Exploring the Delicate Art of Japanese Baking: The Uniqueness and Variety of ‘Pan’

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Japanese bread, known as “pan,” has several unique characteristics that set it apart from other international bread varieties.

Soft Texture

One of the most significant features of Japanese bread is its soft, fluffy, and light texture, often a result of using the “Yudane” method, which involves mixing boiling water with flour before combining it with the rest of the ingredients.


Unlike Western bread, which is often more savory, many types of Japanese bread have a subtle sweetness to them.

Even sandwich bread, known as “shokupan,” often has a slight sweet note.

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Variety and Innovation

Japanese bakeries are renowned for their creative spin on bread, combining traditional Japanese ingredients with Western baking methods.

They offer a wide range of bread types with various fillings and toppings.

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Some popular types of Japanese bread


The most common bread, used for everyday sandwiches and toast. It has a square shape and a soft, slightly sweet taste.

Melon Pan

Despite the name, this bread doesn’t usually contain melon.

It’s named for the sugar cookie crust on top, which cracks in a pattern that resembles a melon’s rind. The inside is soft and sweet.


A sweet roll filled with red bean paste, anpan is a classic Japanese bread.

It’s named for the “an” (sweet bean paste) inside.

Curry Pan

A deep-fried bread filled with Japanese curry. It’s typically coated in breadcrumbs before frying, resulting in a crispy outer layer.

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Where to buy ?

You can find these bread types and more in a variety of shops. “Bakeries” or “pan-ya” are the most common places to buy fresh bread.

Convenience stores, or “konbini,” also offer a range of pre-packaged breads and sandwiches, including some of the types mentioned above.

There are also specialty bread shops that offer artisanal and high-quality bread, where you can find more unique and seasonal offerings.

Finally, many cafes in Japan serve fresh, hand-made sandwiches using various types of bread.


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