Monday, November 05, 2007

Ice Cream City

When I read about the food theme parks and museums of Japan I was determined to check them out on my next trip. In Tokyo I made a side trip out to a pretty goofy amusement park because it also was also the home of Gyoza Stadium and Ice Cream City. After having my fill at the first two stops, I had no room for trying anything at the Dessert Forest.

Ice Cream City is pretty much heaven for an ice cream lover. Although, it can be a bit frustrating in some ways because the number of choices are completely overwhelming. There are a series of rooms and kiosks, each featuring a different style of ice cream with lots of flavors to choose from. I spent the most of my time in a gallery called "Cup Ice Museum" where the wall-to-wall freezer cases were filed with individual cups of ice cream from all over Japan. Here I was completely frustrated with my lack of Japanese because I could only read a fraction of the labels. Dracula, deep sea water, Nikka whisky and Hokkaido salty ice cream were just a few of the intriguing labels I could read. I also saw labels with what looked like cheese, bell peppers, a chicken, chestnuts and melons.

All over Japan I found soft ice cream, sometimes called "soft cream" to be particularly popular. I enjoyed it because like so many Japanese sweets it wasn't very sweet and the flavors shined through. At the Soft Cream Bar, you couldn't get two flavors swirled together, but you could get four flavors in one dish. Heaven for the indecisive! I chose pumpkin, green tea, salty vanilla and custard which I think was really butterscotch. It was the first time in a long time that I could not finish my ice cream. The green tea was fabulous but my favorite was actually the salty vanilla. Please. Someone open up an Ice Cream City theme park near me. I promise I will go very often. I will even order four flavors again, really. I will.

Over at Bay Area Bites is my post on Gyoza Stadium