Bread and Bakery Products

Almost all bread in Japan contains egg and/or dairy products. This makes it very challenging and often impossible to find vegan bread in supermarkets and it’s probably better not to waste your time looking in convenience stores. The same goes for cookies, cakes, muffins and other bakery products. Although you will not find vegan cookies in the bakery department, there are some prepackaged cookie options in the snack sections of some supermarkets- check our Snack Foods section for more information on these. In general, you may be able to find some sort of bread option at Aeon and Aeon-affiliated stores.

Some products have ingredients where the source is not known, and which may or may not be of animal origin, such as shortening/shōtoningu/ショートニング, emulsifier/nyūkazai/乳化剤, l-cysteine/L – shisutein ensan shio/L-システイン塩酸塩 or margarine/māgarin/マーガリン. The Portuguese/Japanese language blog Vegana No Japao (now defunct) also reported that sourdough starter in Japan/sawā-shu/サワー種 can come from animal-derived lactobacillus.

There are various types of naan and at least one type of paratha on the market. Check our Pizza Crusts, Pizza, Tortillas, Naan section for photos and information about these types of products.

You may be able to find rice bread, aimed at people with allergies or gluten intolerances, in some supermarkets.

Since vegan bread in Japan can be hard to locate in mainstream grocery stores, you may have more luck at bread shops, natural food stores, making it at home with a bread maker, and so on, so we’ve provided some information on those options as well.

For those who do not live in Japan, products sold on Rakuten Ichiba can be shipped to other countries via Rakuten Global Express (English), Rakuten’s official overseas delivery service (click here for Rakuten Global Express in Japanese). They will combine your Rakuten Ichiba (Japanese) order with orders from other shopping websites, including those that do not ship overseas, and send everything to you. They do not send refrigerated or frozen items- if you order them, they will be sent to you unrefrigerated. Sign-up is free. Learn how to use the service here (English). Those in Japan can purchase any product that is carried on Rakuten Ichiba directly, of course without using Rakuten Global Express, which is only for overseas shoppers.

Let’s start by looking at some certified vegan products.

On July 1, 2020, Yamazaki released vegan breads and soymeat burgers, certified vegan by VegeProject Japan, at available at some shops in Kanagawa, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Tokyo, Chiba, Nagano, and Saitama. If it does well, there’s the possibility of it being carried more widely. As of early 2021, it is unclear if this product line is still available for purchase.

The products are:

•  Vegeburger (soymeat & tomato sauce)/べジバーガー ソイミート&トマトソース
•  Vegeburger (soymeat & teriyaki sauce)/べジバーガー ソイミート&テリヤキソース
•  Vegan Roll (strawberry and margarine)/ヴィーガンロール いちごジャム&マーガリン
•  Vegan Roll (chocolate cream)/ヴィーガンロール チョコクリーム

The burgers have palm oil per customer service.

Additional information about the emulsifier, etc. is compiled here by someone who contacted customer service.

Yamazaki certified vegan products

Now let’s look at known products which appear to possibly be free of animal ingredients in the categories of anpan, bagels, bread rolls, cake, churros, cookie dough, doughnuts, foccacia, french bread, oat bread (haferbrot), pancakes and pancake mix, puff pastry, rice bread, and sliced bread. Some categories may have only one or two known products on the mainstream market.

ANPAN

The following sweet bean paste-filled bread needs to be heated before eating. It can be found at some Seijo Ishii stores or ordered at the link below. It says “gluten-free,” “egg-free,” and “dairy-free” in English on the package.

Maisen lists some products as animal-ingredient-free/動物性原材料…不使用, including this brown rice ramen. However, the breads aren’t marked as animal-ingredient-free. Also, they sell doughnuts online that contain fish collagen, so check the ingredients carefully if you’re going to place an order with them.

The product page and package for the Brown Rice Adzuki Anpan state it is made without the 27 specified allergens.

• Maisen Genmai (Brown Rice) Adzuki Anpan/おいしい玄米アンパン (あずき). Ingredients: Brown rice flour (domestic), red bean paste, beet sugar, edible oil (rice oil), fresh yeast, salt, trehalose, thickener (HPMC), emulsifier.

Online purchase links: Kameda Net Shop, Maisen Genmai website

Photo from website.

Maisen Genmai Anpan

These organic anpan are breads filled with sweetened beans. These are a version from Asahikawa, Hokkaido that are sold at Bio C’ Bon supermarkets. The packages state the product is vegan. Bio C’ Bon is a chain that, at the beginning of 2021, has branches in Kanagawa Prefecture and Tokyo.

• Vegan Organic Bread filled with Sweetened Beans (Anpan)/オーガニック ブレッド こしあんぱん.  

• Vegan Organic Bread filled with Sweetened Beans and Kabocha Squash (Anpan)/オーガニック ブレッド かぼちゃあんぱん.

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BAGELS

Check our Fast Food, Bagel & Bagel section for information on bagel options from this chain (also available via online ordering).

It’s not clear how the enzymes in the following two bagel products spotted at Aeon and Lopia are produced. The blog Gentle World (English), quoting from the Vegetarian Resource Group (neither are Japan-specific) says enzymes in bread may or may not be vegan.

