Photo: S.C. Kurokawa

Penny Lane Bakery Cafe, Utsunomiya

Beatles Oasis: chill out, hang out, pig out

By Stacy Kurokawa    - 2 min read

Penny Lane is a sit-down bakery/café/bar in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture with dark wood paneling, stained glass doors, shaded garden seating, decorated ceiling panels, heavy ornate lighting, and an abundance of charming Beatles paraphernalia. You will come away with Beatles songs playing in your mind.

This is a great place to pick up a gift for a Beatles lover. Coffees and jams and other confectionery are beautifully packaged and labeled with the shop’s peace sign logo.

Penny Lane is close to my son’s kindergarten (one reason for choosing that kindergarten!) so we go there as a family for lunch when there is a school event on the weekend. We help ourselves to pitchers of iced water at the bar, choose our favorite items and settle down outside at the wicker table and chairs. Birds can feast on the crumbs that accumulate under us.

Penny Lane has the trappings of a high-end British pub. It would be romantic to go there on a date after dinner for a drink. Indoor seating is a bit too sumptuous for our 4 year old – high stools at a bar, and deep leather sofas and arm chairs set around dark wood tables.

My favorite bakery item is Star Dust, a star-shaped chocolaty pastry which, for its generous size, is a bargain at ¥140. You can find a variety of buns both sweet and savory, scones, pizza breads, loaves, soups and sandwiches. A cream cheese with smoked salmon sandwich on rye, for instance, costs Y340. Placards/menus and the website are only in Japanese.

Other Penny Lanes can be found on the east side of Utsunomiya, in Okamoto, at Nasu and across Tsukuba too.

Getting there

Penny Lane Tsuruta is about a twenty minute bicycle ride due west of JR Utsunomiya Station and about a fifteen minute ride from Tobu Utsunomiya Station. By car, it would only take about ten minutes to get there from downtown.

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Stacy Kurokawa

Stacy Kurokawa @stacy.kurokawa

It's with a love of adventure that I came to Japan in 2003.  I  love getting off the beaten track and getting around by bicycle.  In 2020, I qualified as a Forest Therapy Guide.  I guide in parks in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture nowadays.

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