It has awakened.

Tokyo Banana is the go-to souvenir snack when visiting the Japanese metropolis. Its simple design of sponge cake around a banana-flavored custard is surprisingly delicious. I’m not even all that crazy about bananas but love these things. They’re just that good.

Its popularity has earned it collabs with other juggernaut brands like Pokémon and KitKat, but those little cakes aren’t all Tokyo Banana is known for. Legend has it there exists a melon bread so tasty, it only graces us with its presence every 20 years. It is the Legendary Melon Bread (Densetsu No Melonpan).

Legendary Melon Bread is currently exclusively sold at the outbound Ebina Service Area between Kanagawa and Tokyo for the first time in 20 years, but for the month of March only, it’s also being sold at the Tokyo Banana store in Tokyo Station.

▼ It’s fitting since Tokyo Banana is also home to their Legendary Curry Bread.

Mr. Sato headed over to investigate but had his work cut out for him as these sweet buns have been selling out fast every day. They’re only sold two times a day at noon and 4 p.m., so he arrived at 11:30 a.m. only to find there was already a long line-up. This wasn’t even the first day they went on sale and must be what it’s like here every day.

A sign on the counter pointed out that there was a limit of three boxes per customer. Mr. Sato was also given a numbered ticket that further explained one box cost 1,188 yen (US$8) and had three Legendary Melon Breads inside. Even arriving 30 minutes early he barely made the cutoff, so he’d recommends anyone else to get there at least an hour ahead of time.

Our reporter had made it though, and happily received his adorable box specially designed for Legendary Melon Bread.

An ordinary melon bread is usually a bun with a bit of a donut texture topped with a layer of lightly baked cookie dough. Legendary Melon Bread, however, uses a chocolate Danish pastry base made from the finest wheat Canada has to offer.

It also has a rather thick layer of cookie-like crust that appears to be in the shape of a heart.

Melon bread often has a filling too and in this case, Tokyo Banana’s signature banana custard was used.

Mr. Sato was expecting the thick cookie layer to be crispier than other melon breads, but it turned out to be surprisingly soft. Although he prefers them more on the crispy side, he was won over by the classic taste of Tokyo Banana’s cream as it blended smoothly with the chocolate bread.

Honestly, “legendary” might be a bit of a stretch, but you can’t blame them for having pride in the product. Still, it was definitely tasty enough that Mr. Sato could understand why people were lining up for these baked goods. If you’re in Tokyo Station and want some too, just remember to get there as early as possible.

Store information
Tokyo Bananas / 東京ばな奈s (トウキョーバナナ―ズ)
Address: Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku, Marunouchi 1-9-1 (immediately after exiting the Yaesu central ticket gate of JR Tokyo Station)
東京都千代田区丸の内1丁目9-1 (JR東京駅八重洲中央改札口を出てすぐ)
Open: 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
*Legendary Melon Bread is limited from 1 to 31 March and sold twice a day at noon and 4:00 p.m.

Expasa Ebina (Outbound) / EXPASA海老名 (下り)
Kanagawa-ken, Ebina-shi, Oyaminami 5-2-1
Open 24 hours a day
*Legendary Melon Bread is sold twice a day at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

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