• Aeon Plain Bagels/イオン プレーンベーグル. Ingredients: Flour (domestically produced), mixed flour (sugar, salt, wheat flour, bread yeast), sugar, bread yeast, wheat protein, molasses, malt extract, yeast extract/vitamin C, enzymes.

Product contains wheat.

Aeon Plain Bagels 2 (2)    Aeon Plain Bagels (2)

These made-in-the-U.S.A. Busco Plain Bagels were found at a branch of Lopia supermarket. As of the beginning of 2021, Lopia has branches in Tokyo and Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, Osaka and Hyogo prefectures.

There are also many more flavors in the Busco online shop although check the ingredient list when ordering and avoid the pizza and cheese flavors as those have dairy.

Busco Plain Bagels/バスコ プレーンべーゲル. Ingredients: Wheat flour, sugar, salt, wheat gluten, yeast, polysaccharide thickener, enzyme, vitamin C.

From autotranslate from the website: “Butter, milk, and egg-free bagels imported directly from New York.”

Online purchase links: Busco online shop (one piece), Busco online shop (six pieces), Tasucall Net Shop

Lopia bagels (2)

Costco in Japan has been reported to have a few bread choices without animal ingredients. It’s necessary to have a membership to shop there. The Kirkland Variety Bagels are reported to not show obvious animal ingredients on the ingredient lists,  except for the cheese and honey wheat flavors, but check the ingredient lists when purchasing. They may have cross-contamination from animal products during manufacturing.

• Kirkland Variety Bagels/カークランドバラエティーベーグル. 

Online purchase link: Rakuten Ichiba

BREAD ROLLS

These bread rolls were spotted at a branch of Aeon supermarket.

These small bread rolls are imported from France.

• 4 Pc. Petit Pains/お家で焼き立てパン プティパン. Ingredients: Wheat flour, yeast, salt, fermented starter, malted wheat flour, antioxidant (vitamin C).

Items containing dairy and soba are produced in the same factory.

4 petits pains (2)

4 pc petits pains back of package (2)

4 pc petits pains out of package (2)

• 6 Pc. Petit Pains/お家で焼き立てパン ミニパン. Ingredients: Wheat flour, yeast, salt, fermented starter, malted wheat flour, antioxidant (vitamin C).

Items containing dairy and soba are produced in the same factory.

petits pains (2)

petits pains ingredient list (2)

petits pains out of package (2)

CAKE

It’s extremely hard to find vegan cakes in mainstream grocery stores. If you want a vegan cake, it’s probably a better idea to contact your local vegan restaurant to see if it can make one for you. This 2021 Valentine’s Day-themed article by Jari Eats (English) also gives ideas for other ways to order vegan cake in Japan, such as by using the website cake.jp and searching by the keywords ヴィーガン or ビーガン or contacting independent vegan cake makers, some of whom are listed in the article. Supermarkets like Bio C’ Bon (with branches in Kanagawa Prefecture and Tokyo) may also have vegan cake or brownie mix, if you’re able to do your own baking at home. The Aeon house brand Topvalu Rice Flour Cake Mix/トップバリュ おこめでつくった ケーキミックス粉, detailed in the Pancakes and Pancake Mix section below, can be used to bake cupcakes.

There is one flavor of cake available at some Aeon stores, the Fromage Cake without Egg, Milk or Wheat/乳・卵・小麦粉しようしていないフロマージュ, that according to the company who makes it, does not contain insect or animal ingredients (フロマージュにつきましては動物および昆虫由来原料は使用材料の規格書上で使用がないことを確認いたしました). Although the person who inquired specifically asked if it was vegan, they did not use that word in their response.

The company is called Fruits Life and it makes some vegan products, like a gluten-free vegan pizza, that are available online.

•  Fromage Cake without Egg, Milk or Wheat/乳・卵・小麦粉しようしていないフロマージュ. Ingredients: Soymilk whipped cream (vegetable oil, soymilk, other) soymilk processed product (soymilk, vegetable oil, other), sugar, soymilk, tapioca flour, rice flour, edible vegetable oil, edible processed oil, pineapple sauce, salt, coconut milk/ leavening agent, thickener (polysaccharide thickener, modified starch), emulsifier, sorbitol, acidulant, flavoring, pH stabilizer, stabilizing agent (modified starch, soybean polysaccharide, pectin), spirits, trehalose, coloring agents (carotenoid, annato).

aeon cake front of package 2    aeon cake resized

The Montblanc and Matcha flavors of the cake may also be free of animal ingredients.

The sign for the Montblanc cake states it is gluten-free (グルテンフリー).

