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【Kansai】A Ranking of Popular Breads at Four Famous Bakeries in Kyoto and Kobe

Kyoto and Kobe are bakery battlegrounds, with high consumption rates of bread. This article introduces famous bakeries with long histories that were crucial to the development of the bread culture in these areas. Here are the top three popular breads at each of these bakeries. <This information is from Kansai Walker (issued March 6, 2018)>

The 3 Most Loved Breads at Shinshindo

Shinshindo was established 105 years ago and was instrumental in creating the foundation of Kyoto’s bread culture. It was started by Hitoshi Tsuzuki, who was the first Japanese person to visit France as a baker. His passion and techniques are still evident in their signature baguettes and other breads, all of which are baked with love and care.

<No. 1> Chef's Curry Bread (bottom of the photo) (205 JPY). Relatively coarse bread flour is used to create a rustic texture. The slow-cooked curry filling is full of ground meat.

<No. 2> Homemade Cream Brioche (top left) (194 JPY). This melt-in-your-mouth brioche is filled with homemade custard. It’s popular with people of all ages!

<No. 3> Banana and Walnut Croquant (top right) (194 JPY). This bread with banana and walnuts has been baked to aromatic perfection and has a great texture!

Delivered from a nearby factory. Breakfast and lunch are served at the restaurant.

Established in 1913 by Hitoshi and Hana Tsuzuki in Yoshida, Sakyo Ward, they relocated to Horikawa-takeya Town in the following year due to a fire. Tsuzuki traveled to France in 1924, and upon returning, began making and selling French bread. Later, they opened a bakery restaurant, and in 1962, entered the wholesale business. They currently operate 11 branches in Kyoto City.

The manager, Asako Watanabe, commented: "We are constantly making improvements, even to our standard products, so that we can offer the best breads. Our curry bread has become a perennial favorite as a result of these improvements. Its enhanced texture has made it even more popular. We will continue to provide great bread to the bread lovers of Kyoto."

■Shinshindo Teramachi Branch
<Address: 674 Kueninmae-cho, Teramachi-dori Takeyacho-sagaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto; Phone: 075-221-0215; Hours: 7:30 am - 8:00 pm, Restaurant/Eat-in 7:30 am - 7:00 pm (Eat-in area closed between 11:00 am - 2:00 pm); Holidays: None; Seating: 50; Smoking: No; Parking: None; Access: 7-minute walk from Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae Station on the subway>

Shinshindo Teramachi Branch

674 Kueninmae-cho, Teramachi-dori Takeyacho-sagaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

The 3 Most Popular Breads at Donq

Donq is an old bakery chain that was founded in 1905. They began selling authentic French bread in Sannomiya, Kobe, in 1965. In addition to their standard sandwich breads and pan loaves, they also sell a variety of new breads, including new creations that are released at least once a month and items prepared for campaigns that feature seasonal ingredients.

<No. 1> Awaji Onion Bread (206 JPY). The roughly chopped onions from Awajishima have a soft and melty texture. It is an outstanding item with a slightly salty butter flavor.

<No. 2> Corn Bread (small) (76 JPY). A soft bread filled with corn. A perfect accompaniment to a meal.

<No. 3> Amber Butter Melon Bread (206 JPY). Richly flavored bread finished by pouring burnt butter on its surface. The cookie dough on top is moist.

Their classic Hard Toast (357 JPY) is displayed on the shelves in the back.

The manager, Katsuji Shimo, commented: "Customers treat us as their favorite local bakery. There are a lot of people in Kobe with refined tastes. We encourage people to treat bread as if it is live and to enjoy it on the day of purchase."

