Nakano: the Microcosm of Tokyo (Part 3)

  This is a continuation of yesterday's article. In the shopping street of Nakano, we find a fascinating bakery. The sign of the bakery says "Home Bakery Bon Goût" (French, good taste). In Japanese, it is written as ボングー (pronounced as Bon Gu).

  The baker was selling some breads right out of the shop on the street. We stopped by and tried some samples.

  The baker sells bread on the street every evening to sell the remaining bread in the shop with a substantial discount price when the weather is good. He has been running this bakery for 26 years.


  The bread we tried all tasted yummy and nostalgic. For example, the mushi-pan (steamed bread) were common sweet snack during my childhood in 1970s, and my grandmother used to buy it for me and my siblings. The mushi-pan this bakery sells reminded me of the taste I used to enjoy during my childhood. It is one of the tastes which reminds me of my grandma who passed away 17 years ago.


  Although this bakery, at first, appeared as an ordinary bakery in every neighborhood, we found the most unusual thing as a sales product of bakeries. Any idea what it is?

  The answer is Dog Bread (see the above photo). The label said "Bread OF Dog", and so I thought it could be a dog-shaped bread so that kids would love them. However, it has a shape of bone. So I asked the baker:


"What is this bread of dog meant for? Does it have a lot of calcium to strengthen children's bone density, as the shape suggests?"


  Surprisingly, the baker said:


"No, it literally means a bread FOR dog. It is not for human though it is edible. I baked them for dogs to eat."


  Amazing. I was totally amazed. He must be a devoted dog lover, as I have never heard of bread on sale for dogs in an ordinary bakery. I have not seen dog bread in the dogfood or pet section of supermarket or petshop, either.

  When we were searching more attractive bread inside the shop, we found another compelling bread there, even though it is not on sale. That bread had a shape of a giant panda, holding a bamboo leaf at its mouth, and holding two flags. The left flag said two sentences:


"Cheer up, Tohoku (tsunami-devastated area of the 3.11. earthquake). Japan, together we unite."


  The right flag said:


"Stop nuclear power plant for the future of our children."


  Wow, that is the most unusual and unexpected manifest I have ever seen. That was totally surprising, and I love this bakery.




Posted on Monday 23 April 2012


To read the sequal to this article of Nakano, click here.