As a resident of Tsukuba for more than four years now, I have always wondered about where I can find various ingredients for making home like recipes. As a Romanian, I was used to usually having Feta-style cheese and bread as staple foods and for a few good years now I have come to like dark or whole wheat bread. So, here are some of the little discoveries I have made during my quest for such bread.
One thing is the difference between the types of bread people eat. In my home country, we do not usually use eggs, milk and sugar for making the bread used to accompany daily meals. The only ingredients used are flour, water, yeast and salt. This in view of Australians (the source of my information, although I am assuming this might apply to others coming from an English speaking background) is called sour-dough type bread. So, when I was looking for a place selling bread, this is what I wanted and not the dessert breads or anything usually sold in bakeries in Japan.
Recently I was recommended a shop that has a variety of German-style breads and delivers to your home door. You can access it here (http://www.kornblume.co.jp/scb/shop/shop.cgi). There are ten varieties of bread and in my experience the bread ordered was really dense and of a fairly big size. What I ordered were the Weizen-Sesambrot, the Fruchtebrot, and the Heildelberger Mischbrot. The Fruchtebrot has some cinnamon and the flavour was a bit too strong for my taste. Yet, the other two were the perfect bread to make sandwiches with ham, cheese, lettuce, olives… and so on.
Since the delivery costs 600 yen, I preferred to order more and then cut the breads and put them in the freezer. The order needs to be placed for a specific date and time, no earlier than two days from the time of ordering. Since it is a perishable product, I do not know what happens if you miss the delivery time, but I liked the care the shop took in wrapping the bread – adapted obviously to the Japanese market. The website has no English version and shop seems to be a small one that originated in Mie prefecture, although it seems to have a branch in Tokyo. More information on the shop and maps with locations can be found at: http://www.kornblume.co.jp/alia/shopdata.htm.
Recently I did not feel like ordering from “afar”, so I have been buying bread from Brotzeit and the shop on the first floor of Seibu in Tsukuba. Each of these has whole-wheat bread or rye bread and the one in Tsukuba centre has a fruit bread that I really like. In the case of deserts-like breads or sandwiches my favourite is Le Pan Gris Gris. Both Brotzeit and Le Pan Gris Gris are family businesses and have been previously discussed about on Tsukublog or Alien Times (for more about them, see the links below).
Perhaps you are not so desperate as me to have a particular kind of bread, but if you are, I hope this helps.
Links to articles related to bread:
Or here is a link discussing the Brotzeit backery.