Since I was a child, I’ve always associated the anpan with all things Japanese. This of course had to do with the weekly shopping trips to Yaohan in the 80s and the routine anpan before Yamaha music classes. So during our Tokyo trip, I just had to visit the bakery where it all began.
The 150-year old Kimuraya is where anpans were born. The first anpan was made in 1875 by a man called Yasubei Kimura, a samurai who had lost his job with the rise of the Imperial Army. To cut a long story short, he wanted to make Western bread that was more suited to Japanese tastes and that was how the anpan came about.
Kimuraya has come a long way and is now an 8 storey bakery in upscale Ginza. Besides the original red bean anpan, Kimuraya has a whole variety of flavours ranging from chestnut to lotus seed paste to the seasonal sakura flavour.
We tried a couple of flavours and our favourites were the original red bean and chestnut. Don’t expect the Kimuraya anpans to be soft and fluffy. The texture of the bread is like traditional bread that tends to be a little more dense. I would describe the anpans like fresh dinner rolls stuffed with the most amazing red bean paste. The chestnut one was delicious and came with an entire chestnut inside!
Just above exit A9 of Ginza Station on Ginza or Hibiya line. You can’t miss it.