Tateyama Thunderbird History

Tateyama Thunderbird History

August 1, 2023


• Trade name: Tateyama Thunderbird

• Address: 6-1 Yokoe, Tateyama-cho, Nakaniikawa-gun, Toyama Prefecture, 930-1377

TEL: 076-483-3331

• Established July 30, 1996

• Business description: Convenience store (selling food, beverages, tobacco, etc., including handmade rice balls and sandwiches)


• July 1996: Representative Keiichi Ito opens a convenience store at the current location. His wife Michiko and eldest son Keigo (acting representative) also join in the store management, and the three of them start operating the store 365 days a year.

• July 2008: The film crew of the movie "Tsurugi-dake: Ten no Ki" came to the store many times for location shooting.

• August 2008: Interviewed by Tulip TV in Toyama for their local program "Yuru-Yuru Toyama Heritage". Broadcast in Toyama Prefecture.

• July 2013: The cast of the movie "Spring on My Back" visited the store many times during the location shoot.

• May 2014: Our homemade sandwiches were featured in the magazine "Takt"

• July 2015: Broadcast in Toyama Prefecture on KNB Kitanihon Broadcasting's "Icchan KNB"

• October 2015: First broadcast nationwide on NHK Educational TV's "R no Housoku"

• 2016: Broadcast in the Hokuriku region on Ishikawa Prefecture's HAB Hokuriku Asahi Broadcasting's "Saturday is Exciting"

• April 2017: An article about Keiichi (representative) was published in the Asahi Shimbun's Tensei Jingo column.

• July 2017: The show was broadcast nationwide for the first time on commercial TV on TBS's "Asa-chan!". It was then broadcast on all major TV stations, AbemaTV and many other media outlets.

• February 2023: TBS's "Matsuko's Unknown World" will feature local convenience stores nationwide.

• May 2023: Interviewed by Taiwanese TV station TVB, to be broadcast in Taiwan in the fall of the same year

• July 2023 marks the 27th anniversary of the opening

• October to November 2023: Open a local convenience store at Ginza LOFT

• Story

Keiichi Ito (CEO), a mountaineering enthusiast who will attempt to climb any mountain, whether in Japan or overseas, retired from his corporate job at the age of 55 and decided to take a fresh start and set up a family-run convenience store that would be open all year round in Tateyama Town, Toyama Prefecture, an area rich in nature and surrounded by the Tateyama mountain range.

His experience in mountain climbing, his awe and gratitude for the sacred mountain Tateyama, and his feelings for nature and the blessings of snow all led him to want to be of service to people involved with mountains as a naturalist himself, to support them, and to become a restaurant that could serve as a place of refuge for people who work in the mountains and tourists who come to visit.

When he was in his 30s and studying abroad in the United States, he met the late Naomi Uemura while he was in Alaska. He was very happy when he let him stay at his accommodation. The letters exchanged at that time are still displayed carefully in the store. He still remembers the spirit of supporting each other in times of trouble.

Every morning at 5am, Keiichi (the manager) makes onigiri using freshly cooked Koshihikari rice from Toyama Prefecture and sells them in the store. The fillings are also made in-house, and the unique seasonings and ingredients are one of a kind, which has earned them great reviews. When skiers, local customers, and regular customers who work in the mountains come to the store at 6am in the winter, they are greeted with piping hot, freshly made onigiri that will warm their hearts.

Michiko (wife) and her eldest son Keigo (acting representative) are developing new products on a daily basis, planning products that are not bound by existing concepts. In addition to standard products such as salmon onigiri, onigiri made with game ingredients such as bear, deer, wild boar, and rabbit, which are sourced from hunters, and sandwiches with firefly squid, a Toyama specialty, have become popular through word of mouth and have been covered and broadcast in many mass media such as television information programs and magazines.

Keiichi (CEO)'s motto is "it's important to try anything," and this DNA has been passed down to Keigo (Acting CEO). He is good at illustration, and has created pop illustrations of the Raicho and the nature around the store in each season, planning various goods and selling them as souvenirs in the store, which have been well received. In addition, the store sells a variety of unique products such as soft serve ice cream, homemade kombu-jime, tobacco from various countries including overseas, cup ramen and cider sourced from all over the country. During long holidays such as Golden Week, they also provide catered rice balls to children who gather in Toyama Prefecture from all over the country to play soccer friendly matches.

The company also launched an online store in June of the same year, and is challenging itself every day to expand into the world and deliver quality products to Japan and overseas from its base in Toyama.

The road to getting here has not been a smooth one, and there were times when the winds were headwinds and it was as if they were in a whiteout, but the family worked together and overcame the difficulties by coming up with new products and other ingenuity, and in July 2023 they celebrated their 27th anniversary since opening.

that's all