Summer in Japan could get quite hot, with this year records one of the warmest summers in a thousand years. Fortunately, there is no shortage of delicious iced desserts in this country! Here are my list of craziest ice creams to try in Japan.
10) Deep Fried Oyster Ice Cream
From Bizen (formerly known as Hinasecho), a small town in Okayama Prefecture, proudly presents soft-served cream with deep fried oysters! The town is best known for kaki, or oyster farming. Deep fried oysters are seasoned with sashimi soy sauce.
Take a bite, and you’ll see a juicy oyster under the breading…
Anybody wants to try?
9) Miso Ramen Ice Cream
Nanja Town, an indoor amusement park located in the middle of bustling Ikebukuro, offers a large selection of unusual ice cream flavors. This is a Miso Ramen Ice Cream, complete with a naruto maki (fish cake with a pink spiral pattern) and pieces of menma (pickled bamboo shoots). Here is an English review of Miso Ramen Ice Cream, which described it “kinda tastes like some weird peanut butter.”
8) Sishamo (Willow Leaf Fish) Ice Cream
Sishamo is a saltwater fish widely consumed in Japan as delicacy. This menu boldly incorporated this traditional meal into a sweet soft-served ice cream. The brown flakes on top of the ice cream are shredded sishamo, and you are supposed to use a whole body of sishamo stuck on it to serve as a spoon. The menu is available at a shop nearby Hamaatsuma Station, Hokkaido.
For reference, this is sishamo, generally served grilled.
7) Yakisoba Ice Cream
Fugetsudo in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, is an sweets shop with 120 years of history. At the shop, you can select from more than 100 different flavors of ice cream. Some of them are pretty standard, like vanilla and strawberry, but some of them are just wacky, like this Yakisoba Ice Cream. It contains actual yakisoba sauce, yakisoba noodle, cabbage, and meat in it.
6) Octopus & Soy Sauce Ice Cream
If you are a fan of sushi, you might have tried octopus before, but have you had Octopus Ice Cream? An italian gelato brand Firenze from Amakusachi, Kumamoto Prefecture, created a line of ice cream flavors using the best of locally produced ingredients. This is by far the oddest menu in all of the flavors Firenze offers though!
5) Sirasu (White Bait) Ice Cream
I know a lot of people from West who just can’t manage to eat shirasu, those little immature fries of fish, typically referring juvenile sardines. Maybe you can overcome it if it’s mixed with sweet ice cream (or maybe it makes it worse…)?
4) Soft Served Ice Cream Ramen
In Kitasenju, Tokyo, there’s a ramen shop called Kikuya. This restaurant serves all kinds of weird ramen, such as coffee ramen, cocoa ramen, soy milk ramen, etc. but the appearance of this Soft Served Ice Cream Ramen is simply shocking! It’s just one of those things that you know it’s not going to be good, but have to try.
3) Jelly Fish Ice Cream
Jelly Fish is pretty to look at, but did you know it’s also good in ice cream? Kamo Aquarium in Tsuruoka, Yamagata Prefecture has a restaurant specialized in jelly fish recipes. One of the popular items from their menu is this Jelly Fish Ice Cream. When you eat it, you can taste a sort of grainy, jelly-ish textures. It’s low in fat contents, making it a perfect dessert for calorie-conscious crowd!
2) Mamushi Snake Ice Cream
This is a Mamushi Snake Ice Cream with actual blended Mamushi in it. What is Mamushi? Mamushi is one of the most venomous snakes living in Japan. Approximately 10 people get killed by mamushi bites ever year. However, it is also a popular, traditional ingredient of Chinese medicine, typically used to give stamina and energy. According to an user review, the ice cream smells like an old shoe when you open up the lid, and tastes like rotten garlic and cardboard when you eat it.
1) Bird Flavored Ice Cream
In my opinion, this is by far the wackiest ice cream out there. Bird Flavored Ice Cream is sold from a bird watching coffee shop called Torimi Cafe. The above photo is one of the three bird flavored ice creams offered here: Cockatiel Parrot Flavored Ice Cream. According to many reviewers, it fills your mouth with that particular smell of a cockatiel (if you’ve ever been around one) when you take a bite. It doesn’t actually contain any bird parts (fortunately), but instead it’s made with pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and apple bits.
Here is two other bird flavored ice creams available from the shop.
From left, a cockatiel flavored ice cream, a parakeet flavored ice cream, and a java finch flavored ice cream. I just don’t understand the mindset of someone wanting to imitate a bird flavor with ice cream!
Bird flavored ice cream created the latest buzz on Twitter Japan, and due to popular demands, they will be sold on online shopping sites starting August!
Have you seen weirder ice cream flavors? Share it with us if you have! We would love to have our readers contribute interesting photos and stories on our blog!