It’s been long since I wrote the last post. I had been back in Japan for three weeks to see my family. I really had a wonderful time, despite a few mishaps during our long journey.
(Mishaps or incidents… our family holiday cannot be ours without a few of those: nearly missing a fight taking a wrong turn on the way to Dublin airport, Istanbul airport closing temporary due to bad weather, our suitcases getting lost and not arriving until one week later. Well, we get there safe and well, cannot complain. )
We stayed at my parents house in which I grew up. It’s in a small town in Nagano prefecture, very rural, very green place. Our holiday was spent mostly doing thing with our kids, going to the park, swimming pool, and visiting a few summer festival nearby. It’s lovely to do things which I did as a child in summer with my own kids.
I also managed to visit a few cake shops and bakeries around my hometown. As a keen home baker, I really enjoyed looking and tasting breads and cakes at different shops. Some places were really inspiring, and I admire their taste and attitude to their work.
This review may not be any use to anyone reading this, as it is in a Nagano prefecture in Japan, far from normal tourist area. And these are not ‘Top something’ or ‘Must see’ type list, just a few places I managed to visit and photos of them. I just hope you might look though and found it somewhat interesting. Most photos are taken by my husband with a permission of shops (or my photo of my purchase.)
This is a small bakery in a middle of rural town, which I found when I was researching about baguette a year ago or so.
The owner bakes her breads using her own natural yeast (sourdough) in wood fired oven. She also sells products which she found useful and beautiful, some from local pottery, some from other places in Japan or abroad.
I’d read in her blog that she takes whole August off, and I was so disappointed. But I found out that she was opening her shops for a few days in mid Aug (OBON period), I was so delighted and I am so glad that I visited her shop & cafe.
This bakery is quite known if you like natural yeast (sour dough) bread. The owner of this bakery is one of pioneer in natural yeast baking in Japan. (I also have his book! My sister also read his article in a magazine she is subscribed, so we went to this bakery together.) This bakery mill their flour which is grown in Japan even if it is known to be difficult to use domestic wheat for bread, and bake with their own starter.
The bakery & cafe is situated in a beautiful old street of UEDA city. The building itself was worth a visit for me.
After chatting to my old friend about my visit to the bakeries above, she recommended me this little bakery close to my home.
A lady opens her little bakery just twice a week. She bakes all the breads herself using natural yeast.
This shop was tiny and very cute, I love the feel of the shop. This bakery sells good variety of sweet and savory bread. I was amazed that the owner baked all this by herself. The selection of bread includes hard lean French style bread but also sweet soft bread which children would love.
These are bakeries which I managed to visit around my hometown, but I loved all three of them. They are all quite small (Levain UEDA is quite known, I guess) , but somewhat powerful and inspiring.