In Japan, where the best souvenirs from a trip are often the edible ones, every prefecture crafts their image with an accent on signature local flavors. Best of all, every sightseeing spot is bound to have these tastes in softcream form.
No one knows how many softcream flavors there are in Japan – trust us, we asked Nissei, the company that introduced softcream to Japan – because each seller is free to take any of the multiple softcream bases and make magic.
Here, we introduce eight unique flavors that can only be found in specific regions around Japan…
Hokkaido: Yubari Melon Flavor
Hokkaido melon is said to be divine, so it’s no surprise Yubari sells the world’s most expensive melon (the record being ¥5 million for a pair). Buying a delicious melon softcream, though, will give you all the flavor without breaking the bank.
Iwate: Spinach Flavor
Iwate Prefecture is known for their veggie products, especially spinach. Move over matcha, there’s a new green treat in town.
Niigata: Blue Rose Flavor
Niigata is loved for its flowers, most famously roses. A blue rose is considered almost an impossible dream, unless it’s in the form of softcream. Echigo Hillside Park hosts flower events year-round, and sometimes sells a blue rose softcream.
Chiba: Peanut Flavor
The largest producer of peanuts in Japan, Chiba has specialties like peanut tofu and boiled peanuts. At the risk of saying “peanut” too many times, we must recommend you try peanut softcream in Chiba.
Kanagawa: Rich Mocha Flavor
After centuries in isolation, Japan opened its doors to foreign imports via Yokohama. One such import was coffee and, today, Japan is the one of the world’s largest coffee importers. So it makes sense to find mocha softcream in Kanagawa.
Fukui: Squid Ink Flavor
Fukui Prefecture is known for snowfall and seafood. Its crab is a culinary legend, while squid ink softcream is a rare Fukui sweet treat. Fear not, the squid ink flavor is neither overpowering nor fishy.
Kagawa: Sanuki Wine Flavor
Kagawa’s mild weather allows the prefecture to grow super sweet fruits. Here you’ll find Sanuki, the first winery in Shikoku, where this softcream is all about the grapes.
Miyazaki: Mango Flavor
The warm weather in Miyazaki means top conditions for growing exotic fruits, especially mangoes. There’s no better mango than one eaten fresh and locally, but a Miyazaki mango softcream is a close second!
Illustration by Rose Vittayaset