On a rainy morning on the way to work, it’s hard not to veer into Bager Jensen’s. It’s a little Danish bakery on the park side of Yoyogi. Maybe it’s the weather that inspires me: Denmark also rains like this, but in an even nicer sideways-style from the wind. Thankfully they have delicious pastries and bread products, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that had something to do with Denmark being dubbed the happiest country on earth.
Just by peering in, you can tell that Bager Jensen’s has very authentic pastries and bread products. You’ll find tebirkes (a poppy seed pastry filled with a caramelly sugar-butter paste), kanelsnegle (cinnamon snails/scrolls) and other jam and custard filled spandauere (pastries). They also sell breadrolls and if you’re lucky, they’ll have rugbrød. This is the traditional Danish rye bread which is very dense, a little sour and commonly enjoyed with mackerel fish or a shrimp and egg topping. There wasn’t any rugbrød when I visited, but I’ve heard it tastes pretty authentic and sells out fast.
The store is a small but cosy (hyggelig) family run business. It’s fitted out with Danish details including Legos, designer lights, and a wall of Royal Copenhagen plates. The business is headed not by a Mr. Jensen (a typical Danish family name), but by Mr. Tetsuya Wada. He is a member of the Copenhagen Baker’s Guild (Københavns Bagerlaug) and of the Denmark-Japan Society. He studied and did his baker’s training in Denmark. Tetsuya still travels back twice a year to learn new baking techniques. He is also quite good at speaking Danish and is very friendly to visitors.
You could try making your own pastry by buying Lurpak butter from the supermarket and translating a recipe from a real Danish grandma, but you won’t even get close to the real thing. Bager Jensen, on the other hand, does. Perfect as a rainy day treat, but also in nice weather where you could pick up a pastry or five to enjoy in Yoyogi Park.
4-3 Motoyoyogi-cho, Shibuya-ku. Yoyogi-Hachiman or Yogogi-Koen. Tel: (03) 3465-7843. Open Monday-Friday 7am-7pm and Saturday 7am-4pm.