If you love Japanese bakeries, you're probably already familiar with melonpan. They're one of Japan's most famous original sweet breads. Very similar to Mexican conchas or pineapple buns in Hong Kong, these delightful pastries are made from enriched dough and covered in a thin layer of crisp cookie dough with a bumpy texture vaguely reminiscent of the crackling seen on some varieties of melon, hence the name.

Melonpan waiting to be purchased in a Japanese bakery. | Sakurai Midori / CC BY-SA 2.1 JP

You may be able to find a Japanese (or Asian) bakery selling them where you live, and perhaps you may even know how to bake them yourself, but for the majority of our readers who don't fall into either of those two categories, a trip to Japan is the only way to enjoy them.

Miniature melonpan pens by Re:treat

So what is a melonpan lover to do in the meantime? For one thing, you can get melonpan-themed goods and accessories!

For example, feast your eyes on these adorable miniature melonpan pens!

Reproduced with permission from Re:treat (@mish_shio)

In this video, you can see the pen more clearly with the mini melonpans inside:

Made by Re:treat, a Japanese miniature food artist, these pens are the latest in a popular series in which the artist fills empty barrel ballpoint pens with astonishingly realistic and tatsy-looking miniature baked goods.

The pens come in brown, beige and white.

Re:treat has been particularly successful with melonpan, and has even created different varieties, all in tiny, miniature form!

Reproduced with permission from Re:treat (@mish_shio)

Here is the latest version of the melonpan pens with the colorful varieties inside:

Although you can probably guess how small they are since they fit within the barrel of a pen, you can see how they compare to a real melonpan in this photo:

Other pens and accessories

As popular as the series has been, Re:treat isn't married to melonpan. For example, here are some other pens filled with different Japanese baked goods including anpan, melonpan, cream bread, bread roll, croissant, chocolate cornet, curry bread and a jam bread (with bite mark):

Re:treat also makes bread charms which can be purchased separately or together with the pens:

If you'd like to see more of Re:treat's awesome miniature creations and keep up to date with their latest items, be sure to follow them on Twitter and check their Instagram account.

How to purchase


Since Re:treat's miniatures and accessories are very popular and there's a limit to what they can make and sell in response to demand, you'll need to check their Twitter account for information on when their products go on sale. At the time of writing, the melonpan pens and all other items aren't available at their online store, although they will be at a future time.

The minne online retail platform has paired with World Shopping Biz to enable purchases from outside Japan.

In person

If you're in Japan, you'll also be able to buy Re:treat's miniatures and accessories at the following upcoming market events:

Sunday Marche

  • When: June 26th, 2022
  • Times: 11:00 to 16:00
  • Where: 静山荘 Seizansō
  • Address: 〒974-8201 福島県いわき市江畑町塙72-41 | 72-41 Hanawa Ebata-machi Iwaki City Fukushima Pref. 974-8201 (Google Maps)

ミニチュア写真の世界展 2022 | The World of Miniature Photography Exhibition 2022

  • Website
  • When: May 27th to June 19th, 2022
  • Times: 11:00 to 19:00
  • Admission: 600 JPY / free under 3
  • Closed on Mondays, Tuesdays and national holidays
  • Address: 〒460-0007名古屋市中区 新栄1-17-12 | 1-17-12 Shinsakae Naka Ward Nagoya 460-0007 (Access)
  • When: July 2nd to 31st, 2022
  • Times: 11:00 to 18:00
  • Admission: 600 JPY / free under 3
  • Closed on July 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 19th, 20th, 25th and 26th
  • Address: 〒810-0022福岡市中央区薬院2-2-4 1F | 1F 2-2-4 Yakuin Chuo Ward Fukuoka 810-0022 (Access)

By - grape Japan editorial staff.