"Soft Cream" (aka soft-serve ice cream)
"Softcream", aka soft serve is a swirl looking ice cream that is very popular in Japan. It has this smooth texture that just melts in your mouth right away. Japanese people come up with so many different flavors, from standard vanilla to green tea and lavender, and straight up ludicrous flavors such as miso, soy sauce and fish! As Japan has 47 prefectures, each prefecture have their own specialty goods such as fruit, vegetables or dishes, and there are so many flavored soft serves that use these speciality food!
For those of you who think green tea has became too general, try these flavors!
1. Wasabi Ice cream
Wasabi soft serve ice cream tastes surprisingly fresh! It doesn't really have a strong wasabi taste, so don't be intimidated to try it!
It can be found in Shizuoka. There are two types of wasabi soft serve ice cream: vanilla soft serve with grated wasabi on the side, and wasabi-flavored ice cream.
2. Yuba (Tofu Skin) Ice Cream
Yuba is a soy milk skin that is created on the surface when you boil soy milk. Yuba soft serve tastes like a thick soy milk! Very flavorful and tasty. You can find yuba soft-serve ice cream at Tochigi and Kyoto! It's so delicious and creamy!
3. Soy Sauce
Wondering what soy sauce soft serve ice cream would taste like? Some say it tastes like roasted caramel, but you'll never know unless you try it for yourself! Soy sauce-flavored soft-serve can be found in Chiba and Kagawa. Japanese ice cream flavors can be seem rather strange, but once you've tried them, you'll understand the appeal.
If sweet flavour are not your thing, you should definitely try Miso flavored soft-serve ice cream! It's not as sweet, but very flavorful and smooth. It can be found in Nagano, Oita and Nagoya!
Oiri is also known as Arare, which is a traditional snack mainly produced in Kagawa prefecture. Oiri is made from glutinous rice, and cooked by broiling. It is a sphere shaped snack and its size is as big as 1 cm. The outside is like a thin shell which gives a crispy texture and inside is empty and melts immediately in the mouth. Oiri softcream is a soft serve topped with lots of colorful and cheerful Oiri! There are many Oiri softcream that you can try in Japan, and it's definitely a must-try.
Cremia is a new, rich and creamy soft-serve ice cream! The cone is made from langue de chat, which adds an accent to its mild, milky ice cream. They use 25% fresh milk, 12.5% of high milk fat, and its shape brings out the smooth taste! It also has a refreshing aftertaste, which makes it less heavy. I can promise you you've never had ice cream this smooth and creamy!
These are what you can get at convenience stores in Japan!
Convenience stores in Japan are really different from the ones overseas. They have so many different ice cream options! Below are the popular ice creams that you can find at Japanese convenience stores!
1. Yukimi Daifuku
Yukimi Diafuku is the mochi ice cream that everyone's crazy about! So first, what is mochi ice cream? Mochi is a non-sweet rice paste which is used to cover the ice cream. It has a soft texture and since it isn't sticky, it allows you to hold the mochi balls. Usually, there is vanilla ice cream in the centre, but there are many other flavors as well, as well as seasonal flavors!
2. Ice no Mi
Ice no Mi is like individual ball-shaped popsicles! Its standard flavors are grapes, oranges, kiwi and peach, and they also offer seasonal flavors like mango, pear, banana, lemon and more!
If you put Ice no Mi into a cider, you can make an original summer refreshing drink too!
3. Gari Gari Kun
Gari gari kun is a very popular Popsicle beloved by all ages! They have different kinds of flavors, but the soda flavor is the standard one here. Like Ice no Mi, You can dip Gari gari kun in cider, fanta or any carbonated drinks and make your own dessert drink! It's only for ¥70, which is super cheap! You may have a chance to win special goods if it says "あたり" (atari, or win) on the popsicle stick!
Coolish is a new style of ice cream - somehow people decided to put a soft-serve into this small container. For those who dislike ice cream melting and getting sticky hands, this is a life saver! By squeezing you can easily eat (or drink might be the correct word) and enjoy their delicious ice cream. They also have different flavors like chocolate too, so check it out!
These cute little ice creams are coated with chocolate. Chocolate and vanilla ice cream mix really well together, and sometimes they have seasonal flavors like matcha! If you are lucky, you get a rare, star-shaped or heart-shaped pino! You wouldn't believe how heavenly these little chocolate ice creams are.
6. Suika Bar
Suika Bar, or watermelon popsicle, is a very summerly ice cream commonly eaten in Japan! It literally looks like a slice of watermelon. The red part has watermelon flavor, and the seeds are made of chocolate snacks! It's so good and the mix of textures makes it fun too!
Jumbo is an ice cream sandwich where vanilla ice cream with a layer of milk chocolate is sandwiched in between crispy and soft wafer shell. It gives you three different tastes and textures simultaneously, and it is such a perfect ice cream to satisfy your craving!
8. Azuki Bar
Azuki Bar is a milk-based red bean popsicle! If you like azuki, this is what you should try. It's creamy and mild, and beloved by grown-ups. Since it has the texture of beans, it is very filling too.
Papico is a great ice cream to share among two! They have Chocolate Coffee and Vanilla Shake flavors as their standard flavors, but they also offer seasonal flavors too! It's in two plastic bottle shaped containers, and you have to break them apart in order to eat. It's tasty and creamy, and you'd be surprised how coffee and chocolate go really well together.
Are you ready for summer in Japan?
As you might have noticed, some ice creams in Japan could be very different from the one in different countries. Now you have the list of ice creams and softcreams available in Japan, you should be ready to enjoy summer in Japan at maximum! Check the link below if you're interested in other summerly Japanese desserts!