Hello! I’m going to write about Ueno today, but it’s not going to be a travel guide telling you where to go or what to do.
It’ll be about where to find panda-themed food insteadThe Ueno Zoo is a famous attraction, and the panda is a pretty iconic mascot for Ueno. So you can find it in lots of places—on signages and street decorations and logos and all over the restaurants and cafes.
This is the Panda bun from Wholesome Bakery in L’UENO, which is right opposite the Shinobazu exit of Ueno station! They have a lot of other cute animal-shaped bread too and I did buy a chocolate bear bun, but I think I’ll just keep it to pandas today.
Inside the station itself (near the JR tracks), there’s a big shopping area called ecute that has lots of restaurants and souvenirs.
A bento shop called Tsukuasa sells this adorable Panda Bento for when you’re in need of lunch to go on a long railway journey. Remember how I always raved about ekiben? I wish I could get on a shinkansen from Ueno just so I could buy this train bento. It’s a panda. Complete with a torso and little seaweed arms
Soft Panda cheese cake from Boul’mich! This was so delicious I almost want to include the picture showing the cream cheese and sponge cake oozing out after I cut it open
This was my favourite! Quatre, a patisserie that sells amazing pastries and sweets, makes this Panda Purin that’s exclusive to their Ueno shop. Pudding just feels so much more complete when it’s capped off with a little panda head.
Anya Hiyoko sells obanyaki, which is another one of my favourite Japanese snacks because it is essentially taiyaki but just not in the form of a fish. It’s just a simple, round pancake and not as sophisticated as a taiyaki might be with its scales and tail, but these have a panda on them. So they’re greatThere are different fillings, but I got custard!
I saw a number of other panda-themed snacks and food around Ueno (like udon and steamed buns), but I still haven’t gotten the chance to try them yet. If I can round up enough I want to make a part two! For now, these should be plenty if you want to get as much panda as you can out of your Ueno experience