The Yomiuri Shimbun
AKB48 Team8 member Ayaka Hidaritomo talks about her atypical love of otsumami snacks, which are typically paired with alcohol.

This may not sound very idol-like, but I love otsumami — various snacks typically served with alcohol. I’m absolutely hooked on tiny meals that go perfectly with a nice drink, like salted squid, dried stingray fin and pickled mackerel.

Once when I was talking to fans at an AKB48 meet and greet, I was asked, “Can you really hold your liquor?” Unfortunately, I’m a bit of a lightweight when it comes to adult beverages.

The reason why I’m so into otusmami is because back when I was a kid, whenever my parents drank alcohol at home, they would slip me some of their snacks. So many of those snacks were drastically different from the children’s treats I typically ate that I would get more and more excited for whatever was coming next.

I haven’t been to a bar since the outbreak of the coronavirus. Before the pandemic though, every once in a while, my friends and I would go out just to scarf down some otsumami. Of course, as a proud resident of Yamanashi Prefecture, I really love chicken tripe hotpot. Outside of that — seafood otsumami. So once the pandemic settles down, I’ll see if I can check out Hokkaido.

My fellow AKB48 members know how much I love otsumami and often give me some as a present. Whenever I return the favor, you can be sure I give them some of Yamanashi’s locally grown grapes.