Japan’s Neko Neko Shokupan bakery has changed the game with its cat-shaped bread. Why get an average loaf of boring bread when there’s a much more adorable version with kitty ears? Time to start the day “feline good.”
The shop is actually just a corner inside Heart Bread Antique, a larger chain bakery found all over Japan operated by the All Hearts Company Co. Though Heart Bread Antique shops can be found everywhere, only select locations have a Neko Neko Shokupan outlet inside.
I meow, you meow, we all meow for cat bread
The cat-shaped loaves are not just loved because they’re super kawaii, but also for their slightly-sweet flavor and pillow-like softness. At first, I was totally in it just for the novelty of it all, but the bread was surprisingly tasty (even though I burnt it in the toaster, whoops). It’s made with Japanese-grown wheat flour, milk, and honey, giving it a delicious, mild sweetness.
The internet went a little crazy when this adorable chain finally opened a shop in Tokyo, but unfortunately, the shop is a bit unremarkable and hard to access.
The bread slices themselves are super thick with a texture similar to a moist sponge cake. It comes in four flavors: plain, chocolate, cheese, and sweet red bean. They also occasionally announce special seasonal flavors, so it’s worth keeping an eye out on their Instagram.
Neko Neko Shokupan’s first store opens in Tokyo
I had the opportunity to visit the newest store in Tokyo, which opened in Nov. 2019, but when I got there, most of their bread products had sold out as soon as they were baked! If you want to get your paws on one of these loaves, I recommend getting there early. Otherwise, you’ll just have to wait in line until a new batch is brought out.
Freshly-baked loaves are put on the shelves every hour, and people don’t hesitate to snatch up two or three at a time. For those who can’t finish a whole loaf, you can also get individually packaged slices too.
Seeing that all the loaves had already sold out when I got there, and not having the time to wait for a new batch, I decided to just get a couple of slices of what was still available. While I was trying to decide which flavor I wanted, the lady in front of me snatched three of the five slices that were left! I had to give her a good old eye-to-eye glare down to make sure she left me the last two.
The internet went a little crazy when this adorable chain finally opened up shop in Tokyo, but unfortunately, it’s a bit unremarkable and hard to access.
Located inside the Ario Kitasuna shopping mall in Tokyo’s Koto neighborhood, it’s difficult to get to by train and isn’t near any major attractions. If you do take the train, you’ll have to ride the bus for another 10 minutes from either Toyocho or Kinshicho Station to get there.
The Neko Neko Shokupan area itself is really tiny. Keep a look out for the Heart Bread Antique bakery inside the mall to find it. It’s a bit hard to spot when walking around the big shopping center. Still, it’s freaking bread that’s shaped like a cat.
Neko Neko Shokupan has 11 other stores throughout Japan, including locations in Chiba, Aichi, Osaka, and Hiroshima for all your feline bread needs. Never thought I would be typing feline and bread in the same sentence, but that’s Japan for you!