Good tasty bagels are hard to find in Japan. There are bagel shop chains around, but it is just not the same. I’m no New Yorker nor am I very knowledgable in the bagel field, but Einstein Bagels are my liking — for some of you, that may be a shock (sorry!).
Here in Japan, Yelp has yet to come, but there is a Japanese version of it called Tabelog. When you search bagels in Tokyo here, the third one that is listed is Kepobagels. Luckily for me, both my parents and I live close to this what I had never heard, Kepobagels, in Kamikitazawa, Tokyo, so I did the sales talk to my mom so she could come with me. She saw their website and got excited immediately after she read that pumpernickel was available. She did more research on her own and, smart lady, saw that they allowed prebooking as long as we picked it up, so she jumped onto taking my orders.
If you look at the website, you can see that they have Japanese style bagels and New York style bagels, and so many of each category! I certainly wanted the New York style ones and wanted to try out the Japanese ones. With my parents’ influences, I also like pumpernickel, so that was one New York style, and I chose everything for my second. For my Japanese kinds, I chose pumpkin and mugwort flavor with sweet beans (there must be question marks around your head right now; for those that speak Japanese, mugwort is yomogi… it’s a type of green plant that is often used in Japanese sweets.
The review! I think they were good, especially the everything bagel. I’ve realized that I like onion flavor bagels (that’s also my dads favorite) and I think it had onions. The combination if plain cream cheese and onion is cry-ably good (of course with lots and lots of cream cheese). When toasted the outer layer of the ring gets crispy and inside is chewy. If I were to give everything bagel a five star, I’d give pumpernickel four. The Japanese ones on the other hand were very soft and more on the chewy side. What I liked about them is there creativity in the favors they offered. It’s something you’d never find in the U.S.
Kepobagels’ website: http://www.kepobagels.com/