Photo by Mochijapa (Ayano Irizuki)

Popular Japanese sandwich becomes a cute pouch! [Hands-on Report]

Popular sandwiches

If you’re asked: “What's a traditional portable Japanese food item?”, you might say: “Yeah, I know. It’s rice balls (onigiri おにぎり).” And you'd be right. Onigiri is a very famous traditional portable meal.

However, in modern times, there's another one that could give onigiri some competition, and it comes in the form of an original Japanese sandwich called the Lunch Pack ランチパック, made by Yamazaki Baking Co., Ltd. 山崎製パン株式会社.

The primary difference between this and your ordinary sandwich is that the bread is shaped into a pouch and has no crusts. The filling is sealed into the bread, so you can bite away with no risk of the fillings spilling out over your hands. This simple, but hugely impactful innovation caused the sandwich to go viral on Twitter in the summer of 2021 when a certain famous quadrennial international sporting event was held in Tokyo. It quickly became a favorite snack for extremely busy overseas media members in the press room.

Inside these crustless soft white bread sandwiches, you'll find fillings such as egg salad, peanut cream, chocolate cream, fruit jam, curry, tuna & mayonnaise, and more! This has been a popular light meal since 1984, and according to their official website, 12.7 packs are sold per second in Japan.

Lunch Pack pouches

Now, the popular sandwich has become a cute plastic pouch!

Fortunately, I had an opportunity to try them in advance of their official selling date on April 5th, 2022.

I’ll introduce the two types of these practical and adorable items!

Peanut Cream version

Photo by Mochijapa (Ayano Irizuki)

The first is the peanut cream flavored version. It truly looks like a real Lunch Pack!

For people who haven’t seen the real thing, I took a picture of the sandwich and the pouch side by side. Can you tell which is which?

Photo by Mochijapa (Ayano Irizuki)

Wow! They are really similar, aren’t they? Please don’t eat the plastic one by mistake!

The product includes a clear pouch modeled after the Lunch Pack's plastic package and a replica of the sandwich itself, which is also a pouch. In other words, you can use two pouches.

The clear pouch is 13 cm wide and 17 cm tall. The lanyard is 15.5 cm long. The fluffy white bread pouch is 10 cm wide and 11 cm tall.

Photo by Mochijapa (Ayano Irizuki)

The details are amazing! You can tell they put a lot of effort into making the sandwich replica have the same look and feel as the real thing. It's just as fluffy as a Lunch Pack sandwich. Even the peanut stamp on the bread is faithfully reproduced.

Photo by Mochijapa (Ayano Irizuki)

Speaking of the bread, Yamazaki Baking Co., Ltd., which makes Lunch Packs, is well known for its delicious and reasonably priced shokupan 食パン white milk bread. That’s why this sandwich is particularly tasty.

Photo by Mochijapa (Ayano Irizuki)

They even made the additional effort to make the inside of the bread pouch to be the same color as their Peanut Cream sandwich!

Egg Salad version

Photo by Mochijapa (Ayano Irizuki)

The second type of pouch is based on the egg (tamago たまご) salad Lunch Pack. The clear pouch also comes with a lanyard attached. This is an egg version, so the lanyard is yellow. The manufacturer recommends that users attach the clear pouch to their bags when using it.

Photo by Mochijapa (Ayano Irizuki)

The back of the clear pouch also looks like the real Lunch Pack package. However, the space where storage instructions are typically written has been replaced with usage instructions. One of their recommended uses is to put small items in it.

As the pouch is transparent, I think it’s really good for cosmetics. It’s easy to see what items you have in the pouch. Sometimes, I forget to put things back, but with this pouch, I’ll never forget anything before going out again. In addition to that, the size is perfect for cosmetics.

Photo by Mochijapa (Ayano Irizuki)

Since the bread pouch is not transparent, it’s more suited for storing your private items such as medicine and keys. Also, it’s very soft, so it can protect your delicate accessories.

Photo by Mochijapa (Ayano Irizuki)

Just like the peanut cream sandwich version, the sandwich pouch reproduces the color, in this case, yellow for egg. I also noticed that the fluffy texture of the egg salad Lunch Pack sandwich has been recreated to stunning accuracy.

How to get these cute pouches

Photo by Mochijapa (Ayano Irizuki)

These pouches are actually bundled with the Minna Daisuki! Yamazaki Lunch Pack Book みんな大好き! ヤマザキ ランチパックBOOK. The mook (magazine book) is published by Takarajimasha 宝島社, one of the most famous and popular publishers in Japan. The mook is actually a special publication for fans of the Lunch Pack and those who want to learn more about them. It covers topics ranging from the history of Lunch Pack in Japan, interviews with an actress who appeared in some advertisements for Lunch Pack, a tour of the Lunch Pack factory, recipes, and more.

Photo by Mochijapa (Ayano Irizuki)

Both variations of pouches are very cute! Please be aware that each mook comes with only one version and costs 1,738 yen including tax. You’ll have to buy more than one book to get all of the different versions.

The mooks will go on sale on April 5th, 2022, so keep your eyes open for them.


Note: You may need to use a proxy shopping service such as Buyee or White Rabbit Express if you'd like to have it shipped internationally

By - Mochijapa (Ayano Irizuki).