• Montblanc Cake without Egg, Milk or Wheat/乳・卵・小麦粉しようしていないフロマージュ. Ingredients: Soymilk whipped cream (vegetable oil, soymilk, other), chestnut paste, anko bean paste, sugar, soymilk, tapioca flour, rice flour, soymilk processed product (soymilk, vegetable oil, other), edible vegetable oil, edible processed oil, powdered sugar, coconut milk, liqueur, salt, agar/flavoring, leavening agent, sorbitol, emulsifier, pH stabilizer, stabilizing agent (modified starch, soybean polysaccharide, pectin), thickener (polysaccharide thickener, modified starch), trehalose, spirits, coloring agents (annato, carotenoid, caramel).

aeon montblanc cake sign (2)  aeon montblanc cake

aeon Montblanc cake back of package

• Matcha Montblanc without Egg, Milk or Wheat/乳・卵・小麦粉しようしていない抹茶モンブラン. Ingredients: Soymilk whipped cream (vegetable oil, soymilk, other), red bean paste, soymilk, sugar, tapioca flour, rice flour, processed soymilk product (soymilk, vegetable oil, other), matcha, edible vegetable oil, edible processed oil, chlorella, processed agar, (powdered corn syrup, agar), salt, coconut cream/emulsifier, sorbitol, leavening agent, stabilizing agent (modified starch, polysaccharide thickener, soybean polysaccharide, pectin), flavoring, thickener (polysaccharide thickener, modified starch), spirits, pH stabilizer, trehlose, coloring agents (annato, carotenoid).

Product contains soybeans.

The other two flavors of this cake that have been spotted in stores, Shortcake without egg, milk or wheat/乳・卵・小麦粉しようしていないショットケーキ and Strawberry Montblanc without egg, milk or wheat/乳・卵・小麦粉しようしていない苺モンブラン are not vegan as they both contain lac/ラック, which is made from insects.

aeon cake front of package    aeon cake front of package 3.jpg

Gyomu Sūpā sometimes has spice cakes from Belgium. These photos were taken in November 2020.

Spice Cake with Dried Fruits/スパイスケーキ ドライフルーツ. Ingredients: Fructose syrup, rye flour, glucose, raisins, sweetened dried pineapple, sweetened dried papaya, vegetable oil, cinnamon, leavening agent, preservative (sulfites).

Product contains wheat.

Products manufactured on the same line contain dairy, walnuts, and almonds.

Spice Cake with Dried Fruits    Spice Cake with Dried Fruits back of package

• Spice Cake with Pearl Sugar/スパイスケーキ パールシュガー. Ingredients: High-fructose corn syrup, rye flour, pearl sugar, cinnamon/leavening agent, flavoring.

Product contains wheat.

Products manufactured on the same line contain dairy, orange, walnuts, apples, and almonds.

Online purchase link: Rakuten Ichiba

Spice Cake with Pearl Sugar

The bakery chain Chateraise sells some allergen-free cakes that are free of milk and egg, but unfortunately they are not vegan as they contain gelatin.

CHURROS

These Maheso Churros were spottted at a branch of Lopia supermarket. As of the beginning of 2021, Lopia has branches in Tokyo and Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, Osaka and Hyogo prefectures.

• Maheso Churros/チュロス. Ingredients: Churros: Wheat flour, vegetable oil, salt/baking powder, polysaccharide thickener (xanthan gum), emulsifier. Cinnamon sugar: Sugar, cinnamon.

Made in Spain.

May have cross-contamination from products containing ingredients including milk, egg, and seafood including fish, crustaceans and molluscs.

The Maheso website (Spanish) states that this product uses emulsifier E742e. The ingredient checker website Vegan Easy provides a list of potentially non-vegan food additives which states that E742e are “mono- and diacetyl tartaric acid esters” and that “because the E472 family is derived from Glycerine (Glycerol) (see E422 above), they may contain animal fats.” It also says “chicken lysozyme and whey may be used in the manufacturing process” when making xanthan gum.

Online purchase link: Rakuten Ichiba

Lopia Churros (2)  lopia churros back of package.jpg

COOKIE DOUGH

In May 2020, the EatPastry Vegan Cookie Dough in Chocolate Chip (English) was spotted at Costco Japan. You need a membership card to shop there. More details about the product can be found at LiveKindly (English).

Online purchase link: Rakuten Ichiba

Photo from the EatPastry website.

EatPastry Vegan Cookie Dough Chocolate Chip

DOUGHNUTS

Check our Fast Food, Floresta and Fast Food, Mister Doughnut sections for information on doughnut options from these chains.

These Tainai Delicious Baked Rice Doughnuts are intended to be toasted. They are marked “gluten-free,” “milk-free” and “egg-free” in English. Marked “does not contain the 28 allergens” in Japanese on the packages, “28品目を使用しておりません.” The photos were taken March 2021 in a branch of Seijo Ishii, an upscale grocery store. 

• Tainai Delicious Baked Rice Doughnuts, Cocoa/タイナイ 焼いておいしい おこめドーナツ   【ココア】. Ingredients: Rice flour (non-glutinous rice (produced in Niigata Prefecture)), crude sugar, edible rice oil, cocoa powder, salt/trehalose, baking powder, thickener (HPMC), emulsifier, flavoring. 

