The following day after an exhausting trip around the west of the Kansai Region of Japan (Osaka and Hyogo prefectures), we needed some sustenance especially because the previous day was filled with gastronomic disappointments that left us wanting for redemption. When I travel, I prefer the local food scene if possible. And so the search for a good breakfast place around Himeji castle commenced from 9am.
With my backpack and google map (enter Dora the Explorer), I searched for a local breakfast place. As this area is a popular tourist destination among foreigners and locals alike, I thought the search would be a breeze. It wasn’t. Seriously. I was at the verge of being hangry (hungry-angry). Me and my companion visited this bakery but it opens at 10:00am. Time check, 9:30am. We decided to give up and search for a place that is already open but feels local and serves decent breakfast (there were 2 possible locations: a small hole in the wall bakery but you eat on benches outside which was freezing or a small cafe that serves SPAM sandwich and toast. NO.) I got fried cake donuts from the former though and was utterly disappointed (for another post). So we went back to the “most decent” looking place we found, the bakery that opens at 10am (with emphasis because im used to bakeries which open early).
Bakery Lamp (ベーカリー燈) is a welcoming and quaint bakery found along a narrow street and not easily located from the main road. There was a pop-up sign board though which was helpful. Upon entering, I first scanned the line-up to check for croissants because I am into croissants lately. No croissants. Darn. But then a glossy babies topped with black pearls of blueberries got my attention. I guess puff pastry based bread get to me. So I got one, headed to the counter and ordered a breakfast set not knowing what is in it. I wish there was a description though but that didn’t matter as my endorphins are high with the thought of munching on the blueberry danish. LOL
I couldn’t resist the blueberry danish like it was staring me in the eyes. The first bite was happiness (imagine my starving cells finally having their first supply of nourishment for the day). Interestingly, the danish was topped not by a jam or compote of a sort but by fresh (and cold) blueberries! I rarely encounter fresh fruits in/on bread except for fruit sandwiches (they exist in Japan and will be a post in the future) so this was welcome surprise like a burst of freshness or like the first opening of the fridge in the morning. LOL. The popping /”plop” sensation of the berries with the snapping flakes of the crust was on its own a new experience.
When my breakfast set arrived which took a while, I was overwhelmed (positively) by the amount of bread on it. One big fluffy bread, and 2 halves of bagels. I am also into bagels (for a different post) and I felt relief that I didnt purchase bagels with my danish. I guess the breakfast description really mattered. I ate the egg and bacon with the fluffy bread. At first I couldnt pinpoint what was in the bread. It was not sweet, not savory, slightly spicy and aromatic. Ping-pong! Ginger-in-bread! Amazing. The bagels were also not the typical only-boiled bagels. These were boiled and baked! Cranberry-walnut, and cheese bagels made the perfect breakfast. The interplay of flavors, internal elastic texture and crispy outer crust was a sensory pleasure. I dipped the cheese one in ketchup and mustard (and probably mayonnaise too if it was available) because I love condiments and gave away the plants (salad without dressing) to my companion. LOL
Price: 650 yen for the breakfast set which comes with a beverage. The danish is about 250 yen. There is a lot of bagel varieties and breads to choose from. Burgers and hotdogs are also available. My companion strongly discourages purchasing the avocado burger. Condiments, water and coffee (if you ordered) are by self-service. Take out is available too.
Location: A map is available below. Walk along the main road towards the Himeji Castle. On the left side of the road a block or 2 from the castle grounds, turn left. Opens daily except on Mondays and every 2nd Tuesday of the month from 10am to 7pm.