONGO, as long as you arrive at the store before 11:30 in the morning and queue up. Usually, you can wait in line for about an hour before you can enter the store. But if you come to Onigiri BONGO at noon or afternoon, you must be mentally prepared to queue for hours before you can enter the store.

After successfully entering the store, place an order with the store manager just like you usually go to a sushi restaurant, and then wait for the chef to make rice balls for you, and then you can eat it!

However, because the main customers of Onigiri BONGO are local Tokyoites, they can only place orders in Japanese. If you are not very good at speaking, it is recommended to use the translation software to copy down the taste of the onigiri you want to eat, and then wait until you can enter the store and directly hand it over to the store manager.

Of course, there are other ways to save time and get Onigiri BONGO, that is, as Onigiri BONGO said, call the store in advance to make a reservation, and then pay and collect the onigiri at the reserved time. Or if it is a bit difficult for you to make a phone call in Japanese, you can also try to queue up at the store to buy rice balls for takeaway, but it is not clear how long you need to queue.

BONGO ぼんご business information

Business Hours: 11:30 – 23:00
Rest day: Every Sunday
Average spending: ¥700 – ¥1200
Address: 〒170-0004 Kita-Otsuka 2-chome 27-5, Toyoshima-ku, Tokyo
Tel: +81339105617

Photos and information: Hotpepper, Tabelog, "ぼんご Otsuka Honten" official

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