Online purchase link: Tainai online shop   

 Tainai doughnuts cocoa    Tainai doughnuts cocoa back of package

• Tainai Delicious Baked Rice Doughnuts, Cocoa and Kokutō/タイナイ 焼いておいしい おこめドーナツ   【ココア・黒糖】. Ingredients (Cocoa): Rice flour (non-glutinous rice (produced in Niigata Prefecture)), crude sugar, edible rice oil, cocoa powder, salt/trehalose, baking powder, thickener (HPMC), emulsifier, flavoring. Ingredients (Kokuto): Rice flour (non-glutinous rice (produced in Niigata Prefecture)), kokutō (sugarcane (produced in Okinawa Prefecture)), edible rice oil, salt/trehalose, baking powder, thickener (HPMC), emulsifier. 

Tainai Delicious Baked Rice Doughnuts, Cocoa and Kokutō    Tainai Delicious Baked Rice Doughnuts, Cocoa and Kokutō back of package

• Tainai Delicious Baked Rice Doughnuts, Kokutō/タイナイ 焼いておいしい おこめドーナツ   【黒糖】. Ingredients: Rice flour (non-glutinous rice (produced in Niigata Prefecture)), kokutō (sugarcane (produced in Okinawa Prefecture)), edible rice oil, salt/trehalose, baking powder, thickener (HPMC), emulsifier. 

Online purchase link: Tainai online shop   

Tainai Delicious Baked Rice Doughnuts, Kokutō    Tainai Delicious Baked Rice Doughnuts, Kokutō back of package

FOCACCIA

This Pasco Choujuku Foccacia can be found in Aeon and Aeon-affiliated supermarkets. An exception to the rule of it being a waste of time to look for vegan bread in convenience stores, this was also found in a branch of NewDays convenience store in July 2020.

Pasco Choujuku Foccacia/ パスコ 超熟フォカッチャ. Ingredients: Wheat flour (domestically produced), olive oil, ferment, salt, sugar, brewed vinegar, bread yeast, malt extract, rice flour.

Product contains wheat and dairy.

This product has a “contains dairy” warning on it. According to the company, people with allergies should beware because products containing dairy are made in the same factory, so it might contain dairy as cross-contamination, but they stated that this product does not contain dairy or any animal products as part of the actual ingredients.

IMG_0630 (2)    IMG_0631 (2)

FRENCH BREAD

Check out the sliced bread section further down the page for information on French sliced bread.

This Crunchy Light Baguette is sold at Bio C’ Bon supermarkets. Bio C’ Bon is a chain that, at the beginning of 2021, has branches in Kanagawa Prefecture and Tokyo.

• Crunchy Light Baguette/サクサクかるい食感バゲット. Ingredients: Wheat, sourdough starter (wheat flour, water), yeast, salt, barley malt flour. (Product contains wheat.)

The Vegana No Japao blog (now defunct) reported that sourdough starter/サワー種 can come from animal-derived lactobacillus in Japan. We don’t have any information on how the sourdough starter in this product is made.

20190223_175316

The large Pasco Oven-Baked Baguette may be found at Aeon-affiliated stores. However, the Pasco Oven-Baked Mini Baguette/窯焼きパスコ 国産小麦のミニバゲット contains honey/はちみつ, making it non-vegan.

Pasco Oven-Baked Baguette with Domestic Wheat/パスコ 窯焼きパスコ 国産小麦のバゲット. Ingredients: Flour (manufactured in Japan), ferment, salt, baker’s yeast, malt extract, rice flour.

Product contains wheat.

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20190615_115659 (2)

OAT BREAD (HAFERBROT)

Bio Haferbrot imported German bread turns up both in Aeon-affiliated stores and also in health food stores.

• Bio Haferbrot/ビオ ハーファーブロート. Ingredients: Organic whole grain rye, organic oats, organic oat bran, organic sunflower seeds, salt.

Product made in a factory that also handles dairy, walnuts, soybeans, and sesame.

20190821_204250 (2)    20190821_204256 (2)

PANCAKES AND PANCAKE MIX

Some online shops and the occasional store have animal-ingredient-free pancake mix or pancakes.

Co-op supermarkets sell a 7-allergen-free pancake mix. Recipes for pancakes, banana muffins and doughnut holes using the mix are provided at the product page (Japanese). More detailed information about the ingredients is given here.

•  Co-op Smile Dish Pancake Mix/Co-op Smile Dish 7品目を使わない パンケーキミックス粉 300g(150g×2袋). Ingredients: White rice flour (white rice (domestic)), beet sugar (sugar beet (not genetically modified)), potato starch (not genetically modified), germinated brown rice flour (germinated brown rice (domestic rice)), salt/modified starch, leavening agent.

Photo from website.

Co-op Smile Dish Pancake Mix

GRØN (bilingual website) sells a variety of vegan protein powders online, as well as this protein pancake mix. The product page states that the pancakes are vegan-friendly when made with non-dairy milk and no eggs.

GRØN Pancake Mix & Protein/グロン パンケーキミックス & プロテイン . Ingredients: Rice flour (domestically produced), soy protein isolate (non-GMO)/sugar beet molasses sugar/cane sugar/leavening agent (aluminum-free).

Out of the 28 specified allergens, product contains soybeans.

Online purchase link: GRØN website, Rakuten Ichiba

Photo from website.

Gron Pancake Mix & Protein

Marin Foods sells vegan hotcakes online, as well as at occasional sales at their factory outlet in Osaka. Their online shop has a vegan section that also sells shredded non-dairy cheese and margarine.

