Are you a bread lover? Do you always find yourself struggling to make a choice when in a bakery full of these delicious and aromatic delicacies? Are you interested to find out how your favorite bread is made, or discover more new varieties of bread which you may not have seen before? If this sounds just like you, why not head to the Setagaya Pan Matsuri (世田谷パン祭り) in Tokyo where you can get to savor the best bread from all over the world?
Although bread has a long history of several thousand years in places like Europe, its roots in Japan is comparatively much shorter as it dates back to the Meiji era. There have been many “localized” creations developed over the years which suit the palates of the Japanese. Some representative creations include the anpan (あんパン), which is bread with red bean filling, and melon pan (メロンパン), which actually has no melon in it despite its name.
In recent years, the popularity of bread has increased to the extent that it is becoming a convenient and well-liked alternative on the breakfast table compared to the traditional Japanese breakfast which tends to comprise of rice, a bowl of miso soup, and other side dishes. As such, it is no wonder that this has led to more interest in bread and the subsequent development of events with a related theme such as the Setagaya Pan Matsuri.
First held in 2011, Setagaya Pan Matsuri i.e. Setagaya Bread Festival is an annual event aimed to let visitors enjoy bread. To date, it has become the largest bread festival in Japan from its humble beginnings of about 7,000 visitors to 48,000 who visited the 2016 edition.
For 2017, the festival will take place on October 8 and 9, and will be the 7th edition to date with the theme of bread and the world. It will gather the best bread not only from Setagaya’s bakeries but also from other bakeries nationwide for the sake of meeting the needs of a variety of bread lovers who gather for this annual festival.
One of the highlights of this event is its highly popular bread market which features about 120 stalls selling bread and other food items and drinks. This festival also aims to boost public awareness about bread and to provide a wealth of information for those who are interested in bread making, as well as the cultural aspects surrounding bread.
Setagaya Pan Matsuri will begin at 11:00 AM and end at 5:00 PM on both days, and there are no admission fees to pay when visiting the festival grounds. Most of the action will be happening at Setagaya Park (世田谷公園) and at the 2nd Stadium of Ikejiri Primary School (池尻小学校), which is located just opposite the park. However, do take note that the activities going on at Setagaya Park will cease an hour earlier at 4:00 PM.
In addition, there will be activities, talk shows, workshops, and other programs taking place at Setagaya Monozukuri Gakkou (世田谷ものづくり学校), Setagaya Gayagayakan (せたがや がやがや館), and Mishuku 420 Shotengai’s affiliate shops (三宿四二〇商店会加盟店). Since these places are located close to one another, you will not need to travel far when moving venues.
To get to the festival grounds, you can take the Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line (東急田園都市線) to Ikejiri-Ohashi Station (池尻大橋駅) and walk for 13 minutes. The alternative option is to take the Tokyu Setagaya Line (東急世田谷線) and alight at Sangen-jaya Station (三軒茶屋駅) before walking for 15 minutes.
How about swinging by Setagaya in Tokyo this October to savor some delicious bread and find out more about the charm of these delicious creations? Not only will it be a treat for your palate, but you will also get to pick up some new knowledge about bread in a fun way!
Setagaya Pan Matsuri Website *Japanese only