In Japan, bread rolls called “koppe pan” are extremely popular and when you go to elementary schools in Japan, these bread rolls are frequently included in the lunch menus. They are basically the Japanese equivalent of hot dog buns but slightly larger and fluffier.
In Morioka City in Iwate prefecture, there is a store called Fukuda Pan that specializes in koppe pan. Founded in 1948, Fukuda Pan was made with the intention to provide cheap and large bread buns to students. Their sales started at a nearby college and gradually began to spread all across Japan as limited traveling sales. Recently, their popularity has been rapidly increasing due to media exposure and the store in the city of Morioka is now attracting customers from all over Japan.
The bread rolls at Fukuda Pan are much larger than the typical koppe bread rolls sold, and also much fluffier. The shop itself is modeled after an old-fashioned school and has an adorable exterior. Once you walk in, the menu is posted on a blackboard placed above the ordering window, adding to the whole school theme and design.
So what is so special about Fukuda Pan? I personally think that their nationwide popularity comes from not only their delicious bread but also from the extremely wide variety of toppings/fillings that you can choose to be put on your bread. Fukuda Pan provides approximately 60 types of toppings and you can ask for any combination of two toppings that you want. The slightly salt-flavored, perfectly fluffy bread is the base that matches any topping and draws out its flavor to its maximum capacity.
For the people like me who are indecisive when it comes to choosing their own combination of toppings, you can always choose from their pre-chosen combinations or maybe choose from some of the combinations that I found to be popular online.
Red Bean Paste & Butter
Cookie & Vanilla
Corned Beef & Egg
These bread rolls are really big and filling for their extremely cheap price. The simplest ones are available from 139 yen and go up to 286 yen with the exception of when you ask for additional toppings. If you are in the Morioka area, I highly suggest going to Fukuda Pan and trying out their famous bread rolls!