Although not really known as a bread destination, Tokyo does have a large share of bakeries offering some pretty interesting Japanese takes on breads from around the world. Here is a look at five bakeries I recently visited during a trip to Japan's capital.
Tecona Bagel Works / テコナ ベーグルワークス
If you are accustomed to high-quality bagels Tokyo can be a bit of a disappointment, but Tecona Bagel Works has some real potential. By changing the ingredients, the bagels here are divided up into three styles - fluffy, sticky, and crunchy. The texture and flavor of the bagels here is top-notch and you will find bagels to rival the classic bagel shops of New York City. Look for a variety of flavors including sesame, almond, fruits, and anko (red beans).
Yoyogi Park House B1F, 1-51-12 Shibuya, Tokyo
1-minute from either Yoyogi-koen Station on the Chiyoda Line or Yoyogi-hachiman Station on the Odakyu Odawara Line
LE PAIN de Joel Robuchon / ル パン ドゥ ジョエル･ロブション ニュ
While we did not want to put a chain restaurant on the list, Joel Robuchon is truly good enough to override our hesitation. While just a tad on the pricey side, the convenient locations justified the price. The staff recommended the croissant, which was the perfect balance of buttery and crunchy, and the lemon cream tart - their best selling item - was not too sweet and therefore highly enjoyable. Other traditional french breads include baguette and pain de campagne.
B2F Shibua Hikarie, 2-21-1 Shibuya, Tokyo
2 minutes from Shibuya Station (via an overground passageway)
Pain au Sourire / パン・オ・スリール
You can tell that Pain au Sourire is likely to be a top-notch bakery from the first look. Shelves of bread and pastries line the exterior windows tempting any passersby. They specialise in darker and chewier breads such as rye. Their raisin danish was fantastic, the baguette was good, and overall the high number of selections of bread available will not disappoint. A decent walk from Shibuya Station, the store is is closed on Sunday and Monday.
1-4-6 Shibuya, Tokyo
5 minutes from JR Shibuya Station
Rod Bakery has some of the best garlic bread, period. They bake throughout the day, meaning that freshly baked items will be available periodically if you time your visit right. They also have a stellar olive cheese bread and is one of the few bakeries to have a seating area. A definite plus with all the walking in Tokyo. The staff speak decent English that is easily good enough to recommend items. All in all, a stellar bakery for being located in a train station!
1-26-2 Higashi Gotanda, Shinagawa
Located within JR Gotanda Station
BOULANGERIE SEIJI ASAKURA / ブーランジェリー セイジアサクラ
A tiny shop in the middle of the Takanawa residential area, Boulangerie Seiji Asakura is the real thing when it comes to local bread shops. The line was out the door when we arrived, telling us that this is a very popular stop with the locals (and locals know best!) The baguette was top notch, the perfect mix of crunch and flavor. Their best selling item is an award-winning cheese curry bread. This mix of curry and cheese was simply perfection. A 5-star experience that all those who seek bread in the Tokyo area should enjoy.
2-6-20 Takanawa, Tokyo
5 minutes from Takanawadai Station on the Toei Asakusa Line or 10 minutes from Shirokane Takanawa Station on the Namboku Line