Like the rest of Japan, Kumamoto has plenty of places where you’ll find high-quality ice cream. Whereas soft-serve ice cream is the most popular, you can also find gelato. To make sure you pick a great spot, try these top ice cream shops.
For an elaborate sundae in a beautiful presentation made from soft-serve ice cream, you’d struggle to find anywhere better in Kumamoto than Libcafe. If you’ve never tried soy sauce on ice cream before, now’s your chance to have that experience. The ice cream shop is tucked away off a busy street, making it the perfect place to relax for a while. You may like to accompany your ice cream with coffee or bubble tea as an excuse to stay a little longer.
Where:3-19, 2F, Shinshigai, Chuo Ward (map)
Open Hours: 1:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday; 2:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. on Saturday; 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Sunday
If you’re looking for gelato, you won’t be disappointed with Marutus Gelato. The portions are of a decent size and there’s a range of authentic flavors to choose from. A top flavor to try is amazake, which is based on the sweet sake drink that comes in alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions.
Where: 3F, Sun Live City Kumanan, 3-23-30 Heisei, Chuo Ward (map)
Open Hours: 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday to Sunday
Offering a combination of green tea and ice cream, Tokumitsuya Tea Stall is the perfect place for a delicious snack. The signature offering is a green tea parfait, which features a generous sprinkling of matcha powder and a topping of azuki beans. It is accompanied by an iced tea. The tea stall is popular both for its delicious flavors and reasonable prices.
Where: 4-25 Myotaijimachi, Chuo Ward (map)
Open Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday to Saturday; 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday
The perfect spot for ice cream after a visit to Kumamoto Castle is Kobaian. The classic soft-serve flavor here is jindaiko, which is a mochi sweet coated in red bean paste. You can also pick up some jindaiko in the store to take home as souvenirs (or just to eat yourself).
Where: 1-1-2 Ninomaru, Chuo Ward (map)
Open Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday to Sunday
Unlike some soft-serves, the ice cream from Kumamoto Milk is light, smooth, and not overly sweet. The waffle cones are made from hand-baked corn — be warned that they do sometimes sell out by late in the day. During mango season, you’ll also find tropical parfait, which features mango from Kikuchi and pineapple.
Where: 5437-1 Nonoshima, Koshi (map)
Open Hours: 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Wednesday to Monday
Wherever you find yourself in Kumamoto, you won’t be too far from an ice cream shop. Although the above stand out as being some of the best, you can expect almost anywhere to meet high standards.