Food & Drink | TOKYO FOOD FILE

365 Nichi: Daily bread and baked goods of superior quality

by Robbie Swinnerton

Special To The Japan Times

You don’t need to understand Japanese to guess the meaning behind 365 Nichi’s name. This excellent little bakery has been operating day in, day out, even at new year, ever since it opened in 2013. During that time it has only ever taken one holiday: last year’s Leap Day.

But that’s not the reason why streams of visitors search out its stylish shop front in the less-trod backstreets behind Yoyogi-Koen Station. Word has spread, not just locally but even to other parts of Asia, about how good the baked goods are here.

First off, the bread is great: Hokkaido pain de mie, fragrant white loaves made of wheat from the northern island; mini baguettes, half-length so they fit on the racks; and squat domes of complet (wheat with a dash of rye) and seigle (mostly rye) with plenty of wholesome, chewy texture. But the main draw is the array of confections and other patisserie items.

While a few are savory — tartines topped with vegetables, cheese-infused bread rolls and the like — most are of the sweet persuasion. One not to miss is the signature craquant chocolat, soft spongy globes with a creamy filling decorated with crunchy pearls of chocolate.

You line up, point at whatever grabs you and the staffers in their chic black Parisian-look uniforms pick them out for you.

If you can’t wait to sample them, there’s a small, six-seat eat-in counter, where you can linger over good tea or coffee (or beer or wine) and gaze through to the bakery, where the work continues ceaselessly. It’s a pace that never lets up, all year round.

Closed Feb. 29; bakery items from ¥350, drinks from ¥450; Japanese menu; little English spoken