Imagawayaki vs. Obanyaki vs. Taiyaki vs. Dorayaki Cake

Imagawayaki (今川焼き) is a Japanese pancake with a sweet filling, such as Anko (餡子) red bean paste or custard cream, whose batter mainly consists of wheat flour, egg, and sugar.

As you may know, the disc-shaped cake has a slightly crispy outside, while the inside is soft and chewy.

Imagawayaki or Obanyaki

Imagawayaki or Obanyaki

Imagawayaki is a pancake often offered by Yatai street food stalls at festivals or specialty shops in the city.

In Japan, the sweet treat is available throughout the year, and the vendor usually cooks the Anko-filled small round cake in front of you.  

A legend holds that in the middle of the Edo period, a sweet shop near a bridge named Imagawa Bashi (今川橋) in Edo (present-day Tokyo) created and sold the cake. 

Hence, the original name of the pancake is Imagawa Yaki. However, today, it is also known by many other names.

Imagawayaki Cake

The following examples show what we call Imagawayaki in each region of Japan. As you can see below, Obanyaki is the same thing as Imagawayaki.

  • Obanyaki (大判焼き) – in various regions
  • Kaitenyaki (回転焼き) – in Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Wakayama Prefectures and in the Kyushu region
  • Oyaki (おやき) – in Hokkaido, Aomori, and Iwate Prefectures 
  • Nijuyaki (二重焼き) – in Hiroshima Prefecture
  • Nanakoshiyaki (七越焼き) – in Toyama Prefecture
  • Gozasoro (御座候) – in Hyogo Prefecture
  • Asakusayaki (浅草焼) – in Aomori Prefecture
  • Ajiman (あじまん) – in Yamagata Prefecture

Oban Gold Coin

By the way, in the name of Obanyaki, Oban (大判) originally refers to a large oval gold coin that had been used in the old days, while Yaki (焼き/焼) here means to be baked.

vs. Taiyaki

Taiyaki Pancake

Some people may wonder, Then, how Taiyaki (鯛焼き) differs from Imagawayaki or Obanyaki.

Taiyaki can be made with the same ingredients as those pancakes and is essentially the same thing as them.

But Tai Yaki is different from Imagawa Yaki or Oban Yaki in that it has a fish shape, as Tai (鯛) in its name means sea bream in Japanese.

vs. Dorayaki

Darayaki Buns

The yummy bun loved by Doraemon, Dorayaki (どら焼き), is also similar to Imagawayaki or Obanyaki.

But this Japanese treat uses honey, consisting of two separate round moist pancakes sandwiched with Anko.

(Reference Page: Wikipedia 今川焼き )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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