Now that’s a sentence we never thought we’d say. 

If you’ve ever visited Japan, you may have marvelled at the way onigiri rice balls are packaged up with a convenient pull-tab in the middle for ease of eating.

Now it’s time to marvel at the rice ball all over again, because it’s been given a sweet overhaul and a whole new distribution method — via vending machine.

As the vending machine proudly states, these sweet morsels are called Omusubi Cake, with “omusubi” being an alternate name for a rice ball, used interchangeably with “onigiri” in Japan.

Created by the Tsukiichi pattisserie in Osaka, these rice ball cakes were carefully developed over the space of a year before making their debut in 2019, and while they’re usually only available for sale in the Osaka region, this new vending machine is giving Tokyoites a taste of them, as the machine is located at Haneda Airport.

We came across the machine on a recent trip to the airport, and upon closer inspection we discovered that in amongst the nine flavours on offer, there was one that was exclusive to this machine.

▼ All the rice ball cakes are sold in packs of two.

We immediately pressed the 01 button to select it, and fed 1,100 yen (US$8.46) into the machine to purchase it.

In just a few seconds, we were holding the prized, rare item in our hands.

Sitting down to try it, we unsheathed the outer packaging and laid eyes on our unique discovery — the Sky Blue Omusubi Cake.

Plucking one out of the pack, this looked like a regular rice ball, and you’d probably be able to fool your friends into thinking it was, if it weren’t for the word “cake” on the packaging.

The pull-tab to open the cake was the same as the pull-tabs on regular store-bought rice balls as well.

If you weren’t paying attention, even the dark outer casing could fool you into thinking this was a seaweed-wrapped rice ball!

▼ The “seaweed” here is actually a thin crepe!

Once you take a look at the inside, however, the ruse is up, because no rice ball we’ve ever seen looks like this.

The sky-blue centre is filled with the flavours of Blue Hawaii cream and ramune, a lemonade-like soda with a very Japanese flavour. The sponge slices on either side of the filling resemble clouds in a blue sky, creating a beuatiful visual that’s also light, airy, sweet and delicious.

These Omusubi Cakes are a great treat for yourself but they’re also perfect for gift-giving as souvenirs. The only problem is deciding on which flavour to buy, because the whole range is delicious!

Related: Omusubi Cake
Photos ©SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]