Eat the rice ball made of local ingredients.

Omusubi connected with you and Senshu

Eat the rice ball made of local ingredients.

On the 15th of every month, we post an article featuring “Senshuites”. Continuing from last month, we focus on Ms. Yoshimoto, the representative of Otomegocoro rice ball shop. This rice ball shop serves a delicious rice ball called Omusubi, made of local ingredients such as rice and salt. Musubi in Japanese means connect, in other words, the omusubi is the link between you and Senshu. She said, “we are particular about using local ingredients”. Let’s explore her philosophy on omusubi and her world.

Find out Otomegocoro, rice ball shop.

Otomegocoro Rice ball shop is located just a few minute’s walk from Izumisano Station, near Kansai Airport. They have a regular menu, a seasonal menu, and an occasional (special) menu. The number of omusubi served per day is about 10 to 12. They have ever developed more than 50 types of rice balls. “I forgot how many types of omusubi I created in total,” says Yoshimoto.


However, when the shop opened in 2009, there were only three omusubi available in the store. After that, with the passion to develop omusubi using Senshu’s local specialties, she developed many types of tasty omusubi by repeated trial and error, even using ingredients that are generally thought to be unsuitable for omusubi, so that the rice and ingredients match well. For example, the onion and the cabbage, which are local specialties of Senshu, are not popular ingredients for rice balls. In fact, it is a very rare case that you see omusubi containing these ingredients in a Japanese convenience store.


Fortunately, I got the opportunity to eat omusubi that contain onion harvested in Senshu at Otomegocoro, and the rice and the ingredients matched very well, and I regretted that I should have bought more of them.

Why did Ms. Yoshimoto start her own omusubi shop?

Ms. Yoshimoto has poured her heart and soul into making omusubi. Why did she start making omusubi? The reason was her strong desire to revitalize her favorite area, Izumisano.


When she was in her 20s, Ms. Yoshimoto was working as a freelance designer in Osaka City. At that time, she did not think much about “regional revitalization” or “local development. After that, she started working for regional revitalization at a municipal park administrative organization. Then, I was reminded of the beauty of Izumisano’s rural landscape. On the other hand, “With the subsidy, the town revitalization project will temporarily continue, but if the subsidy is lost, the project will also end. I was indignant because such a project is not sustainable at all.” She said. Also, at that time, the finances of Izumisano city were deteriorating, and everyone thought that they had to do something on their own, rather than relying on central or municipal government.


The answer for her was “making omusubi“. By making omusubi with local products, she tried to clarify and promote the city’s attractions and bring economic benefits to the local producers. Ms. Yoshimoto started the omusubi shop as a way to sustain the local community. She says, “Senshu has the sea, the mountains, so there is an abundance of ingredients. I thought I could express and promote Senshu’s attraction, through omusubi.” She says.

Rediscovering Ingredients for omusubi

“I thought there were plenty of ingredients, but I didn’t know how to use them for omusubi,” says Yoshimoto. At first, She had no choice but to use ingredients that were not produced in Senshu. However, as she continued to promote the activities of Otomegocoro, she could encounter the person who gives her good information regarding delicious ingredients grown in Senshu. As a result, she was successful in develop and create original omusubi.


Speaking of rice, the main ingredient of omusubi, she used rice grown in other places when she first opened. After that, She encountered the rice grown at Kotsumi area in Kaizuka City, She was so impressed with the rice and she decided to use it. “Kotsumi has good soil and water, and because it’s uptown, there’s a moderate difference in temperature, so it has great conditions for growing rice.” She said. That’s why Otomegokoro is cooking it with Kotsumi’s rice.

"Tabi Musubi," a one of special menu

In addition to the regular and seasonal menus, Otomegocoro has a special menu called “Tabi Musubi“. These are omusubi developed by Ms. Yoshimoto as a travel enthusiast, who was influenced by the food she ate at restaurants, and the ingredients she found in local supermarkets during travels. It was surprising to learn that Ms. Yoshimoto eats her meals at restaurants overseas while thinking about whether or not they can be made into omusubi and that she also buys something at supermarkets overseas while thinking about what ingredients can be used to make omusubi. That means she is thinking about omusubi every time and everywhere.

For example, when she went to Slovenia and Croatia, she was inspired by raw ham and Western horseradish, so she developed “Tabi Musubi Eastern Europe,” a type of omusubi wrapped with raw ham and horseradish in between.


In another case of going to Taiwan, staff at local supermarkets recommended canned chicken cooked in sweet and spicy sauce, enoki mushrooms, and green onions. “I couldn’t understand Chinese, but I understood that these three things would be delicious when cooked together, so I bought a lot of canned chicken and some local soy sauce to bring back to Izumisano. The omusubi developed using these ingredients is “Tabi Musubi Tainan(台南)”.


Once she cooks, any cuisine from around the world can be turned into omusubi. Her creativity knows no bounds.


Please note that Tabimusubi will be sold out in a few weeks after Ms. Yoshimoto returns to Japan. If you find Tabimusubi fortunately, I strongly recommend that you purchase it without hesitation.


You can easily buy omusubi at convenience stores, but if you eat Otomegocoro’s omusubi, you will never be able to eat omusubi sold at convenience stores again. I can assure you that Otomegocoro rice ball shop is must visit.


basic information

Otomegocoro rice ball shop: click here to open the google map
The shop is located a few minutes’ walk from Izumisano Station and is open Tuesday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Writer: Yuki Notsuzuki, Senshu concierge


Back to top