Okanoueno Panya Bakery: A Food-Stop To Visit When In Yokohama | CoolJapan

Okanoeuno Panya Bakery

The entrance of Okanoeuno Panya Bakery on a clear, crisp day.

In a land where undoubtedly rice is king, a different staple is slowly and surely winning hearts and stomachs nationwide — bread. Even the French-adapted Japanese word for the delicacy, パン (pan), reflects its popularity resulting in a spike of artisan bakeries rising up from the city to the countryside. Like all things in Japan, trust the dedicated professionals to perfect the iconic fresh, pillowy, shokupan loaves, leaving tourists and residents alike literally queuing for hours to get their hands on a single loaf.

Okanoeuno Panya Bakery

Okanoueno Panya Bakery means ‘bakery on a hill’, which sits atop a small knoll. 

Enter Okanoeuno Panya Bakery (丘の上のパン屋). A short bus ride from Tama-Plaza Station (Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line) in Yokohama, you can experience this hidden gem of bakery bliss. As if plucked right out of a classic Japanese animated storyboard, this charming mountain-hut bread shop would not feel out of place in any Parisian countryside. Stocked daily with classic French breads and pastries, every item is prepared meticulously fresh and insanely delicious. It is for this simple reason that Okanoeuno Panya is treasured by those living in the neighbourhood.

As the name suggests, Okanoeuno Panya means ‘bakery on a hill' — a perfect lofty mount for this unpretentious bakery. Perched atop a small grassy knoll, the bakery is owned and operated by the baker, Kuronuma Atsushi (黒沼 敦詞). Atsushi-san’s idea to open his own home-style bakery began in April 2018 after having worked in several boulangerie-patisserie shops around Tokyo over the previous 16 years. The final push came from his mother suggesting that he share his pleasure of creating simple, delicious bread with others. To our gastronomical benefit, he graciously accepted the challenge.

Okanoeuno Panya Bakery kitchen

Open kitchen concept inside Okanoeuno Panya Bakery 

Okanoeuno Panya Bakery food items

Seasonal varieties of ‘viennoiseries’, boulangerie, and pâtisserie.

Experiencing Okanoeuno Panya is like stepping into a Miyazaki Studio Ghibli world. The abundant lush greenery, rustic sounds of nature, wind snaking its way through the surrounding bamboo forest make you feel as if you’ll bump into your neighbour Totoro munching on a moist loaf with friends.

Immediately upon opening the wooden bakery doors you are greeted with an intense, heavenly aroma of freshly baked goodness. This is no surprise thanks to the open-kitchen concept as intended by Atsushi-san. The ambience inside the shop is welcoming and comforting thanks to the warm and cosy wood-decor style.

Okanoeuno Panya Bakery shokupan

Freshly baked square-shaped ’Premium Bread’ loaves

Every baked item at Okanoeuno Panya is prepared fresh, daily. At any given time, you’ll see an amazing array of homemade creations ranging from the classic and ever-popular square-shaped ’Premium Bread’ loaf to rich, buttery, French croissants and baguettes — all laid out on open display. Besides the usual staples, Okanoeuno Panya is surprisingly famed for its signature Portuguese-style egg tarts. Best paired with a cup of in-house brewed coffee, these mini buttery pastry pucks with their slightly burnt crust are undoubtedly addictive. Light and crispy, the flaky tarts pack just the right balance of savoury-sweet creamy custard goodness from edge to centre.

Range of classic ‘viennoiseries’, boulangerie and pâtisserie displayed at the bakery

Range of classic ‘viennoiseries’, boulangerie and pâtisserie displayed at the bakery

Okanoueno Panya is worth checking out if you are planning a day trip to Yokohama or even if you happen to be strolling around the area. Okanoeuno Panya is also decked with a homely outdoor wooden terrace, which in my opinion is the perfect 'drop-in' location for breakfast or even a tea-time snack.

Besides all the mouth-watering baked goods, what I love about Okanoueno Panya is that it follows a strict scheduled baking time for its baked-goods on days that it’s open for business (the baking schedule times can be found here). This means that discerning customers can plan to pick up their desired choice of baked goodies just as they slide out fresh from the oven. Additionally, some of the ‘hot’ items such as shokupan, baguette, and egg tarts can also be reserved ahead of time.

Okanoeuno Panya Bakery signboard

As with any hand-crafted, tasty and delicious artwork, the most popular items are known to sell out through the day. Visit early if you can or come when the new batches are released to the display floor. You can take my word for it — but best to make the effort and trek to this mouth-watering gem and enjoy for yourself!

Please visit their website for operating hours and measures to keep customers and staff safe from COVID-19.

Sit Fong is an avid skier, scuba diver, photographer and foodie. If you can’t find her cruising Japow backcountry or underwater framing a pygmy seahorse, she’ll be tucked away in her favourite cafe in search of the next delicious adventure. Jack of all trades, master of FUN! Sit Fong is from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and resides in Tokyo.
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