NISEKO BREAD – WHERE TO BUY?

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Photo Copyright 2015 LuxNiseko
Photo Copyright 2015 LuxNiseko

NISEKO BREAD – WHERE TO BUY?

Many ski tourists who come to Niseko for the first time may wonder where is the best place to buy Niseko bread.  A new place can sometimes be difficult to navigate and on a holiday the goal is always to maximize time spent relaxing or – in the case of Niseko – powder skiing and snowboarding.  Below is a brief overview of the 4 best places to buy bread or pastries in Niseko or nearby.


 

Niseko Best Bakery
Photo Copyright 2015 LuxNiseko
LUPICIA BOUTIQUE BAKERY

Lupicia Niskeo Bread is one of the hidden treasures in Niseko.  Without going into the building itself one may miss out on some of the best breads in Niseko.  Upon entering Lupicia Niseko Boutique a large table with a variety of rustic breads is the first thing one notices.  What may not be immediately clear is that these breads are made in a traditional slow-fermented way with Hokkaido grown flour.  Ranging from large to small and rustic to refined it is an impressive display of craftsmanship.  Even better is the complex textures and flavors they release with each bite.  These are exceptional breads no matter what city or town you live in.

Although Lupicia is located outside of central Hirafu these breads are so good they are well worth the extra time to obtain.  Whether you are planning an aprés ski party or just chilling by the fireplace with a glass of wine these are the breads you want to have by your side.  Along with the charcuterie, salads and preserves sold within the Lucpicia Niseko Boutique one could easily plan a casual meal that would please even the most fickle gourmand.

LOCATION & HOURS

ADDRESS:    Hokkaido Abuta-gun Makkari village Sakuragawa 45-8
TEL:    0136-45-2773
OPEN:    9:00 to 18:00


BOULANGERIE JIN
Photo on LuxNiseko
JIN BOULANGERIE

Accessible only by car or bicycle, architect Nakamura Yoshifumi elegantly rendered a building suitable to house an Artisan Breadmaker.   Outside a small metal signboard sways with the breeze.  A simple outline of a boulangére (baker) is cut out from the black signboard giving a visual clue of what goes on inside.  Stacked firewood runs alongside the building’s walls as the smell of warm bread wafts through the air – tempting our senses.  This will be one of the most out of the way bakeries you will find anywhere in the world.  Given that bakeries usually require a steady flow of customers it seems a miracle that JIN Boulangerie can exist here.  We were told they attract a lot of Japanese tourists in the summer and also supply the bread to Maccarina Restaurant.  Their business was built on word of mouth and the quality of their crafted breads and pastries is their calling card.  

Entering the interior of JIN Boulangerie is becomes immediately apparent – even for those challenged by French – that this is a French Boulangerie in all but aesthetics.  The smell of toasted golden crusts and richly fragrant butter fills the senses.  It is quite easy to lose control in here – everything looks like a must have.  This helps explain the long distances domestic gourmands are willing to drive for a rare taste of food craftsmanship.  In a country completely obsessed with food – as Japan is – this hard to find location asks a lot of their customer but somehow returns it in spades.

Rashi was trained in “Hôtel de Kaiser” at the Windsor Hotel Toya – itself known for its great bread as well as a stunning setting and refined hospitality.  This is the hotel that hosted the G7 summit a few years back and also houses some of the great restaurants in Hokkaido including Michel Bras’ outpost restaurant.  In opening his own place he took the process one step further and chose to bake in a wood fired oven.  The Village of Makkari is an ideal location due to the water which flows from an underground source and the seasonal high-quality agricultural products grown. 

Hard or crusty bread types on offer include 4 to 5 kinds including the signature round country bread.  All breads undergo long fermentation which leads to complex crusts that are at once crispy and chewy.  The bread interiors are a shiny, mocha hue with infinite bubbles, all seemingly a different size.  Aromas are complex and flavors stand tall due to the subtle acidity rendered by the long fermentation.  The quality of the flours, many of which are procured from Hokkaido itself, are outstanding.  Even rarer is the bread made from wheat grown and harvested in the village of Makkari itself.  This is part of a local project taken together with Maccarina Restaurant to support local farm production.  This is rare bread even for a bread connoisseur.

Glossy amber croissants include three or four types including plain, currants and chocolate.  These are more rustic than what you find in the metropolitan cities.  Techniques are perhaps less refined here or perhaps the environment plays havoc with the proofing.  None of this matters though once you have taken a bite.  Delicate, crispy textures give way to a soft chewy interior and then the fun really starts.  The butter used here has a fermented quality that extends far beyond what one normally tastes.  One becomes lost quickly in this croissant’s poetry.

LOCATION & HOURS

ADDRESS:    Hokkaido Abuta-gun Makkari village Sakuragawa 45-8
TEL:    0136-45-2773
OPEN:    9:00 to 18:00
CLOSED:   FRIDAY


 

Niseko Odin Bakery
Photo Copyright 2015 LuxNiseko
ODIN BAKERY

For those unwilling or unable to venture outside of Hirafu in search of Niseko Bread then ODIN Bakery presents an adequate solution.  There is no bakery more central to the hub of Niseko as it is sitting on the the cross section of Highway 343 and the main street leading to the ski hills of Grand Hirafu.   Operated by the Niseko Supply Company it offers a small menu of daily baked viennoisserie, breads and pastries.  Pain Chocolat, Cinnamon Rolls and Baguettes are some of the more popular items available here.

LOCATION & HOURS

ADDRESS:    Hokkaido Abuta-gun Makkari village Sakuragawa 45-8
TEL:    0136-45-2773
OPEN:    9:00 to 18:00


LANDMARK DELI BREAD
Photo Copyright 2015 LuxNiseko
LANDMARK DELI

One of the hidden treasures of the Landmark Deli is the farm-table spread of locally made delicacies.  Turning the corner into the deli reveals a wooden table spread with locally baked pastries and breads.  The varieties here are different than other bakeries like Lupicia Boutique , Jin Boulangerie and Odin Bakery.  The style seems to be more Northern European with a beautiful golden hue occasionally lathered in fondant or crowned with fruit preserves.  The cinnamon rolls are hard to resist with their swirling spirals of white fondant and golden brioche.

Bread loaf selection includes baguette style long loaves or an impressive variety of pullman style pan loaves. (shoko-pan as they call it here in Japan).  Smaller choices include danish pastries, fruit-filled streudels and croissants  It’s easy to find a perfect match to a fresh crafted coffee, latte or espresso.  Operating hours allow for a morning start or afternoon break.

LOCATION & HOURS

ADDRESS:   181 – 4 Aza-Yamada Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun  Hokkaido, Japan 044-0081
TEL:    0136 21-6466
OPEN:    Ski Season Only  Dec 15 to March 15    7am – 11am     3pm – 6pm