Andesu Matoba is one of Asakusa's most popular bakeries, known for selling 20 different varieties of anpan, Japanese sweet bean buns! The standard fillings for Japan's favorite bread aside, let's take a look at Matoba's 15 unique and sometimes weird anpan specialties.
Bean Bun Delights in Anpan Heaven
Andesu Matoba is a 10-minute walk away from Asakusa Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line. The bakery is immensely popular with locals, probably not only because of the excellent anpan but also due to the wonderfully nostalgic atmosphere! As soon as you step inside, a pleasant wheat aroma will immediately give you a craving for one of the many bean buns on display. And indeed, you'll be hard-pressed to find a bakery selling as many anpan delicacies as Andesu Matoba does. Let's dive right in!
1) Koshi Anpan, Matoba's Most Popular Bean Bun
Matoba's most popular bean bun is the Koshi Anpan for 160 yen. It is stuffed with koshian, a fine red bean paste that is made with 100% azuki beans from Hokkaido. This bread bun delicacy is characterized by its subtle sweetness, thus very easy to eat for both sweets lovers and those who are usually more on the savory side of food. The harmony of fluffy dough and silky bean paste is enough to make you close your eyes upon the first bite and hum in delight! It's not a big surprise that the Koshi Anpan is Matoba's best-selling bean bun.
2) Ogura Anpan: Chunky, Beany Deliciousness
Next up is Ogura Anpan for 160 yen. Ogura generally is a bit more coarse and jam-like than koshian, making for a wonderful texture inside the bread. For everyone who likes it chunky, the Ogura Anpan is the best choice for you.
3) Zunda Anpan, the Soybean Specialty
Zunda is a flavorful mash of boiled green soybeans and the namegiver of bean bun specialty number three. For 160 yen, enjoy the addictive soybean paste wrapped in soft bread!
4) Shiro Anpan: White Bean Paste in Soft Bread
Instead of using red azuki beans, shiroan is generally made from lima or navy beans, resulting in its characteristic white color and modest sweetness. As this bean bun's name suggests, Shiro Anpan for 160 yen is filled with this white paste and the perfect recommendation for those who like a mellow, fine filling.
5) Uguisu Flower, both Tasty and Creative!
This beautiful bean bun creation (160 yen) is filled with plenty of homemade green pea paste called uguisu-an. The dough is exceptionally fluffy and the longer you chew this bean bun flower, the richer the wheat taste becomes.
6) Kabocha Anpan: Calling all Pumpkin Fans!
The Kabocha Anpan - meaning pumpkin bean bun - for 160 yen uses sweet pumpkins from Hokkaido and is our warmest recommendation for all pumpkin fans out there! The subtle sweetness turns this bean bun into a wonderful dessert snack.
7) Meron Anpan: Looks like Melon, Tastes like Pea
The Meron Anpan for 160 yen is one of Matoba's very special treats. The outside is classic meronpan (melon bread), crispy and sweet, while uguisu-an (green pea paste) balances the sweetness with a wonderful veggie flavor. A must-try bean bun!
8) Maron Anpan, a Chestnut Delicacy
The Maron Anpan for 160 yen will remind you of the Mont Blanc, one of Japan's favorite desserts. Its rich chestnut flavor and gentle sweetness bring a little bit of the beauty of autumn to your taste buds, regardless of the season.
9) Nishoku Mamepan: Two Colors and Lots of Textures to Explore
Another big Matoba recommendation is the Nishoku Mamepan, or two-colored bean bun, for 160 yen. This colorful delicacy is filled with plenty of both homemade red kidney bean and sweet pea paste, as well as with some whole beans and peas. This makes for a wonderful blend of different flavors and textures!
10) Tenshin Amaguri Anpan, the Fusion of Shiroan and Chestnut
Tenshin amaguri can be translated to roasted chestnut and is a popular street food in Japan, having its origins in China. Of course, Matoba has a bean bun version of this delightful snack! Indulge in the very subtle sweetness of chestnut combined with white bean paste for 160 yen - the finely chopped chestnuts in the paste make for a wonderful texture.
11) Kusadango Anpan and its Authentic Japanese Sweets Flavor
The amazing Kusadango Anpan for 180 is characterized by its round shape, filled with plenty of koshian (fine red bean paste) and actual mochi, or rice cake! Koshian and mochi are a favorite combination when it comes to Japanese sweets and desserts, so seeing a bean bun version of this unique flavor makes us very happy.
12) Kurogoma Anpan: Dark Sesame Delights
The kurogoma anpan, or black sesame bean bun, for 160 has a rich and flavorful sesame paste inside the fluffy bread. Due to the moist, thick filling, this bean bun is for big eaters.
13) Yakiimo Anpan, the Authentic Sweet Potato Experience
Another favorite street food of Japan is yakiimo, or grilled sweet potato. Matoba's bean bun version of this snack is called the Yakiimo Anpan and is available for 160 yen. We highly recommend enjoying the sweet potato bean bun after warming it up a bit for an authentic yakiimo experience!
14) Shio Anpan (Ogura): Harmony of Sweet and Salty
The Shio Anpan (Ogura) for 160 yen is not only filled with the coarse red bean paste called ogura, but also has a distinctive salty flavor that harmonizes surprisingly well with the beans' natural sweetness. The combination of sweet and salty is famous in Japan, so this bean bun specialty naturally has a lot of fans.
15) Kurogoma Kinako Anpan: Roasted Soybean Flour Marries Black Sesame
You already know the black sesame bean bun introduced with 12), but our final anpan showcase adds another flavor to the tasty bread.
The Kurogoma Kinako Anpan for 160 is coated in roasted soybean flour called kinako. This Japanese specialty flour is known for its distinctive taste and it harmonizes just great with the rich taste of sesame paste.
That's it for our Andesu Matoba bean bun special - now all you have to do is choose your favorite!
Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Closed: Sundays, national holidays
- Address 3-3-2 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo-to 111-0032
Written by: Hanatomo