Kyoto is a place with many temples and shrines, and is well known for its image of being Japan’s traditional and ancient heartland.
In perhaps surprising contrast to that traditional image, people in Kyoto actually love bread, evidenced by Kyoto’s bread consumption being rated as No.1 in Japan.
Kyoto’s popular sightseeing area Karasuma is home to many tourist spots such as Nijo Castle, Honnoji, and Nishiki Market, and it also happens to be a bakery rich area with many famous shops serving a range of delicious bread choices.
This article will introduce a range of delicious breads that can be found at bakeries in the Karasuma area, around Kyoto Station, and in the Gion area.
Let's start a day of Kyoto sightseeing with a visit to a bakery that has you licking your lips in anticipation!
Located near the intersection of Karasuma Oike, Annee is both a bakery and a café, and you can eat the products you buy in-store or on the terrace.
Croissants are the store’s most popular products, and by using high-quality fermented butter the owner has reproduced the taste of the croissants he fell in love with during his time training in France.
Seasonal fruit sandwiches with luxurious flavors using moist bread are also popular.
One of the big drawcards of the bakery is that it is open from morning to late at night.
– FLEUR DE FARINE
FLEUR DE FARINE is a stylish, European style bakery located just one street to the east of Karasuma-dori.
If you like Danish pastries then be sure to check this place out as there are many kinds of elaborate Danish for less than 200 yen!
There are also different types of Danish such as the spicy "Keema" Danish and the "Fromage Blanc" Danish, which has an exquisite taste combining large chestnuts and cheese cream with a marron-like glace.
Fromage Blanc Danish
FLEUR DE FARINE
– Boulangerie Liberte
Liberte Kyoto Teramachi Honten is a stylish bakery with a Western-style setting, and you can take your time selecting the bread of your liking in this quiet store with its rustic, timbered interior.
There are a wide variety of breads available from firmer, crunchy breads such as baguettes and rye, to sandwiches and sweet breads.
There’s really a bread for everybody here!
– GRANDIR Oike Store
Grandir Oike is a well-established bakery in Kyoto, and is a shop with a profound appearance using a predominantly black color-scheme to great effect.
The recommendation here is panini, which the staff will bake for you after ordering.
The sticky dough compliments the generous helping of ingredients well and is perfect for lunch. Cream bread and bagels are also popular.
Bagels are also popular.
GRANDIR Oike Store
– Flip up!
Flip-up is extremely popular among bakery shops in Kyoto, and it is strongly recommended to arrive at the store early as it closes as soon as the bread is sold out!
You’ll not want to miss out on the wide variety of bagels, all which use high-quality domestic wheat and homemade natural yeast, giving the bagels a delightful, sticky texture.
You’ll also be happy to know that most bread here is less than 200 yen.
– Tanaka Sandwich
Tanaka sandwich has been around for some time, founded in 1973.
The most popular item in this shop is the “ “Fruit Sandwich””, which is jam-packed full of fruits. Fresh fruit and slightly sweet fresh cream are sandwiched between fluffy slices of bread, definitely leaving you more than satisfied.
There are also many other sandwiches available, and the shrimp cutlet sandwich is a gem. The shop’s owner, Mr. Tanaka, fries the cutlets at 4a.m. every morning and completes them by finishing with a handmade sauce.
The crispness of the lettuce placed between the bread and the cutlet, combined with the secret savory mustard is a recipe which results in providing a sandwich with a luxurious taste.
Shrimp cutlet sandwich
Owner, Mr. Tanaka
This is a bakery loved by the locals, which first opened in a town in Kyoto in 1948, and has since expanded to 21 stores.
"Carnet" is their most popular product, so much so that is frequently featured as a special dish of Kyoto.
The combination of sliced ham and crisp onion, sitting inside a unique fluffy French bread is a golden combination.
There is a wide range of other sandwiches available also.
"Original Beef Cutlet Sandwich" is steadfast in its popularity, and the "Soft Fluffy Omelette Sand" with a soft texture like soft-boiled eggs is also recommended.
However, instead of eating it immediately after purchasing, let it return to room temperature and let the dressing soak into the bread before eating.
Soft Fluffy Omelette Sand
Hanakago’s bread is famous locally as it is used in various popular restaurants in the area.
The most popular bread amongst Hanakago’s range is their "Organic Vegetable Bread", which is the result of a collaboration with a grocery store in Kyoto called "Sanaka no Tochu", a store which prides itself on carefully grown vegetables that don’t rely on pesticides or chemical fertilizers.
You can enjoy different ingredients throughout the year as various seasonal vegetables are used depending on the time of year.
Also look out for their "Red Wine Bread" which is made using red wine instead of water, which can be found at a famous cafe.
Organic Vegetable Bread
Gion / Higashiyama Area
This is the sister store of Flip up!, with the added advantage of having the option to eat your freshly bought bread in the shop.
The most popular products here are the bagels, and the classics are the Cheese Bagels and Chocolate Bagels, but if you want to try a bagel sandwich one option is the "Spicy Chicken" which is an exquisite combination of Indian-style spicy chicken and simmered sweet potatoes.
There are more than just bagels here too, and something worth trying is the “Croissant Banana Special”, which is a croissant covered in maple syrup and almonds, full of sautéed bananas which soak into the dough, all wrapped like a candy in thin paper. Wow!
Croissant Banana Special, all wrapped like a candy
Around Kyoto Station
– Inoue Bread
Sitting in an unassuming brick building, Inoue Bakery is a lovely small bakery.
If you go to Inoue Bakery, you must try their bread called "Mercy", which is a sweet combination of plenty of fresh cream sandwiched between fluffy bread, and it will definitely bring a smile to your face from your first bite.
Of course, the entire range of breads at the store is worth trying.
The most popular "Mercy"
The entire range of breads at the store is worth trying.