The owner and chef of Ao Onigiri
Toshihiro Aomatsu

Before Ao Onigiri 1982 – 2010 ▼

1982 – 2000
  • August 21 birth in Kyoto
  • A football boy during elementary, junior high and high school days in Osaka
2001 – 2005
  • Enterd Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto major : Humanities (2001)
  • Joined the 8 months exchange program to University of British Columbia in Canada (2002)
  • Encountered the world of rickshaw in Arashiyama Kyoto and experienced “human powered work”
    Took a year off from university to devote to work as a rickshaw man (2003)
  • Graduation thesis theme was “Curry rice for Japanese” (2005)
  • After graduation, got a job at a major restaurant chain company but left the company in a month
  • Traveled Yakushima,Tokyo etc by bicycle
  • Traveled around India and north and south of Thailand and ate various kinds of curry
  • Worked for a year at a famous curry restaurant in Tokyo 
  • Started traveling around the world for a year with vaccination against malaria, but when in Tibet suddenly started to think about onigiri
    Could not meditate at all at the meditation center in Lumbini, Nepal but imagined about onigiri
    Stopped traveling and returned to Japan in 4 months
  • Participated in a lectuer on onigiri by Ms Hatsume Sato, a welfare activist after returning to Japan, and got to the idea of “face to face style onigiri bar”
    Decided to be a ONIGIRI MAN at the age of 25
2008 (age25)
  • Started training at a onigiri restaurant in Daikanyama,Tokyo, worked agile like Ninjya 
  • During the training, came up with the idea of selling onigiri on the streets as a first step of his own business, ordered a special classic style food cart to a town factory in Tokyo
  • Married with a girlfriend
  • Returned to Kyoto to prepare for his own business 
  • A term of hard working and saving money for a year and half : selling the Internet provider contract in the daytime, dish-washing at a soba restaurant at midnight
  • Divorced because his wife actually preferred bread to rice
  • Met a friend Toru after long time, and he applied to cooperate after talking about the onigiri business. Decided to start with Toru after meeting a lot , the birth of Ao Onigiri

After Ao Onigiri(1) 2011 – 2015 ▼

2011 (age29)
  • October 20, start selling onigiris loaded with the food cart bicycle on the streets in Kyoto city area
  • December 1, open the onigiri shop in a residential area in Sakyouku Kyoto at the age of 29
    photo1 お店を開店
  • When sold onigiris among food stalls at a festival in Heian Jingu Shrine on New Year’s Day without permission, stall guys got messed up and their boss appeared
  • “Yume to Kibou to Ashita no Onigiri”project started (the reservation system service that customers could recieve onigiris at several fixed spot in the center of city ) , but not popular
    photo3 夢と希望と 
  • Carried out guerrilla selling onigiris in front of Takashimaya, the biggest department store in Kyoto on the day of Gion Matsuri festival
    photo4 祇園祭
  • “Talking Onigiri, message stamp service” started (reservation system to wrap onigiris by original wrapping papers with message stamp that one requests)
  • The legend of bicycle cart selling, Toru retired despite being loved by many customers because of marriage, having a baby and starting country life
    photo2 トオル君
  • 2nd generation of bicycle cart selling, Maki appeared, a painter woman traveling freely she worked for limited time,half a year
    photo5 マキちゃんphoto7 マキちゃん
  • After Maki retired, the owner sold onigiris by the bicycle cart in the morning and also opened the bar in the daytime
    Stopped the onigiri bicycle cart and focused on the bar when the business got on track
  • Held first onigiri workshop with bamboocut
  • “Ganbaru anatano Nattoumaki Never Never Give Up” launched
    photo8 納豆巻き
  • Married with an old fashioned woman who like umeboshi and kombu, Onigiri honeymoon to France and Italy
    photo9 新婚旅行photo10 新婚旅行
  • Found a huge rock looked like onigiri at riverside in the moring after heavy rain, set up Onigiri Shrine
    photo12 神社photo11 神社photo13 神社

After Ao Onigiri(2) 2016 – now ▼

  • Bicycle cart selling on the New year’s day in the bridge of Kamo river
  • Birth of the first child
  • The tiredness and the stress that had accumulated since the opening of business has exploded. On Sunday, when lunch time was full, shouted,”No,no!”, and left the customer and disappeared.. Mentally ill,closed for about half a month. Later, as an excuse for himself and the customer, the theory of “everything is timing”was introduced, and became to take the offensive day by day 
  • Bicycle cart selling on the New year’s day in the bridge of Kamo river
  • “Daijoubu”(All right) handkerchiefs launched, but interestingly the owner’s mental state was not all right. Later, “Unstable” tin badge also launched
    photo26 手ぬぐいphoto27 ハンカチ
  • Started selling onigiris at the monthly event “Omote ichi” 
  • Bicycle cart selling on the New year’s day in the bridge of Kamo river
  • “Sumo wrestler onigiri”selling at the event of Sumo organized by Hohoho-za, book store
  • Setubun “Mamenimo Makezu Onigiri” launched (The onigiri of guts and humor)
    photo17 節分photo18 節分
  • Birth of the second child
  • Unfortunately removed “Blue demon” drawings all over the wall in the bar by the neighbor children since the opening because of the phenomena that tourists did not concentrate on eating onigiri
    photo14 壁の絵photo15 壁の絵
  • Bicycle cart selling on the New year’s day in the bridge of Kamo river with his 3-year-old son
  • “Subete ha Taimingu” Tenugui (“everything is timig” Japanese towel) launched
  • “Stand up Onigiri” self-righting onigiri dolls launched
    photo16 おきあがりこぼし
  • “Ume wa sonohi no nan nogare” lucky budges launched
    photo19 バッジ
  • Carlos Ghosn came to eat onigiri, and loved pickled radish, takuan 
  • Bicycle cart selling on the New year’s day in the bridge of Kamo river with his 4-year-old son
  • Corona shock
  • “Real Sanga Kimpa” korean onigiri collaborated with Pinyoshokudou, korean restaurant launched
    photo20 サンガキンパphoto21 サンガキンパ
  • “Ganbareyo Omaegana” Tenugui (“do your best, you!” japanese towel) launched
  • “Let’s ONIGIRI” bilingual picture book self published