Obuse, Japan: Iwasaki Bakery

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Way back in 1987 as an exchange student, a friend showed me around Obuse and happened to stop by the Iwasaki Bakery.  There I found some cookies that were so good, I could have sworn that they were my grandmother's. I later discovered the reason for that.

Ms. Iwasaki, the 5th generation proprietor, revealed that the bakery's founder was originally a Japanese confectioner. Sometime before World War II, the family started producing bread for school lunches.  Foreign staff at Obuse's New Life Hospital, Japan's only Tuberculosis Sanitorium, provided a wealth of information on western recipes.  The head nurse, Ms. Lilius Powell (sp?), was especially helpful in teaching the Iwasaki's how to make the famous Chelsea Bun.  Ms. Powell indicated that the recipe came from her Grandmother, who had lived in Chelsea, England.  

In addition to the Chelsea bun, you can find more great baked goods including:  seasonal strawberry rhubarb pie, cinnamon cake, and banana cake to list just a few.

Iwasaki Bakery is located near the Rokugawa Minami intersection.  The street address is:  620 Obuse, Obuse-machi, Nagano-ken 381-0201 Japan.
Telephone:  026-247-2200  Fax:  026-247-6404.  The shop is closed Wednesdays.

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