When a bakery opens in Japan it’s usually a local affair, with nearby businesses presenting them with decorative flowers to congratulate them on their opening and residents taking note of the new store selling baked goods in the district.
For one bakery in Tokyo, however, news of its grand opening on March 2 has suddenly gone viral, thanks to a unique product they’ve created to stand out from the rest of the bakeries in the nation’s capital.
The bakery is called Usagi-za Lepus and the product that’s bringing them fame is a loaf in the shape of a cute, round-faced, long-eared bunny. After hearing news of its immense popularity on Twitter, where customers have been raving about the product and receiving tens of thousands of likes and retweets from people desperate to try a rabbit-shaped sandwich for themselves, our own Japanese-language reporter Mr Sato decided to head down to the bakery himself to see what the fuss was about.
Anticipating a huge queue of people ahead of the store’s 10 a.m. opening time, Mr Sato arrived at the bakery at 9:15 a.m. He needn’t have worried, however, as there was only one person standing outside the shop when he arrived, with another six joining them by the time the store opened. The bakery kindly opened their doors to them ten minutes before their advertised opening time, which meant Mr Sato was able to finally step away from the cold and into the warmth of the store, where he was surrounded by shelves of delicious-looking freshly baked goods.
Distracted by the beautiful pastries, Mr Sato couldn’t resist purchasing a croissant from the gorgeous display in front of him. He didn’t forget the task at hand, thankfully, as he picked up a six-slice loaf of bunny bread to bring back to the office too. With only 32 loaves being baked each day, and split up into designated time slots where only eight go on sale at a time – at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 3 p.m., and 5 p.m. each day – Mr Sato was actually lucky to get his hands on one of these as the cute breads are known to sell out almost as soon as they’re made.
Upon returning to the office, Mr Sato decided to toast a slice and smother it in a dollop of butter. He wasn’t expecting it to taste any different to a regular square-shaped slice of bread, but surprisingly, the texture was lighter than he thought it would be, with a good crunch and a mild sweetness that would be even more delicious when paired with a stronger spread like peanut butter or even a slice of good-quality cheese.
Everyone in the office fell in love with the gorgeous bunny bread, and its popularity looks set to grow even more as people continue to find out about it online through social media. Available as sliced or whole loaves, the bunny breads retail for just 300 yen each, making them a completely affordable way to add some cute to your lunchtime sandwiches!
Shop Information Bakery Usagi-za Lepus / ベーカリー兎座LEPUS Address: Tokyo-to, Suginami-ku, Umezato 1-15-3 東京都杉並区梅里1丁目15−13 Open: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Closed Mondays and the second and fourth Tuesday of the month Website
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