Is it your dream to teach English in Japan?
I have to be careful or I will end up eating too much delicious bread and gaining weight / not losing weight when I live in Japan.
There is delicious bread (and sort of boring bread) all over, for a culture that traditionally eats rice instead of bread. Here is a quick list of bread in Japan, with a couple Engrish photos to entertain you.
The word for bread in Japanese is PAN (パン), which comes from Portuguese (also the same in Spanish, French, Korean, etc.) because the first bread in Japan came from trading with Portugal. When students are learning a language, I like to use this as an example, because it’s nice to know a lot of languages have borrowed words and words in common.
In Japan, sliced bread is more awesome. It’s almost all white bread, and very thickly sliced. For some reason, it’s way more fun to eat fluffy thick sliced bread, or shoku pan (食パン).
You can also find hot dog bun shaped bread which is just a normal bread version of a French bread maybe? Not as alluring to me. These are common in school lunch and sometimes it will be a sweet version called Coppe-pan (コッペパン).
French inspired bakeries are in most stations and department stores in Japan. They often have free samples to seduce you to buy something delicious. Melon pan メロンパン (not actually filled with melon) is awesome. Common items which are more Japanese than French (I’m not French, just by pure observation) are An-pan (アンパン), which has sweet red bean paste inside, and Kare-pan (カレーパン), which is Japanese Curry filled bread. I recommend both if you’re looking for a new addiction.
Some local and seasonal items are sure to be found, so I’ll mention that I love Kurumi-pan which is walnut bread (くるみパン), and I have recently discovered Mentaiko French Bread or Mentai-Furansu (明太フランス). Some of the bakeries have pizza and churros too!
Not exactly bread, but there are also French style spongy roll cakes all over the place. From super high end boutique versions to supermarket mass-produced packaged ones.
I don’t care about donuts in the US because they’re too sugary for me so I go into a sugar coma. Donuts in Japan on the other hand… My first experience was a Mister Donut matcha (green tea) cake style donut. In the first place, matcha flavored things are probably my favorite. The other perfect thing was the amount of sweetness. It wasn’t sugary at all and the slightly bitter tea flavor balanced out the sweet taste. Pretty darn good for a cheap chain store donut. They have a lot of types of donuts and some are definitely a little sweet and sticky. Plus, Mister Donut (or Misudo ミスド) is a great place to meet friends and have a decent coffee (with free refills), study, work on your budget, or just space out and relax after a tough day. *Sometimes ridiculously crowded.
That’s all for bread. Biscuits and cakes and other sweets are another story… Make sure your bread consumption is balanced with lots of veggies and just every once in a while and you should be fine. In Japan I spend a lot more time walking and riding a bike, so I have been able to eat whatever I want and still weigh slightly less than what I weigh in America. Sometimes I need some fuel in the form of a nice donut or French style bread!