The 4 hotcakes are premade and come frozen, with 2 packets each of maple-flavored syrup and vegan butter. Since they can be heated in a microwave, this might be a contender for food to take on a trip, if you’re staying in an accommodation with a kitchen.

• Marin Foods Vegan Hotcake/ヴィーガンホットケーキ  (English). Ingredients: [Hotcake] rice powder, soft brown sugar, vegetable oil, fructose, chickpea flour, carrot juice (concentrated carrot and lemon juice), salt, processed starch, baking powder, cellulose, stabilizer (guar gum), flavor, emulsifier [Syrup with Maple] soft brown sugar, starch syrup, maple syrup, spices [Margarine] vegetable oil, refined processed oil, salt, spices, emulsifier, coloring (carotin).

Free of the 28 allergenic ingredients.

The same facility produces products that use wheat, egg, milk and soybean.

Online purchase link: Marin Foods online shop, Rakuten Ichiba

20191226_175851.jpg    20191226_175937

Marin Foods also makes a 2-piece vegan hotcake set, just without the vegan butter and maple-flavored syrup packets.

Marin Foods Vegan Hotcake/ヴィーガンホットケーキ (English). Ingredients: Rice powder, soft brown sugar, vegetable oil, fructose, chickpea flour, carrot juice (concentrated carrot and lemon juice), salt, processed starch, baking powder, cellulose, stabilizer (guar gum), flavor, emulsifier.

Free of the 28 allergenic ingredients.

The same facility produces products that use wheat, egg, milk and soybean.
 

Online purchase link: Marin Foods online shop

Photo from website.

marin foods vegan hotcake 2 pieces

The source of the powdered oil in the following gluten-free pancake mix is not listed, so it’s unclear if it’s from plant or animal sources. It makes pancakes with 10 grams of protein each. It can be ordered from the Marukome online shop or Amazon Japan.

Marukome Daizu Labo Delicious Soybean Flour Pancakes/マルコメ ダイズラボ 大豆粉でおいしいパンケーキミックス. Ingredients: Soybean flour (manufactured domestically), potato starch, sugar, soybean protein, powdered oil, rice miso powder/modified starch, leavening agent, thickening agent (hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, alginate ester), flavoring.

Product contains soybeans.

Online purchase link: Rakuten Ichiba

Marukome Daizu Labo Pancake Mix

•  Matsuda’s Vegan Mix makes wonderful vegan pancake mixes you can buy online, including pumpkin and coconut flavors. All you need to do is add water (plus oil if you wish). All ingredients are from Japan, except for the coconut powder which is from Philippines. The mix is hand-packed at a small welfare facility in Gifu prefecture.

Online purchase link: Matsuda’s website (English)

Photo from website.

matsuda's vegan mix

You are meant to add egg and milk to the following pancake mix, found at Aeon, but you can veganize it by adding substitutes for both. Try using chia seeds as a substitute for the egg and soy or almond milk instead of dairy milk.

• Mitake Shokuhin Soybean and Rice Flour Pancake Mix/みたけ食品大豆粉と米粉パンケーキミックス. Ingredients: Non-glutinous rice (domestic), granulated sugar, soybeans (domestic) (not genetically modified), baking powder.

Online purchase link: Mitake online shop, Rakuten Ichiba

soybean flour and rice flour pancake mix front of package (2)    soybean flour and rice flour pancake mix back of package

•  Mutenkaya (meaning Additive-Free Shop) has a variety of pancake mixes made with spelt, an ancient grain, available for purchase online. The mixes can be made only with water (or with non-dairy milk, if you prefer). They have plain, plain (roughly ground), cacao, and matcha flavors.

Online purchase link: Mutenkaya website

Photos from website.

Hokkaido organic spelt pancake mix    Rough ground spelt pancake mix

Premium cacao pancake mix    Matcha pancake mix

roughly ground spelt pancake

According to Wikipedia (English), “Galette is a term used in French cuisine to designate various types of flat round or freeform crusty cakes, or, in the case of a Breton galette, a pancake made with buckwheat flour usually with a savoury filling.” This made-in-France example is made with buckwheat flour. The package has both a French and a Japanese ingredient list and we’ve translated the Japanese one here. They differ slightly, probably due to differences in local labeling laws (the French ingredient list doesn’t show the sunflower seed oil but water instead). It uses Guérande sea salt. It’s found in a frozen food chain from France called Picard that had 11 branches in Japan as of the end of 2019. The photos were taken in December 2020. 

Picard Galettes de Blé Noir/そば粉のガレット. Ingredients: Soba (buckwheat) flour, salt, sunflower seed oil. 

Produced in a facility that handles products including wheat, eggs, and dairy.

Online purchase link: Picard online shop

picard galettes de ble noir    picard galettes de ble noir back of package

The package of the following product says it can be made into hotcakes, cupcakes, or madelines. The instructions on the product page for making pancakes say to mix it with unadjusted soymilk and olive oil or vinegar and top with fruits and/or maple syrup. The package says it doesn’t use the seven allergenic substances.

