It’s started. The summer is swelling, the heat is ramping up, and the humidity is already off the charts. Needless to say, that’s par for the course in Aichi. Fortunately, there are a number of ways of beating the heat, but nothing quite trumps getting an ice cold ice cream on a scorching summer’s day.
In Japan, the word ‘ice’ covers all types of ice cream, from soft serve, to scoop, to gelato and anything in between, but interestingly not ‘shaved ice’, which they call kakigori.
There are loads of places to get great and interesting ice cream in Nagoya, mostly around the Osu area. Of course, this being Japan, many places go for the cute, ‘instabae’ (instagramable) style, but that doesn’t make them any less delicious.
Probably the most popular ice cream store in Japan is Baskin Robins. Known here simply as ’31’, I probably don’t need to tell you about it’s background as you’ve undoubtably been to one in your home country. However, it’s worth checking out here, not least because they have a number of seasonal flavours only available in Japan.
The Sakura [cherry blossom] flavor is really good, but for me, with popping candy and strawberry belts, the best is the Doraemon Dokodemo Soda. And no, you don’t need to tell me that I am childish; I hear it all from my wife on a continuous basis.
Manhattan Roll Ice Cream is one of those stores that markets itself directly at the Instagram idol, with their website announcing that it is ‘popular with fashionable girls overseas’, and recommending that you upload videos and photos to social media. However, If that’s not your thing, don’t let it put you off.
Manhattan Roll Ice Cream is a little different from other stores, in that the ice cream is literally made before your eyes, pouring fresh cream onto a freezing cold plate, and then scraped up into a roll (hence the name). It’s a novel idea, and when mixed with fresh fruits, chocolates and other toppings, it’s really good.
There are a number of Manhattan Roll Ice Cream parlours around Nagoya, although some are still temporarily closed due to the lingering fears over COVID-19. The one in Osu, however, remains open.
Rolled ice cream really is the big thing right now, but whereas Manhattan Roll is going for the elegant crowd, Rolly’s is definitely going in for the more bizarre. This brightly-colored store is – according to the website, at least – the brainchild of Rolly, an alien from a distant galaxy who arrived first in Kyoto to bring an ice cream smile to our faces.
Rolly’s Roll is the sort of place where your ice cream comes with all the trimmings, such as cookies, cream, berries, sauces, pretty much anything you can think of for an ice cream topping, particularly if you go for the ‘premium’ range. I’m a sucker for the Rolly’s Wonderland, but that’s because I’m a Haribo addict.
Really hammering down on the ‘girly’ aesthetic of ice cream, not a single surface at Sherie’s Ice Cream in Osu is not bright pink. But if you can get past that, Sherie’s is very much for the ice cream lover who likes to go their own way.
In store you can either choose from one of their menu selections, or if you prefer you can build your own from their 12 ice cream flavours and 20 different toppings.
Where: 2 Chome-18-1 Ōsu, Naka Ward (map)
While the above are all very well and good, for me there is nothing better than a proper Italian gelato, and Solo Pizza has the very best and most authentic.
There are a number of flavours from their Gelato Artigiano (artisanal ice cream) range, and if I am going for a single flavour in a cone, I tend to go for the blood orange. However, if I am throwing caution to the wind, saying to hell with the diet and doubling up, it’s lemon and chocolate every time. And best of all, they sell the tubs, so you can take as much home with you as you like. Which I almost always do.
Image: via https://www.31ice.co.jp/contents/flavor/index.html
Image: via https://www.instagram.com/p/BXrWUELlVNn/?utm_source=ig_embed
Image: via http://rollysrollicecream.com/flavor_ts.html
Image: by 鉄道王 via https://tabelog.com/en/aichi/A2301/A230105/23067762/ – modified
Image: via https://solopizza.jp/menu.html
Image: by J Lippold via flickr.com [CC BY-NC 2.0]