For a country that eats as much rice as Japan, they have some pretty interesting kinds of bread, too. Introduced by the Portuguese in the 16th century, pan has been made in Japan long enough for it to morph into some unique shapes, including a few that Westerners might have trouble identifying. The most basic type of bread, of course, is the normal sliced variety, which can be purchased in standard sized loaves cut into eight, six or four slices, depending on how thick you like your sandwiches to be (if you’re thinking Japanese bread makes awesome French Toast, you’re right). Many types of bread are sweet, so that we’d think of them more as doughnuts, such as anpan (a traditional round bread with sweet anko beans inside) or melon-pan (vaguely melon-shaped) bread beloved of a certain tsundere girl. Another unique Japanese bread is Curry Pan, is a ball-shaped piece of fried bread that contains spicy curry inside — yummy. Whenever I’m passing through a train station and get hungry, I pick up yakisoba pan, essentially a long piece of bead with chow mein-style noodles stuffed inside, about as simple a snack as you can ask for.
Two my favorite kinds of pan: Melon Pan and shimapan.