- June 18th, 2015
[Nishikawa Panju Store in Otaru] Popular Panju Loved by Local People
Nishikawa Panju Store
Nishikawa Panju Store (西川ぱんじゅう店) is a long-established panju store facing Miyakodori Shopping Street (都通り) in Inaho, Otaru city, and has been setablished since 1965, and is near Otaru Station and Otaru Canal. The Nishikawa Panju Store is well-known as the oldest panju store in the Otaru. The panjyu is a muffin as if to combine Japanese muffin containing bean jam (今川焼き) with an octopus dumpling (たこ焼き). Bean jam or custard cream and so on are at baked wheat flour dough. In Hokkaido as well as Ise in Mie prefecture and Ashikaga in Tochigi prefecture, the panju is well-known as a famous sweets, and panju stores open a business in the Otaru, the Sapporo and Yubari. Since the most tasty panju in the Otaru is written on a shop sign, I guess that they have confident of their traditional taste.
The appearance and the interior decoration of the building are very shibui, and remind me of a good old Showa period. The store is not so large, and a place for custmers to enjoy foods and drinks is provided, so I guess that customers enjoy their sweets. But an owner did not make me use it for some reason.
Otaru Canal (小樽運河) is a canal in the center of Otaru city, and is located in the eastern direction of the Otaru Station, and the distance between the Otaru Canal and the station is about 700 m. It takes about 10 minutes through Chuo Street (中央通り) on foot. It is well-known as one of most famous tourist attractions in the Otaru, and is an established spot that almost all 8 million tourists that visit the otaru go to see. At Ironai area once called Northern Wall Street (北のウォール街) beside the canal, historical buildings of the Bank of Japan (日本銀行), Former Nippon Yusen (旧日本郵船), Former Mitsubishi Bank (旧三菱銀行), Former Yasuda Bank (旧安田銀行) and Former Hokkaido Takushoku Bank (旧北海道拓殖銀行) make poeple feel a splendid atmosphere of Meiji period. The stone canal goes well with the Ironai area, and the tourists feel Taisho Roman (大正浪漫). Admission free. There are toll parking lots around here. Read More
Sakaimachidori Shopping Street and Marchen Crossroads
Sakaimachidori Shopping Street (堺町通り) and Marchen Crossroads (メルヘン交差点) are tourist attractions between Otaru Station (小樽駅) and Minami-Otaru Station (南小樽駅), and is located in the eastern direction of the Otaru Station, and the distance between the Sakaimachidori Shopping Street and the station is about 900 m. It takes about 15 minutes through Chuo Street (中央通り) on foot. The street with atomosphere of Taisho Period and Medieval Europe is one of most popular tourist attractions in the Otaru along with Otaru Canal, and is an established spot that almost all 8 million tourists that visit the otaru go to see. Otaru Sakaimachi Yukata Wind Chime (小樽堺町ゆかた風鈴まつり) is held between 2days in early August. Admission free. There are toll parking lots around here. Read More
A highway bus "Otaru-go (おたる号)" runs between the Otaru and the Sapporo. Unfortunately, the express bus does not run between New Chitose Airport and the Otaru. Besides, Rent-a-car can be rented around Otaru Station.
Otaru (小樽) that 120,000 people live is the 9th largest port city in Hokkaido, and is located in the located in the northwestern direction of Sapporo city. It takes about 30 minutes from the Sapporo to the Otaru by a train. The Otaru is one of most popular tourist cities in the Hokkaido, and about 8 million people visit here. It is also well-known as a city with a lot of slopes, and there are 30 slopes with its name, so the Otaru has a lot of slope lands, and has a lot of narrow roads. It is famous as a city with a lot of sushi restaurants, too, and more than 100 sushi restaurants open their businesses. Fresh seafood caught in the Sea of Japan facing the Otaru or caought in various places of the Hokkaido can be enjoyed. As for a climate, the Otaru has calm climate, it is cold in a summer, and it snow hard. The Otaru was called an inaccessible land in the old days because all transportation facilities paralyzed by a heavy snow. Read More
In fact, the Nishikawa Panju Store has been loved by local people very much, and will close a store as soon as ingredients run out. I visited here 3 times, and at last I was able to visit within a business time. It was around 13:00. Preceding customers that were all local people bought tens of panju. I suppose that people may savor their traditional taste if they visit here around lunchtime. My visited time used to be around 14:00 and 15:00, but the store was already closed.
The price was JPY 90 per one. The flavor was only mashed bean paste (つぶあん). Both handmade dough and handmade bean jam were additive-free. Since they were particular about ingredients for the panju, I thougt that they were popular. When I ordered 2 pieces of the panju, the owner said to me "You come again 20 minutes later". Therefore I decided to come again. 20 minutes later, my panju were baked, and I paid JPY 180. I decided to eat it at a bench on the Miyakodoru Shopping Street. The owner said to me "Please enjoy eating the circular side down". Because the circular side was hard crunchy, I guessed that it was a bean jam accepter. It was not too sweet, and I enjoyed eating. Thanks for the tasty panju!
|Parking lot||Parking is not provided|
|Business hours||10:00-18:00 * They close a store as soon as ingredients run out|
|Regular closing day||Wednesday and Thursday|
|Home page||Home page is not provided|
|Mapcode||164 719 389*67|
List of Accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations in the Otaru. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
A page of Otaru is here
By the way, Club Tourism (クラブツーリズム), a Japanese tour travel agency, provides various types of tours such as day trip tours or ordinary tours. In the case of bus tours, tourists do not drive their cars themselves, so they can savor alcohol. Choosen tourist attractions are national parks such as Rishiri and Rebun, Shiretoko, and popular tourist places such as Furano and Biei, and some activities such as hiking and fruit picking are also enjoyed depending on seasons. If you are interested in tour trips, you should visit the club tourism's website for details.
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