A passion for exceptional bread and pastries

By Sherilyn Siy    - 2 min read

Our neighbor, an American and long time resident in Japan, told us of a bread shop a good 20 minute drive from where we live. He goes out of his way to get the best bread in the area. This afternoon, we were craving a good pastry to go with a nice cup of coffee and decided to see for ourselves what the fuss was all about.

True enough, the drive took about 20 minutes from where we lived. The brick facade and wood doors were very inviting. Upon entering, we were greeted with rows and rows of breads and pastries of all shapes and varieties. It was very difficult to choose what to try on our first visit but we settled on the crème brûlée pastry and an apple pie rectangle. The items were not cheap, averaging ¥260+ each. But one bite of the perfectly flaky and crisp treats and we knew that Panja was not your average bakery. This afternoon, we had some of the best and authentic French style pastries we have ever had in Japan.

As a specialty bread shop, Panja has a strong commitment to creating the best dough for various types of breads using carefully selected ingredients. Panja pays particular attention to the water and the wheat source and is a proud user of domestic wheat. Their breads do not contain any preservatives or artificial ingredients .

One caveat: This establishment has some confusing rules on where to eat what. After we purchased our breads at Panja, the bakery, we were told that we could eat at the small counter seating at the bakery, but not at the more relaxing Panja Cafe+, even if we were going to order coffee at the cafe. Panja and Panja Cafe+ are connected by a corridor where visitors could pass freely but the staff seemed to imply that they were two separate establishments that have nothing to do with each other and cannot handle transactions across them. This might have something to do with the tax difference between take-out and dining in implemented last October 2019, but it is frustrating nonetheless for customers who would like to enjoy their purchases in a more relaxing environment provided at Panja Cafe+.

Getting there

Panja is a 22 minute walk from Bushi (Seibu Ikebukuro Line) the nearest station. Driving is the most convenient way to get here and there are ample parking spaces available.

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Sherilyn Siy

Sherilyn Siy @sherilyn.siy

For Sherilyn Siy, Asia is home. Born in Hong Kong, Sherilyn spent time in the Philippines, China, and now lives in Japan. She speaks English, Filipino, Chinese (or putonghua), and Hokkien, her family's local dialect. Running is one of her favorite ways to explore Japan. She proudly finished the 2015 Tokyo Marathon -- her first ever full marathon -- in 4 hours and 37 minutes. She was absolutely psyched when she got selected again to run the new Tokyo Marathon route in 2018. She hopes to complete other races in Japan. 

Join the discussion

Sleiman Azizi 5 months ago
I love the name, Panja!
Bonson Lam 5 months ago
It is great to hear the care they take in creating the best dough for various types of breads . I was once in a cooking class where they sourced water from the local well rather than from tap water. It made a big difference.
Kim B 5 months ago
The creme brulee pastry sounds incredible!
Sherilyn Siy Author 5 months ago
It was. I'd love to go back again just for that.