■Donq Sannomiya Main Store
<Address: 2-10-19 Sannomiya-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo; Phone: 078-391-5481; Hours: 1F Retail 8:00 am - 8:00 pm, 2F Cafe 9:00 am - 8:00 pm (L.O. 7:30 pm), 3F Cafe 11:00 am - 8:00 pm (L.O. 7:30 pm) *3F Cafe is open from 3:00 pm - 8:00 pm on weekdays (L.O. 7:30 pm); Holidays: None; Seating: 45; Smoking: Yes; Parking: None; Access: 5 minutes on foot from JR and Hanshin Motomachi Station>

Donq Sannomiya Main Store

2-10-19 Sannomiya-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo

The 3 Best Breads at Sizuya

Sizuya’s sign has become a part of the Kyoto townscape. It was established in 1948, and now has more than 20 branches in addition to the main store in Ukyo Ward. Its specialty, the Carnet, is known nationwide as the "national dish for citizens of Kyoto".

<No. 1> Carnet (190 JPY). Just onions and ham sandwiched in-between fluffy French bread. A simple item made with great thought and care.

<No. 2> Tappuri Cream Bread (180 JPY). Filled with so much homemade custard cream that it feels heavy. So popular that about 1,000 are sold each day!

<No. 3> Original Beef Cutlet Sandwich (530 JPY). The meat is cooked with residual heat so that it doesn't harden, and it is sandwiched while hot. Topped with a secret special sauce.

They have a full line-up of breads despite the limited space that comes with being a store in a train station.

The manager, Reina Nakatake, commented: "The Carnet has always been a favorite. We have rules about the amount and way the mayonnaise is applied. It is spread thoroughly, and the filling is also arranged so that it tastes great regardless of where you bite in."

■ Sizuya Keihan Sanjo Branch
<Address: Keihan Sanjo Station Underground Concourse, 124 Ohashi-cho, Sanjo-dori Ohashi Higashi-iru, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto; Phone: 075-551-6100; Hours: 7:00 am - 9:00 pm; Holidays: None; Seating: None; Parking: None; Access: Within Keihan Sanjo Station>

Sizuya Keihan Sanjo Branch

124 Ohashi-cho, Sanjo-dori Ohashi Higashi-iru, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

The 3 Most Beloved Breads at Isuzu Bakery

Isuzu Bakery, which has been operating for 72 years, sells breads prepared under their motto of baking bread that you won’t ever tire of. Their baker is recognized by the city as a Kobe Meister - a certification that recognizes outstanding skills and craftsmanship. In addition to the Hard Yamashoku (270 JPY), which is a loaf that embodies the skills of the Kobe Meister, new creations are released every month.

<No. 1> Très Long (right) (582 JPY/one loaf, 291 JPY/half). An extremely long 75cm loaf. The sausage procured from Okinawa has a great texture. Available as half a loaf, or a whole loaf.

<No. 2> Super Special Cream Bread (center) (183 JPY). It is a brioche filled with plenty of vanilla-flavored custard.

<No. 3> Beef Tendon Curry (left) (216 JPY). The chewy yet tender texture of the beef tendon is fantastic. The curry in the bread has just the right amount of spiciness and aroma.

This shop is always crowded. The main store is along Flower Road (currently in a temporary location).

Started by Yukio Izutsu in 1946, it became a limited partnership called “Isuzu Bakery” in May of 1951. In 1984, the Hard Yamashoku bread was awarded the Prime Minister's award at the 20th National Confectionary Expo. In 1998, the second owner, Eiji Izutsu, was certified as the first Kobe Meister in the breadmaking division. He continues to evolve his skills today.

The manager, Takumi Narisawa, commented: "We try to make everything by hand. Many of our customers are very sensitive to changes in the bread, such as how well it is baked, so it is really important to bake them with great care."

■ Isuzu Bakery Motomachi Branch
<Address: 1-11-18 Motomachi-dori, Chuo-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo; Phone: 078-393-4180; Hours: 8:00 am - 9:00 pm; Holidays: None; Seating: None; Parking: None; Access: 3 minutes on foot from JR and Hanshin Motomachi Station>

Isuzu Bakery Motomachi Branch

1-11-18 Motomachi-dori, Chuo-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo

[This article was originally published in Walkerplus on 03.09.2018]

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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