Asakusa Sakura (Tokyo 2016): Matcha Ice Cream Melonpan

If you’re ever in Japan, you’ve got to try these sweet buns called “melonpans”. Now, they don’t usually contain any melon in the bun… the name comes from how the shape resembles a melon – in particular, a cantaloupe. It’s similar to how a Chinese bo lo bau is called a pineapple bun because it resembles a pineapple.

Just a few steps outside of Isomaru Suisan, there’s a melonpan shop called Asakusa Sakura (although you probably won’t see the name spelled out in English). This appears to be a chain bakery under the Asakusa Hanatsudo brand.

Melonpans are made from an enriched dough covered in a thin layer of crisp cookie dough. Because of this, melonpans are lighter than pineapple buns with a firmer outer casing. And unlike a pineapple bun which has a very delicate and flaky cookie crust, the melonpan cookie crust doesn’t usually fall off easily.


We tried a melonpan filled with matcha ice cream and I’ve got to say that melonpans are wayyyyy better than pineapple buns. The crisp cookie crust helps this bun hold up well to the filling and I loved the texture.


You can find tiny melonpan shops scattered about Japan and can usually “spot them” first with you nose as the small from the freshly baked buns wafts through the air. This particular shop is conveniently located in Asakusa near the Sensō-ji Buddhist temple which is the oldest in Tokyo and the massive Kaminarimon “Thunder Gate” that dominates the entrance.

1-32-14 Asakusa
Taitō-ku, Tōkyō-to 111-0032
5 minute walk from Asakusa Station


Posted on December 15, 2016, in Bakery, Desserts, Japanese, Restaurant Review and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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