How much does onigiri cost in Japan? It won’t break the bank

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  August 29, 2022

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Without a doubt, onigiri is a local favorite in all of Japan. It’s cheap, convenient, and tasty; the perfect snack or lunch while traveling.

Even tourists and visitors with a limited budget enjoy a serving or two of these flavorful rice balls. But how much does onigiri really cost in Japan? And is it cheaper to make your own onigiri?

How much does onigiri cost in Japan? It won't break the bank

Onigiri is one of the cheapest items in a Japanese convenient store. On average, the price of one onigiri serving is 115 to 150 yen or a little over $1. For a fancier onigiri treat, you can skip convenient stores and go to onigiri stores like Bongo, which sells leveled-up rice balls at $3. Alternatively, you can make your own set for lunch.

How about homemade onigiri?

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Making onigiri at home is cheaper than buying it apiece at convenience stores. You can create larger servings or more onigiri pieces with common household pantry materials.

If you have leftover savory dinner, you can also use it as a filling for a free and healthy lunch.

Homemade onigiri gives a better value and more servings. Besides, you can customize your onigiri with your own fillings and serving size.

Most lunch boxes or bento include an onigiri, along with tamagoyaki, sushi, and other compact and tasty food.

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Should you make or buy your onigiri?

If you have the time and resources to make your own onigiri, you might want to consider making your own batches.

Shaping the rice is tricky at first, but it gets easier as you get better at handling it. This way, you can save money and have a more filling lunch or snack.

But if you’re a busy bee or someone that travels a lot, convenience store onigiri offers a better value. A convenience store or konbini in Japan offers fresh and great-tasting onigiri.

You can also enjoy the variety of choices in konbini, such as the omurice onigiri.

Best places to get onigiri

You can find the cheapest onigiri in konbini nationwide. These establishments are great for getting quick and tasty food at a very affordable price.

You can get a better value by combining it with other food items for a complete dining experience.

Alternatively, there are onigiri houses that sell better rice balls at a relatively cheap price.

Local restaurants such as Misojyu, Bongo, and Onigiri Asakusa Yadoroku are some of the best places to visit if konbini onigiri isn’t cutting it.

Read more: Where to buy onigiri (and can I buy it online)?

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.