Thanks to the importing of Western culture and cuisine, bakeries selling sweets, bread, cookies, and other baked goods are abundant and popular all over Japan. It isn’t unusual to find at least one small bakery, whether chain or local, whenever you arrive at a new town or city.
You’ll often find bakeries in hotels, as part of cafes, or small businesses locally run selling fresh goods that turn out to be the locals’ favorite. Cakes, bread, cookies, donuts, and savory treats are, therefore, very popular as snacks and lunches in a country where, a hundred years ago, bread and baked goods were relatively rare.
Little Mermaid is a popular chain bakery that you can find all over Tokyo and beyond. It sells many kinds of baked items, both savory and sweet, that people love to buy for snacks and meals. Little Mermaid bakeries generally open at around 9:00 AM and close at 9:30 PM, though this depends on the store.
Customers go in, grab some tongs and a tray, choose what they’d like to buy, and head to the counter to pay. This chain shop also has a points system; upon making a purchase, you get some stickers or “seals” that you can add to the sticker book, which you can get for free at the counter. When you collect enough stickers, you can get a reward or prize, usually some kind of special kitchen item such as pretty bowls and plates.
This reward system, though, isn’t the only thing that brings customers to Little Mermaid again and again. Here are some of the items that this popular bakery chain offers.
Little Mermaid’s savory food is perfect for a light breakfast, lunch, or between-meal snack. They offer sandwiches such as katsu chicken and ham and salad, slices of pizza, hotdogs, and pieces of bread with various toppings such as tomato and cheese.
Items are clearly labeled (usually in Japanese) with what is inside. Fillings include cheese, mushrooms, tomato, bacon, potato, mayonnaise, egg, and more. Most savory snacks are served cold, but there are also hot paninis including tomato and bacon as well as cheese and ham. The classic Japanese curry pan is also served.
Little Mermaid also offers some delicious sweet treats including donuts, cakes, pies, and pastries with flavors such as chocolate, custard, berry, strawberries, nuts, and cream. They always taste fresh and are carefully presented to look appetizing and tasty.
As well as being able to buy snacks that can be eaten soon after purchasing, Little Mermaid also offers kinds of bread that you can take home. These include not only regular sliced bread, but French baguette bread perfect for making delicious and crunchy sandwiches or to dip into soup. Their freshly baked bread is a good alternative to supermarket bread, which usually isn’t as fresh.
Little Mermaid isn’t a cafe, which means you can’t get freshly brewed coffee or tea that might be offered by other bakeries. However, you can grab a cold latte or juice to go with your food.
If you spot a Little Mermaid store on your travels in Japan, be sure to go inside and check out their items! I have personally never bought anything from Little Mermaid that I didn’t like, and it’s fun to collect stickers and save up for a prize. Who knows, you might just discover your new favorite snack in this charming bakery chain!
Little Mermaid Website *Japanese only
There are many branches, but we will introduce one of them here.