Top 10 Bakeries with Delicious Shokupan in the Kansai Area - A Must-See for All Bread Lovers!
Shokupan refers to fluffy white bread which, while a mainstay of bakeries in Japan, is experiencing an unprecedented surge in popularity. The epicenter of the shokupan boom is in Osaka in the Kansai area, which is incidentally home to countless bakeries. There are numerous bakeries lining the streets of the central areas of Kansai in Kyoto, Osaka, and Hyogo, but there are many bakeries found all over the region as well. As such, this will be an introduction to currently trending bakeries with the most famous shokupan in the Kansai region that you absolutely have to try.
Oct 16 2019 (Sep 09 2020)
10 Recommended Shokupan in the Kansai Region
1. Nogami Main Branch
Nogami is a luxurious bakery that was established in October 2013. Their “Nama” Shokupan is particularly very popular. It's made with an original blend of Canadian flour and contains no eggs to emphasize the natural, sweet flavor of the fresh cream. Aside from an immaculate particularity about the quality of ingredients used, they take exceptional care to cool the bread for an extended period before putting it out for sale.
The term “nama”, meaning raw or bare, refers to the fact that the shokupan is intended as a satisfying standalone product, and is best eaten without putting anything on it. The bread has a moist, chewy texture and a subtle flavor of honey and fresh cream. Even the crust tastes amazing! Nogami’s shokupan is popular among guests both old and young, and makes for a fantastic gift choice or breakfast staple.
2. Japanese Bread TAKASHO
Since its founding in October of 2016, TAKASHO has made its mark with its selectively chosen ingredients and bread-making methods. The bakery specializes in shokupan alone, and the one-and-only original recipe is the product of tireless repetition. The bread is characterized by its premium ingredients and dough, which incorporates hot water for a moist, chewy texture and faintly sweet, rich flavor.
Each loaf is baked carefully by the hands of seasoned bakers. The bread is fantastic as is, or toasted if you prefer a slight crunch to the surface. The bread is made without eggs or preservatives, and the quality is produced by the natural freshness of the ingredients. How about picking up a few loaves as a gift if you’re visiting Osaka?
Narimatsu is a shokupan specialty store founded in 2015. The entire preparation and baking process for each loaf of bread is done by hand, and the finished product is a blissful loaf of shokupan. The bread is made without eggs, emulsifiers, or additives, for a flavor that is purely comprised of natural ingredients.
The bread at Narimatsu is made using fresh Hokkaido cream, which results in a moist, springy, and elastic bread. A tasty crust is another attraction of the bread, and it's recommended to first try the bread as is. Upon tearing the bread, you’ll smell the fresh smell of wheat before biting into a moment of pure joy. Since they close as soon as they sell out, you’ll want to arrive early for first dibs.
4. LeBRESSO Grand Front Osaka Branch
LeBRESSO opened in 2014 in Osaka's Tennoji area as a bread and espresso specialty shop. The store aims to provide a small dose of happiness in customers' daily routines through their breads and espressos. There's an eat-in area, the first of its kind in the shokupan specialty shops sphere, so you can enjoy a number of their toast selections in a cafe setting.
LeBRESSO's shokupan is made carefully by hand with an original, trade-secret method that produces a chewy, elastic texture with a rich, savory flavor. The dough is baked at low heat so the bread is fluffy from the center all the way to the edge of the crust. They also sell jam, so be sure to try pairing it with their delectable breads.
5. SAKIMOTO bakery Osaka Main Branch
SAKIMOTO is a high-end shokupan specialty store located right by Nanba Station. The story of SAKIMOTO begins with the aspirations of the owner to come up with a rich-tasting, healthy bread made without eggs or dairy that his daughter could enjoy, even with allergies. The bread-making techniques at SAKIMOTO incorporate methods used by Western bakeries to make pastries, and the handmade breads are made with fine ingredients that produce a rich, pleasant flavor.
The bakery uses fresh, flavorful ingredients, like a sweetly fragrant wheat that pairs perfectly with some jam, butter, or honey. The bread is delicious toasted, or straight off the shelf if you feel compelled to dig in right away. The breads here are made with both precision and care, and can be picked up for a tasty breakfast or as a fresh gift.
Furoindo has been serving delicious bread in Kobe for 86 years since it first opened its doors in 1932. The popular, hand-kneaded dough is baked in the bakery's brick furnace, and can sell out quickly from reservations made beforehand. Other than shokupan, Furoindo also has a selection that includes rye wheat bread, donuts, and cookies.
