You can’t go sightseeing in summer without ice cream! Here, we will introduce some shops offering sweet and cooling ice creams you can find in Kyoto.
1. HANDELS VÄGEN
HANDELS VÄGEN is an ice cream shop established in Kyoto by a Japanese cuisine chef. Their ice cream is very rich with 15.5% dairy fat content, and is made without food coloring. It is popular for its natural sweetness and for using seasonal ingredients. There are a total of 12 regular and special flavors. The particularly popular flavors are Fresh Pistachio, which has a beautiful, strong aroma from using raw pistachio, and Rich Chocolate that uses high quality chocolate from Italy. Although you can choose to have them in a cup or cone, trying the cone if available is highly recommended, as it is home-baked.
2. Shinpachi Chaya
Shinpachi Chaya provides gelato and ice cream that have won many awards obtained at gelato competitions in Italy. The rich, award-winning Premio Pistachio uses high grade pistachio from Sicily and has other ingredients like almond, walnut, and green tea. We also recommend you try the famous Ganzo green tea soft ice cream, which is said to have been the first green tea soft serve ice cream sold in Japan. It only uses the Kyoto brand Uji Matcha, so it has a hint of the subtle bitterness of true green tea. Shinpachi Chaya is located near popular tourist spot Arashiyama Station, so it is the perfect place to rest while enjoying a delicious ice cream.
3. Hobson’s Cafe
Hobson’s Cafe is well-known in Kyomachiya as a place where ice cream can be enjoyed in a relaxing atmosphere. The popular menu of this cafe is the Blended Ice Cream, made by choosing your favorite out of 13 to 14 flavors of ice cream, choosing the fruits and/or cookies you like, and blending them together with the special machine. There are 16 different toppings, like whipped cream and nuts, that can be added to create your own original blend of ice cream. For example, blending the cocoa cookies with cappuccino ice cream and adding whipped cream on top will make a perfect parfait. Enjoy the contrast of delicious American-style ice cream in the traditional Japanese-style interior.
Kyozuan is popular for its tofu soft ice cream made from organic soy beans. It is also famous for a review stating that the ice creams do not fall when held upside down, as the ice cream is so rich. The tofu soft ice cream has 2 flavors: Kinugoshi (fine textured tofu) 100% and ‘Black Sesame Kinako (soy flour). These 2 flavors can be mixed. Natural oligosaccharide is used instead of regular sugar, which creates a gentle sweetness. As these ice creams do not contain any artificial additives, the rich flavors of tofu and black sesame are very apparent. Kyozuan can be recommended for those who are not big fans of sweet things, and for those who worry about calories. Go and see for yourself if the ice cream falls when it’s held upside down!
*The photo is for illustrative purposes.
5. Gion Kinana
Gion Kinana is a store specializing in kinako (soy flour) ice cream. The famous Dekitate (fresh) Kinana is, as the name implies, a freshly-made kinako ice cream. For those who don't know the difference between fresh ice cream and regular ice cream, kinako ice cream has a characteristic texture and aroma that can only be enjoyed when fresh. As the dairy fat amount is restricted, the powdery texture of kinako remains and has a doughy sensation that is addictive. The Kinana Habon, a parfait topped with warabi mochi and rice cakes on Dekitate Kinana is also recommended. Gion Kinana is perfect for those who want to experience the Kyoto style of ice cream.
Enjoy ice cream you can only taste in Kyoto while taking a break from sightseeing.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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