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Meet the Maker: Honma Anpan

Meet the Maker: Honma Anpan

Honma Anpan

Established in 1906

Located in Hokkaido

Danny Taing and Honma-san in front of the factory.

Honma's history officially began in 1906, but its story can be traced all the way back to 1874. At the time, a man named Onuma was selling confections to the army. He had heard about the popularity of a new product from Tokyo called "anpan". This simple bun of sweet bread and a sweet bean paste filling was even rumored to be a favorite of the emperor, and it quickly took Tokyo by storm. Onuma developed his own recipe for this new snack, inspired by geppei (traditional mooncakes). Onuma went on to share his recipe with many people including the founder of Honma, Yosaburo Honma.

Fast-forward to 1906:

Yosaburo Honma has established his shop called "Oharaya Honma Shoten" in the village of Tsukisamu, Hokkaido and begins selling "Tsukisamu Anpan" made with Onuma's recipe. Now Sapporo has grown, and the Toyohira ward has absorbed Tsukisamu, but at the time, Tsukisamu was mostly notable as the home of the 25th regiment of army infantry. In this tiny town, they quietly made delicious anpan and became very popular among the local soldiers.

In 1911, the army in Tsukisamu was tasked with building a road from that town to nearby Hiragishi. While they worked, the city government gave each worker five anpan a day from the seven anpan shops in Tsukisamu to help with the work, earning this new road the name "Anpan Road". Soon after, due to Japan's involvement in the wars, all seven of these local shops closed including Honma's. Only Honma was able to reopen in 1946 after the end of the wars and thus became the only "Tsukisamu Anpan" shop in Tsukisamu that continues to pass down the original delicious recipe for generations to this day.

Japanese pumpkin kabocha anpan

Kabocha Anpan

This dedication to quality is what led them to 100 years of success

From the very beginning, Honma has been committed to using high-quality local ingredients. All the azuki used for their red bean paste filling comes from Hokkaido as does the pumpkin used in their Kabocha Anpan. Where local ingredients aren't available, they go directly to the source whenever possible, like using kokuto from Okinawa. This dedication to quality is what led them to more than 100 years of success, expanding from one small storefront to a popular Sapporo-exclusive chain. Their tasty anpan have people coming from all over Japan to bring home a genuine taste of Hokkaido.

Historic photo of Honma Anpan

Historic photo of Honma Anpan

freshly baked anpan

Freshly baked anpan

Honma Anpan

Established in 1906

Located in Hokkaido

Danny Taing and Honma-san in front of the factory.

Honma's history officially began in 1906, but its story can be traced all the way back to 1874. At the time, a man named Onuma was selling confections to the army. He had heard about the popularity of a new product from Tokyo called "anpan". This simple bun of sweet bread and a sweet bean paste filling was even rumored to be a favorite of the emperor, and it quickly took Tokyo by storm. Onuma developed his own recipe for this new snack, inspired by geppei (traditional mooncakes). Onuma went on to share his recipe with many people including the founder of Honma, Yosaburo Honma.

Fast-forward to 1906:

Yosaburo Honma has established his shop called "Oharaya Honma Shoten" in the village of Tsukisamu, Hokkaido and begins selling "Tsukisamu Anpan" made with Onuma's recipe. Now Sapporo has grown, and the Toyohira ward has absorbed Tsukisamu, but at the time, Tsukisamu was mostly notable as the home of the 25th regiment of army infantry. In this tiny town, they quietly made delicious anpan and became very popular among the local soldiers.

In 1911, the army in Tsukisamu was tasked with building a road from that town to nearby Hiragishi. While they worked, the city government gave each worker five anpan a day from the seven anpan shops in Tsukisamu to help with the work, earning this new road the name "Anpan Road". Soon after, due to Japan's involvement in the wars, all seven of these local shops closed including Honma's. Only Honma was able to reopen in 1946 after the end of the wars and thus became the only "Tsukisamu Anpan" shop in Tsukisamu that continues to pass down the original delicious recipe for generations to this day.

Japanese pumpkin kabocha anpan

Kabocha Anpan

This dedication to quality is what led them to 100 years of success

From the very beginning, Honma has been committed to using high-quality local ingredients. All the azuki used for their red bean paste filling comes from Hokkaido as does the pumpkin used in their Kabocha Anpan. Where local ingredients aren't available, they go directly to the source whenever possible, like using kokuto from Okinawa. This dedication to quality is what led them to more than 100 years of success, expanding from one small storefront to a popular Sapporo-exclusive chain. Their tasty anpan have people coming from all over Japan to bring home a genuine taste of Hokkaido.

Historic photo of Honma Anpan

Historic photo of Honma Anpan

freshly baked anpan

Freshly baked anpan

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