Topvalu Rice Flour Cake Mix/トップバリュ おこめでつくった ケーキミックス粉Ingredients: White rice flour (domestic), beet sugar, potato starch, germinated brown rice flour (domestic), salt/baking powder, modified starch.

The product page states (autotranslated from Japanese): “Even if the products look the same, nutritional information and allergy information may differ depending on the manufacturing plant. Please check the contents on the package.” It also states that at Topvalu, they handle various types of foods such as eggs, milk, etc. Please check the product page for more details.

Photo from website.

TV_yasashi_cakemix150_FINAL_CS6

Upbeet Tokyo, the vegan sweets stall specializing in doughnuts and “cheesecakes” which appears at Tokyo’s Aoyama Farmer’s market as well as cafes in Tokyo, carries a pancake mix in their online shop. 

• Upbeet Vegan & Gluten-Free Pancake Mix, Oat Flour and Kome (Rice) Koji/パンケーキミックス 有機オートフラワーと米麹入り. Ingredients: White millet powder (USA), organic oat flour, organic coconut sugar, rice kōji, salt/baking powder (aluminum-free).

Online purchase link: Upbeet online shop 

Photo from website.

Upbeet Vegan & Gluten-Free Pancake Mix, Oat Flour and Kome (Rice) Koji    Upbeet Vegan & Gluten-Free Pancake Mix, Oat Flour and Kome (Rice) Koji photo 2    

PUFF PASTRY

Possibly vegan puff pastry is not very common in Japan. The one brand that appears to be on the mainstream market is Mantinga, available in Gyomu Sūpā supermarkets. The Japanese ingredient list is vague, stating it includes “fat spread/ファットスプレッド,” but the ingredient list is provided in other languages, including Russian.

The ingredient list below is translated from the Russian courtesy of @veganfoodiecooks (English), a great source of vegan recipes made using ingredients that are commonly found in Japan.

E-numbers 471 and 322 show as possible animal origin per Vegan Easy’s list of possibly animal-derived food additives (English).

Mantinga Tesla puff pastry. Ingredients (allergens are written in cursive): Wheat flour, drinking water, vegetable oils: palm and rapeseed; sugar, iodized edible salt, emulsifiers: E471, E322; salt, acidity regulator E330, aromas, color E160e.

Possible traces of eggs, soy, almonds, hazelnuts, sesame, milk products.

Product contains gluten.

tesla puff pastry front of package

tesla puff pastry back of package

RICE BREAD

Although it isn’t the most commonly found type of bread on the market, it’s sometimes possible to find rice bread without milk or egg. These types of products are generally aimed at people with allergies.

The example below is another product from Maisen Genmai, the company that makes the anpan shown above, that doesn’t appear to show animal ingredients in the ingredient list. In this case, the package states that the 7 specified allergenic substances are not included. This also needs to be heated before eating. It is also marked as gluten-free in English on the package.

• Maisen Genmai (Brown Rice) Delicious Fluffy Rice Flour Bread/ふんわりおいしい米粉パン. Ingredients: Rice flour (non glutinous domestic rice), sugar, edible rice oil, fresh yeast, salt/modified starch, trehalose, thickeners (HPMC, guar gum), emulsifier, antioxidant (vitamin E).

Products containing soybeans and almonds are manufactured in the same factory.

The package states that the sugar is made from sugar beets (non GMO), the modified starch is made from cassava, the HPMC is made from plants, the guar gum is made from guar seeds, and the product doesn’t contain brown rice. (In this case “Brown Rice” is part of the company name only.)

Maisen Genmai (Brown Rice) Delicious Fluffy Rice Flour Bread    Maisen Genmai (Brown Rice) Delicious Fluffy Rice Flour Bread back of package

The following examples are from a company called Tainai and marked “gluten-free,” “milk-free” and “egg-free” in English. Marked “does not contain the 28 allergens” in Japanese on the packages, “28品目を使用しておりません.”

• Tainai Delicious Baked Brown Rice Bread for Toast/タイナイ 焼いておいしい玄米パン トースト専用. Ingredients: Brown rice flour (non-glutinous rice (domestically produced)), beet sugar, edible rice oil, fresh yeast, salt/trehalose, thickener (HPMC), pH adjusting agent (sodium acetate).

Online purchase links: Rakuten Ichiba, Tainai online shop

Tainai Delicious Baked Brown Rice Bread for Toast    Tainai Delicious Baked Brown Rice Bread for Toast, back of package

This one was found at an upscale supermarket chain called Seijo Ishii.

• Tainai Delicious Baked Rice Bread for Toast/タイナイ 焼いておいしいおこめパン トースト専用. Ingredients: Rice flour (non-glutinous rice (from Niigata Prefecture)), edible rice oil, beet sugar, fresh yeast, salt/trehalose, pH adjusting agent (sodium acetate), thickener (HPMC).

Online purchase links: Rakuten Ichiba, Tainai online shop

87172269_2569705696619612_5392889102976679936_n    89608475_2569705716619610_101286989675888640_n

Tainai Fragrant Delicious Baked Brown Rice Bread for Toast/タイナイ 焼いておいしい玄米パン 香ばしいトースト専用. Ingredients: Brown rice flour (non-glutinous rice (domestically produced)), beet sugar, edible rice oil, roasted brown rice flour (non-glutinous rice (domestically produced)), fresh yeast, salt/trehalose, thickener (HPMC).

