While sitting at a cafe in my city in South Korea with a friend who’d just come back from a vacation in Hokkaido she tried to tell me why I should visit Otaru. She said it was very pretty and nice to walk around but the main thing I had to do was have their rainbow 7 layer ice cream. I was ready for the challenge. I love ice cream. When I was little my grandmother and I use to go out for ice cream every time we saw one another even in the dead of winter. And last time I traveled with my aunt and uncle in Japan every time we saw soft serve ice cream for sale we usually beelined straight for it like moths to a flame. You can’t get that style of soft serve easily in Korea so I needed to make sure I got my fill of it, especially in Hokkaido which is known for it’s dairy products.
Generally the flavors are something like this: grape, matcha, strawberry, melon, milk, lavender, and chocolate and this one can be found at Venetian Cafeteria from 8:45 am until 6pm at 5-5-27 Sakaimachi, Otaru, Hokkaido 047-0027, Japan. They also offer a 5 layer one which is everything but the matcha and the chocolate. This is not however where I went. I think this might have been on my original list of where I was going but when I arrived I decided I’d trust the map because it said they had an 8 layer ice cream for sale and I was like bigger challenge? YES!
Note: If you want more of a flavor challenge instead of a size challenge then check out Kita No Aisu Ya San which does not sell soft serve but hard ice cream in a variety of unique flavors such as: squid (squid ink, it’s pitch black), bean curd, beer, coenzyme Q10 (or CoQ10- is a compound that helps create energy in the mitochondria, you can find this in dietary supplements but be careful), fish collagen, wasabi, sea urchin, tofu, natto (fermented soybeans), a local Hokkaido potato, sake, wine, potato and butter and so much more. It looks insane. I wish I’d known of it before. They’re open from 11am until 5pm and located at 1 Chome-2-18 Ironai, Otaru, Hokkaido 047-0031, Japan.
The ice cream shop I ended up in was on the other side of the Kitaichi glass company restaurant and cafe. You can literally walk through, past the restaurant and end up at the cafe. There was some space to grab a seat and enjoy it there but I decided to take it with me to my final goal for the day Otaru. I figured it’d help keep me cool for the rest of my walk because I was umbrella/parasol-less and kind of hating the sun/heat. Even though it was much cooler than Korea had been when I left.
When I was looking over their menu, I was kind of in a hurry. I knew what I wanted, I wanted 8 layer ice cream. But I spotted that they had a 12 layered ice cream and momentarily froze thinking that it was more intense then my original plan and my revised plan. But I decided maybe that was too much and didn’t want to deal with the fall out from my hubris if I did get that much ice cream.
So I got 8 layers of ice cream in a cup, in the hopes that that would be less messy and headed out to walk to my next stop.
The flavor layers were (top to bottom): milk and chocolate swirl, melon and strawberry swirl, chocolate, milk, melon, strawberry, matcha (powdered green tea), and ramune (Japanese lemon lime soda). I do feel a little bit tricked that some of the flavors were repeats. One could argue that swirl is different, but I don’t really feel like for the full effect I was hoping for that swirl and then individually repeated flavors counted as the same thing. Plus their sign was totally in Japanese so I couldn’t really read to tell what all the flavors were. At least with the 7 layered one at the other shops they swapped out repeats for lavender and grape which I feel like are much more unique and more of a Hokkaido thing. Despite this disappointment, it was still impressive and still really good. But thankfully I have had grape ice cream before and I did manage to get some lavender ice cream later on my trip. So I can’t be too upset. My massive ice cream was 630 yen. It’s definitely worth getting, even if you don’t get it where I did. Several other shops around Otaru carry rainbow layered ice cream.