Food + Recipes

The Danish-Japanese Connection: Andersen Bakery, Japan and Denmark

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By Susan Rogers Chikuba

The bakery and café chain Andersen is a household name in Japan, known for its oven-fresh breads and pastries sold in warm, welcoming shops. Also part of Andersen are the ubiquitous Little Mermaid bakeries, and the hugely popular Danish Heart kiosks that sell piping-hot heart-shaped pastries in station buildings and shopping centers up and down the Japanese archipelago.

Less well-known is the fascinating history behind the enterprise—how a Danish connection turned a small Hiroshima bakery into a global business.

The bakery was founded in 1948 by the Takaki family. In 1959, Shunsuke Takaki was in Europe on a study tour. He was so delighted with the sweet, flaky pastries served at his Copenhagen hotel that he sent a telegram back to Hiroshima: danish pastries. gear up now. Japan got its first taste of Danish pastry three years later and the rest, as they say, is history.

Andersen Hiroshima Flagship

7-1 Hon-dori, Naka-ku, Hiroshima  |  81-82247-2403

Andersen Aoyama

5-1-26 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo  |  81-33407-4833

Shunsuke Takaki in 1959

Andersen Aoyama in Tokyo