Thinking of taking in the cherry blossoms at Mt. Yaedake in the coming weeks? If so, this is a place you must come visit. Located near the top of the mountain is the Yaedake bakery.
If you're old enough to remember when mothers baked their own bread (prior to Martha Stewart hawking bread making machines at K-Mart) or you lived near a small neighborhood bakery then this place will bring back some memories.
They only use natural ingredients here so if your going to buy, you can't do like you would at the super market and buy three weeks worth in advance. Natural ingredients means no preservatives!
Here are a couple of shots into the kitchen. We visited early on a Sunday morning and the staff (as well as a couple of visitors) were busy kneading dough and loading the ovens.
My guess is they were preparing not only for their usual customers but an influx of tourists as well. cherry Blossom time on Yaedake is a big event. It's the very first place in Japan to celebrate spring with the coming cherry blossoms.
One shot here is not so good because it's taken through the screen window but the baker had a big hunk of dough they wanted to show for the camera.
It was kind of chilly this particular morning so my guess is bugs weren't a problem today but the screens were closed for precautions. I did get one photo looking in the door as an employee left the kitchen area to the store front.
By the looks of things, they had been at it since before sunrise. Already the racks out front and cooling off were full of goodies.
In addition to buns and small loaves of bread they also had a pretty good array of sweets to offer as well. Anpan, a favorite across Japan is a bun shaped treat filled with sweet adzuki beans that have been ground into a sweet paste. It's quite the tasty treat.
If you don't like (sweet) Adzuki beans? Also available is apple bread. This bun shaped treat was filled with fresh apple preserves and accented with cinamon. In a word, YUM!
The Yaedake Bakery is a typical mom and pop operation here in Japan. The quality they put into their work or product is paramount.
The bakery is only open three days a week; Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Anyone planning a visit during "Ohanami" cherry blossom viewing should make plans to visit on a Sunday.
To get there, take highway 84 west from Nago city into Motobu town. Drive over the mountain pass, through Izumi and into the valley on the Motobu side, keep your eyes peeled for the sign to mount Yaedake and make a left turn.
During cherry blossom season, the place is usually full of tourists having come via rent-a-cars and tour busses. People will be driving up and down the winding mountain road and pedestrians will be everywhere. Take a slow drive up to the top. To find the bakery, look for the first right hand turn as you make your way down from the mountain top. The bakery will be around the bend a few hundred meters off the main mountain road.