Online purchase links: Rakuten Ichiba, Tainai online shop

Tainai Fragrant Bread    Tainai Fragrant Bread back of package

This Topvalu Fluffy Rice Bread was found in the allergy section of an Aeon supermarket.

• Topvalu Fluffy Rice Bread/トップバリュ おこめでつくったふんわりパン. Ingredients: Rice flour [Uruchi rice (domestically produced)], sugar, edible rice oil, fresh yeast, salt/modified starch, trehalose, thickener (HPMC, guar gum), emulsifier, antioxidant (vitamin E).

Made in the same production process with items containing soy.

Per the Aeon website as of February 2020, this product uses non-genetically modified beet sugar. It is unknown what the emulsifier is made of.

TopValu Fluffy Rice Bread front of package    84621798_2567206066871374_8480225201521426432_o

SLICED BREAD

This example was found in Gyomu Sūpā. 

• French Loaf with Multigrains/フランスパン雑穀入り. Ingredients: Wheat flour, barley flour, oat flour, corn flour, pearl millet, durum wheat flour, rye flour, flaxseed, sesame, salt, yeast.

Product contains wheat and sesame. 

Products containing eggs, dairy, walnuts, and soybeans are manufactured on the same line.

French loaf with multi grains    French loaf with multi grains back of package

This French sliced bread loaf was spotted at a branch of Aeon supermarket.

• French Sliced Bread Loaf/フランス食パン. Ingredients: Wheat flour, mixed flour (wheat flour, wheat processed product (dried fermented wheat flour), yeast extract powder, malt extract powder, salt) yeast, salt, malt extract, antioxidant (vitamin C).

Product contains wheat.

53270812_787571314961898_6762261102282670080_n (1)

You may be able to find the Kirkland Signature Organic Loaf, which has 21 whole grains and seeds, at Costco. It’s necessary to have a membership to shop there. It’s not clear how the enzymes in the bread are produced. The blog Gentle World (English) quoting from the Vegetarian Resource Group (neither are Japan-specific) says enzymes in bread may or may not be vegan.

• Kirkland Signature Organic Loaf/Pain Biologique. Ingredients: Organic whole wheat, organic coarsely ground wheat, organic wheat flour, organic sugar, organic oat fiber, organic sunflower seeds, wheat flour, organic flaxseed, organic white sesame, yeast, organic wheat gluten, organic flaxseed powder, salt, organic black sesame, wheat fiber, organic molasses, organic pumpkin seeds, organic millet, organic oats, organic spelt flour, organic barley, organic rye, organic whole grain flour, organic quinoa, organic rye flour, organic corn, organic kamut, organic amaranth flour, organic buckwheat flour, organic sorghum flour, organic Red Fife wheat flour, organic brown rice flour, organic purple corn flour/enzymes, leavening agent.

Online purchase link: Amazon Japan

This Pasco Steamed and Baked Walnut and Raisin Campagne Bread with Japan-Grown Wheat was found at an Aeon supermarket and may appear at other stores that have a connection with Aeon.  It uses brewed vinegar. According to the website of the Japan Vinegar Institute Headquarters, brewed vinegar is made from things like grains such as rice, wheat, and corn, fruits, vegetables, sugar cane, honey, alcohol, etc., Therefore there is a possibility brewed vinegar is not vegan as it may contain honey. However, the Pasco Chojuku Foccacia also shows brewed vinegar in the ingredient list and that product has been confirmed with the company to be free of animal ingredients, so this brewed vinegar may be free of animal ingredients as well.

Pasco Steamed and Baked Walnut and Raisin Campagne Bread with Japan-Grown Wheat/窯焼きパスコ 国産小麦のカンパーニュ くるみレーズン . Ingredients: Wheat flour (domestically produced), liqueured raisins, walnuts, whole wheat flour, ferment, sugars, table salt, bread yeast, olive oil, brewed vinegar, malt extract, rice flour/modified starch.

Product contains wheat and walnuts.

Photo from website.

Pasco Steamed and Baked Walnut and Raisin Campagne Bread

Bio C’ Bon is a chain that, at the beginning of 2021, has branches in Kanagawa Prefecture and Tokyo. They stock french sliced bread and a sliced organic pain complete. There is also an organic whole grain ring bread which could be easily sliced at home. The company making these breads is called Sala Akita Shirakami and it has an online shop selling breads and items for breadmaking, including equipment and Shirakami Kodama yeast, a yeast discovered in the Shirakami mountain range between Akita prefecture and Aomori prefecture. Check ingredients carefully before ordering as at the time of writing in February 2021, some items contained honey/hachimitsu/はちみつ, butter/bāta/バター, or cheese/chīzu/チーズ, so were not vegan. The items pictured below have no animal ingredients on the ingredient lists.

Items including eggs and dairy are produced in the same factory.

• Sala’s Organic Soft French Sliced Bread/オーガニックソフトフランス(スライス). Ingredients: Organic wheat flour, organic sugar, yeast, salt.

