It’s too bad it’s too far away to pop into whenever we want a crazy snack.

Out in the city of Kusakabe in Saitama Prefecture, about an hour and 20 minutes north of central Tokyo, there’s a little, unknown supermarket with big bento game known as Midori Super. Our Japanese-language reporter and foodie Mr. Sato has been there numerous times to try their delicious and somewhat unique offerings, but it’s been a good two years since his last visit, so he decided it was time to go back again.

Boy was he glad he did. It seems that Midori Super has upgraded its bentos and snacks substantially since he found some crazy new things they never had before.

Midori Super is a local supermarket about a 10-minute walk from Minami Sakurai Station on the Tobu Urban Parkline. It’s a small shop, but it’s the epitome of a local secret; behind its unassuming, faded signboard is a long history–and some delicious food.

It’s also full of good humor. For example, the shop makes use of a phrase from an ’80s-era dystopian boys’ love manga (and a 2019 movie starring 2000s J-rock star Gackt as a high school student) called “Fly Me to the Saitama” in which the villain screams, “Just have the Saitamans eat their own grass!!” (You just have to look it up.) “Their own grass” (“sokorahen no kusa”) is a prominent theme in names of their bentos.

▼ そこらへんの草 (sokorahen no kusa)

They also named their truck “The Red Comet”, and simply decorated it with two Internet search bars, one with “Their own grass” typed inside, and the other with “Kusakabe Pudding Bread,” which the shop is most famous for. Sadly, Mr. Sato has never actually seen the Pudding Bread, because it takes him an hour and a half to get to Kusakabe, and by the time he arrives, they’re all sold out. Maybe one day…

Upon entering the shop, Mr. Sato went straight for the bento section, where he found one of their most famous bentos, the “Their Own Grass Tempura Bowl”. It was the same price as two years ago, 310 yen (US$2.31), which is impressive given the inflation of costs lately. 310, by the way, is also a pun, where three is pronounced “sa”, one is pronounced “i” and the zero looks like a ball (“tama”).

They even took the joke to other lengths, such as this bento called “Their Own Bamboo Shoot Rice” (287 yen). Mr. Sato found this stupidly funny.

And then…Mr. Sato discovered the most ridiculous whipped cream-filled bread he’d ever seen: the “Underground Temple Cream Bread” (250 yen).

It’s named–and designed–after Kasukabe’s famous Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel, which is nicknamed “The Underground Temple” since it looks like the kind of mysterious underground shrine you might find in The Legend of Zelda. The fact that Midori Super decided to replicate it in dessert form is beyond ridiculous and also amazing.

Of course, Mr. Sato had to buy one to try. In fact, he bought two other crazy sandwiches, so as to make good use of his three-hour round-trip train ride.

The first was the “Their Own Grasspaghetti Napolitan” (119 yen), which was positively overflowing with tomato sauce-flavored spaghetti noodles (and some spinach to keep it on theme). Mr. Sato had to admit this one might have been a bit of a stretch.

The second was completely different, called Ryu-Q Bread (270 yen).

It came with a chocolate egg nestled in the middle, which fell over during Mr. Sato’s travels, but this is what it originally looked like.

What’s more, the chocolate egg was actually hiding a capsule with a toy inside!

Mr. Sato cracked it open to reveal a cool, sky-blue-colored dragon.

It was apparently part of the “Illustrated Guide to Powerful Dragon Kings” series, and was called “Agent of Revenge Vritora”. This was far more than Mr. Sato ever expected to get out of a simple sandwich.

▼ It even came with a stats chart.

And now, the main attraction: The Underground Temple Cream Bread!

▼ Which had collapsed.

Well, that isn’t exactly surprising after an hour and a half on the train. It was easy enough to restore to its former glory.

The top portion was a wafer-style taiyaki with “Bubbly Airy Chocolate” inside. The pillars looked like a Japanese wafer snack called Elise. Mr. Sato decided to put those aside in favor of trying the sandwich on its own.

The fluffy, densely packed whipped cream alone made it worth eating, but what really blew Mr. Sato away was the soft and simple bun. It reminded him of the buns he used to get in his school lunches in elementary school. It was super delicious. In fact, the whole thing was tasty, despite its unusual appearance.

Mr. Sato couldn’t help but admire the playful spirit of Midori Super. Even though they’re a small supermarket, they put so much effort into being a fun place to shop. It’s too bad that it’s too far away to stop by on a whim, but he does plan to go back one day to see what other kinds of unique and creative options they’ll be offering. He’ll be keeping his eye on their official Twitter account in case they make anything worth an immediate trip.

In the meantime, when we’re craving a sweet sandwich treat, we’ll be heading to convenience store Lawson for their whipped cream sandwiches. Japanese food stores sure do know how to hit the spot!

Shop information

Midori Super / みどりスーパー
Address: Saitama-ken Kasukabe-shi Komejima 1133-38
Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Closed Sundays

Images © SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]