We fly down to Yufuin Floral Village to try the Ghibli-inspired bakery’s goods for ourselves.
A while back, we heard about Yufuin Floral Village, an entertainment and hotel complex in Kyushu’s Oita Prefecture that looks like a small town in the European countryside. The quant, flower-lined walking paths looked charming enough on their own, but what really had us itching to visit was the fact that Floral Village also has a bakery modeled after the one little witch Kiki, of Ghibli anime Kiki’s Delivery Service, lives at after moving out of her parents’ home.
So when Masami, one of our Japanese-language reporters, was back in her native Kyushu for a visit, she made a point of stopping by Kiki’s Bakery in order to snap some pictures, try the food, and make all of us who stayed behind in Tokyo extremely jealous.
▼ And yes, she dressed the part.
While it’s not an exact match to its anime counterpart, Floral Village’s Kiki’s Bakery wouldn’t be at all out of place in a Ghibli film.
And if the shop’s name and witch’s broom prominently displayed above the window aren’t enough to tip you off as to its inspiration, Jiji, Kiki’s black cat companion, is on hand to greet customers.
Inside, there’s still more anime appeal. Like most Japanese bakeries, customers take the bread they wish to buy from trays, and each one has a placard explaining what its wares are. Some of them, though, also have a heart-shaped sign on which is written “Kiki’s recommendation.”
▼ These tomato and cheese tortinis are Kiki-approved!
After looking over the selections, our reporter picked out a piece of Danish-like chocolate bread and a butter croissant, the latter being the bakery’s biggest seller.
The croissant was incredibly tasty, buttery but not so much as to leave your mouth feeling oily or tired of the taste. The chocolate bread was also delicious, and even though Masami had just eaten a big lunch before making her bread run, for such palate-pleasing snacks as these she found room in her stomach.
In other words, while Kiki’s Bakery’s architecture will bring a smile to the face of anyone who’s a fan of the anime, its bread is good enough to make stopping by worthwhile even for people who’ve never heard of it.
▼ And if you’re the kind of person who’s willing to do Kiki cosplay, it’s a total must-visit.
Address: Oita-ken, Yufu-shi, Yufuincho, Kawakami 1503-3
Open 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Yufuin Floral Villlage website
Photos © RocketNews24
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