Oh Japanese convenience stores. Those bright, white-glowing oases that have everything you could ever possibly need inside of them, all wrapped up with a pair of chopsticks and a warm smile from the clerk.

Except for when you want an onigiri (rice ball) or sushi roll. Anyone who buys one of the items pictured above typically finds themselves suddenly engaged in a battle of wits matching human against plastic wrap. And the plastic wrap usually wins, resulting in a mess of rice, seaweed and tears of frustration.

But fear not! We here at RocketNews24 are here to help with step-by-step instructions so you will never lose to another conbini snack again.

If you’re one of the few who’s never had a problem opening an onigiri or sushi roll before, then consider yourself lucky. I’ve opened dozens of them myself, somehow only getting worse at it each time. And apparently I’m not alone: here’s some tweets from people born and raised in Japan showing their failure for the world to see.

▼ “Uh, what happened to my conbini natto roll?”


▼ “Conbini sushi roll. Somehow I mess this up every day. Today especially.”


▼ “My conbini natto roll. I just gave up and ate the nori and rice separately.”

Here’s a video of one of the non-Japanese writers at RocketNews24 headquarters in Japan giving a go at trying to unwrap one of the infamous sushi roll behemoths:

Well, their reign of terror ends today. Below we’ve laid out step-by-step visual instructions for how to tackle these mini monstrosities. If you’re in Japan, feel free to run out to a nearby conbini and follow along. If you’re not, then be sure to pay close attention. You’re going to need to know this someday.

▼ First we’ll start off with the onigiri, the triangle-shaped one. To be fair, there are instructions on the back, but they’re in Japanese, and even if you can read Japanese, they’re still not the easiest to follow.


First, place the onigiri like so. If you can read kanji, you want the kanji for “ichi” (one) to be at the top. If you can’t read kanji, it’s the one with one horizontal stroke right across. You want the kanji for “ni” (two – the one with two horizontal  strokes) to be in the bottom right, and “san” (three – the one with three horizontal  strokes) to be in the bottom left.

▼ Grab the tab right above “one,” and pull down as far as you can, as if painfully removing a bandaid.

▼ Keep pulling under the onigiri


▼ …and back around to have it meet where you started.


▼ Next you want to grab the tab right next to “two” and pull so that you remove the right-side of the plastic cover. It should resemble a green moth with transparent wings taking flight if done correctly.



▼ Now repeat for the other side, grabbing the tab next to “three” and pulling so that you remove the left-side of the plastic cover.



▼ Now you should be able to remove the whole plastic covering.


▼ And your onigiri is ready to eat! No tears this time, just delicious triumph.


Now I know that anyone who’s never tried this before is probably laughing right now. “How could you possibly mess that up? It’s so easy!” Well… it’s a lot harder than it looks. Especially with the other conbini conundrum: the sushi roll.

▼ This one has instructions too, but like many others I usually just ignored them and grabbed my pair of trusty scissors instead. Time to put an end to that era.


For this one, you first want to find the kanji for “akeguchi” (opening). Just look for a kanji that looks like a little man throwing open saloon doors (it’s at the very center at the top of the package seen here).


▼ You want to pull up the tab with a little bit of force, and then pull it all the way down to the end, until it comes off.




▼ Carefully, open up the outside plastic layer, as if you are opening a delicate treasure map that could crumple to bits at any second.


▼ Next open the plastic wrapper around the rice.



▼ And place the unsheathed rice onto the seaweed. You can either place it directly onto the unwrapped bit of seaweed to the side, or you can roll it over there as this pair of disembodied hands will demonstrate.





▼ Either way, once your rice is on the unwrapped part of the seaweed, remove the rest of the plastic covering the seaweed.




▼ Now it’s up to you to roll the seaweed over the rice. You’ve trained your whole life for this moment, don’t get scared now.




▼ Yes! You did it! Consider yourself a master sushi chef/conbini conqueror!


Well there you have it. Whether your conbini snack unwrapping skills are the laughing-stock of the office, or you thought onigiri had something to do with demons, now you can impress everybody by flawlessly unwrapping them every time. Don’t worry; we won’t tell them where your newfound expertise came from. But we’d still love to hear any conbini snack-related stories (failures or successes) that you’ve had in the comments!

Source: Naver Matome
Images: RocketNews24