• Sala’s Organic Whole Grain Ring Bread/オーガニック全粒リングパン. Ingredients: Organic wheat flour, organic whole wheat flour, organic sugar, yeast, salt.

• Sala’s Organic Pain Complete/オーガニック コンプレ.  Ingredients: Organic wheat flour, organic whole wheat flour, organic sugar, yeast, salt.

20190223_172748

Takaki Bakery’s products may be found at Seijo Ishii, Aeon, Maxvalu, Ito Yokado and Life supermarkets.

Per the company, the processed oil and vitamin C in the following product are from plant sources. The processed oil contains palm oil.

Takaki Bakery Red Bean & Glutinous Wheat/タカキベーカリー 北海道小豆&もち麦(4). Ingredients: Flour (domestically produced), sweetened adzuki beans, sugar, pearl barley, reduced starch syrup, starch, processed oil, bread yeast, wheat protein, salt, vinegar/sorbitol, pH adjusting agent, thickener (alginate), vitamin C.

Product contains wheat.

Products containing wheat, eggs, dairy, and peanuts are processed on the same factory line.

20190821_204358 (2)    20190821_204347 (2)

Per the company, the shortening, processed oil, vitamin C, and vitamin E in the following product are all from plant sources. The first two contain palm oil.

Takaki Bakery Soymilk Bread/タカキベーカリー しっとり豆乳ブレッド. Ingredients: Flour (domestically produced), soymilk, sugar, shortening, adjusted soymilk, reduced starch syrup, bread yeast, processed oil, salt, vinegar/trehalose, pH adjusting agent, vitamin C, antioxidant (vitamin E).

Product contains wheat and soybeans.

Products containing wheat, eggs, dairy, and peanuts are processed on the same factory line.

Online purchase link: Aeon Netto Sūpā

ブレッドtakaki bakery しっとり豆乳

To find other vegan bread/bakery products you could try the following.

BREAD SHOPS

Bread shops seem to be everywhere in Japan and most display allergen information for their products. This makes it easy to identify bread that does not contain egg or dairy products, however the bread may still contain shortening, lard or other animal products. To be sure, it is a good idea to ask the staff.

French bread loaves may be vegan but check the ingredients.

Some bakeries sell special non-allergen products like bread and cakes which don’t use the 7 specified allergenic ingredients, and these are often vegan (although not necessarily- these items can still contain things like gelatin and honey, so it’s a good idea to check the ingredients with staff).

Some examples of this type of shop are: the chain bakery Joel Roubuchon labels products that are free of milk, egg, etc. Chez Watanabe in Shizuoka Prefecture is an example of a small local bakery that sells non-allergen cookies and cakes. Their website says that they can bake cakes without the 28 allergenic substances, tailored to what the customer cannot eat.

Pictured are some examples of allergen-free cookies from Chez Watanabe.

Non-allergen cookies

In 2019, the bakery chain Pompadour had one option at some branches that’s certified vegan by the organization Vege Project Japan:

Bamboo charcoal curry bread

20181015_195937 (2)  20181015_200132

As of 2018 at the bakery chain Vie de France, the paper bag the batard was put into read, in English, “We want to tell you what our product contains: flour, water, yeast and salt. We also want to tell you what it does not contain: no fats, no chemical preservatives, no sugar, no milk products, no coloring agents.”


FOREIGN FOOD STORES

You may be able to find imported vegan bread in foreign food stores, like this Delba 5 Grain Bread (nice that the ingredients are in English too).

German bread

SMALL PRE-MADE FOOD STORES

This vegan sweet potato bread was in a small store in a shopping area near a train station. The shop also sold things like bento boxes, salads and rice balls.

Sweet potato bread. Ingredients: Wheat flour, sweet potato, sugar, salt, baking soda, alum.

Sweet potato bread    Sweet potato bread ingredients

ORGANIC/NATURAL FOOD STORES

You might be lucky enough to have an organic/natural food store near you. Check whether it sells vegan bread like this (you can also check online). This Marumo bread’s Rakuten listing states it doesn’t contain animal ingredients/動物性原料は不使用 and is safe for vegetarians/ベジタリアンの方に.

Marumo Unique Hearty Bread Loaf/まるも ずっしり11種 べっぴんパン食パン. Ingredients: Wheat flour, processed brown rice, beet sugar, grape seed oil, processed wheat bran, processed rice bran, soy milk, bread yeast, okara (soy pulp), dietary fiber, wheat protein, salt, mannan (a plant polysaccharide), malted rice, acerola (Barbados cherry) powder.

Manufactured in a facility that also makes products containing egg and milk.

Online purchase link: Rakuten Ichiba

Plant bread    Plant bread ingredients

ONLINE STORES

Many of the websites mentioned in the the online stores section of this website sell vegan bread, cookies, cakes, etc.

MAKE YOUR OWN

If you will be in Japan for longer than the shortterm, you might consider investing in a bread maker. They can also frequently be found in secondhand shops, called “recycle shops” in Japan, at affordable prices. There are also recipes for making bread in rice cookers.

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4 thoughts on “Bread and Bakery Products

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