Furoindo’s breads are all entirely handmade, which produces a consistency that can't be replicated by machine-made breads. Among Furoindo's many delicious breads, the freshly baked breads brushed with butter just as they come out of the brick furnace are truly exquisite. Each bite is marked by a rich, buttery flavor coursing through your mouth. If you’re aiming for a freshly baked batch, you’ll want to visit around 2:00 in the afternoon. Whether it's for breakfast or as a snack or gift, Furoindo is a stellar choice.
7. bakery Tenshin Main Branch
Tenshin was founded in 2008 in Amagasaki, Hyogo. The bakery’s breads are healthy, as they are made without eggs or additives. The shokupan is prepared fresh daily through a thorough, meticulous, and well-versed process, and the bread is popular among guests of all ages. Tenshin also offers a delivery service to nearby areas frequently utilized by those with walking difficulties and by the elderly folk living in the area.
Tenshin is as particular about their ingredients as they are about their handmade process for making their breads. The breads are baked by taking into consideration the room temperature and humidity on any given day, and finished into fluffy textured loaves with a lovely fragrance of butter and cream. Toasted, the surface gains a crunchy outer texture to complement the soft, airy insides. Thinly sliced breads are also available so you can try making your own sandwich. Now how about buying some Tenshin bread for breakfast or as a souvenir?
8. Shunkashuto Kosoku Kobe Branch
Shunkashuto is a popular bakery that specializes in shokupan. The bakery has a reputation for long lines, courtesy of an avid customer base. Shunkashuto has both a rectangular cut and a circular cut of their white bread, called pain de mie, which has a soft, moist texture while being extremely filling. There’s also the mini loaf, made with the same dough as the pain de mie, as well as other breads made with tsubu-an (coarse sweet red bean paste), satsumaimo-an (sweet potato paste), fruits, and chocolate. Limited seasonal breads are also an attraction of the bakery.
Loaves of shokupan at Shunkashuto are all made by hand with care, and the moist, fluffy texture is very popular. The bakery also has a strict policy against using preservatives and additives to ensure a quality of taste produced by natural ingredients. Each loaf of pain de mie is 330 yen - considerably cheaper than most places amidst the current popularity of shokupan. You’ll definitely want to stop by if you're in the Kobe area.
9. Senbokudo Bakery & Cafe
Senbokudo is a bakery in Sakai, Osaka, with a selection of around 100 different kinds of bread. From their choice of ingredients, to their preparation method, to the arrangement and packaging of their breads, the bakery aims to consistently deliver the best quality in every imaginable regard. The kiwami shokupan is made with the highest-end butter and milk, and is a favorite of the locals.
The kiwami shokupan is said to be so popular that there are days that the bread sells out entirely on reserved orders. Made with a 2-step process of fermenting the dough, the bread is dense, spongy, and moist. The fermentation of the dough is checked carefully by the seasoned eyes of the bakers, and the slowly baked shokupan is exquisite. The secret to the spongy texture is in both the process of preparing the dough, as well as the furnace. The stone furnace has a far infrared effect, which makes it possible to produce a crisp surface with a soft, spongy texture on the inside. The gift box is also highly recommended as souvenirs to take home with you, or for people you may be visiting.
Klore can be found nestled in a quiet suburban neighborhood in the Kita area of Kyoto, slightly removed from the central, bustling areas of the city. Those who have been fortunate to stumble upon the bakery have been enamored with their breads, and it has been extolled as one of the best bakeries in Takagamine for their varied repertoire of warm homemade breads. The yeast in the dough for their shokupan is activated with hot water, producing a spongy texture many of their customers rave about.
Klore's popular yugone (kneaded with hot water) shokupan is made with 100% domestically produced wheat to make dough with a strong elasticity. When baked, it becomes a moist, spongy, dense bread. A half-sized loaf is just 270 yen. Klore draws the best quality out of their ingredients with a dough preparation process that results in shokupan that is delicious whether toasted or eaten as is. Their breads can be either a filling, delicious breakfast or a fancy, scrumptious gift.
Bakeries Worth Waiting in Line for! Kansai is a Bread-Lover's Haven
Considering the popularity of shokupan in Japan, you’ll definitely want to consider it as a potential gift option for people you may be visiting. Though it’s a given that the popular bakeries use ingredients and preparation methods that are top of the line in the industry, many places are turning their attention to perfecting every aspect of their craft, right down to the packaging. The central area of the Kansai region is teeming with these bakeries, although several notable bakeries can be found outside of the central areas as well. Each bakery produces their own unique breads, and comparing these textures and varieties can be as interesting as it is delicious. If you end up visiting the Kansai area, be sure to keep some of these spots in the back of your head.
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Translated and republished with permission from: SPIRA (formerly known as Relux Magazine)
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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.