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Popular Ice Creams in Japan: Tasty Backups to Survive a Hot Summer

This year, the rainy season ended and the summer has set in earlier than ever. Every day in Tokyo, it gets over 30℃. While drinking water is essential to prevent heat stroke, what the summer heat makes us feel like is …, yes! ICE CREAM!

Tracing back through history, ice cream was said to be sold for the first time in Japan in 1869 (Meiji 2). At the shop along the street, Bashamichi-dori (馬車道通り), in Yokohama, their first ice cream was named "あいすくりん". The frozen sweet treat was very expensive for ordinary people at that time. It is said that the value of ice cream in a glass bowl is 8,000 JPY at the current price!

This photo is for illustration purposes only.

A long time has passed since then, and now there is a wide variety of ice creams of different flavors and different shapes at reasonable prices from about 100 JPY.

According to the sales results of ice cream and frozen desserts in Japan, the total sales amount reached the highest record of 525.8 billion JPY in 2021 [1]. The fact that more people stayed longer time at home due to the Covid pandemic is likely to have affected the results.


Now, here is the interesting data about the Consumption Amount of Ice Cream and Sorbet by prefecture in Japan. The map below was made to illustrate the consumption of households with two people or more in each prefecture [2], based on the household budget survey carried out by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. Which prefecture do you think has the highest amount? Would it be in the hot climate region because people living in the prefecture eat a lot of frozen treats?

[2]: 都道府県別統計とランキングで見る県民性 (Human characteristics of each prefecture viewed from analytics and rankings by prefecture) by odomon

is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.1 Japan (CC BY 2.1 JP)

(Data updated on May 11, 2017.)

It turned out that the prefecture that consumes the highest amount (10,480 JPY) was Ishikawa Prefecture in the Hokuriku area, which is surprising. Meanwhile, the one with the least amount (6,566 JPY) was Okinawa. It is also surprising that the consumption of the prefecture in the hot region was low. On the map, consumption of areas from Hokuriku to East Japan is high while that of West Japan is low, which concluded that the expectation that people in the cold areas of the north would eat less ice cream and in the hot/warm areas of the south would eat more was not met.


Popular Ice Cream Series in Japan

Now, it is time to show you the popular ice cream products in Japan! All of them are easily available at supermarkets and convenience stores. So, if there is anything that appeals to you, go check and try it.

The famous ice cream products produced by major manufacturers are firstly shown below though they are just a small part of all. Each series has staple flavors, including vanilla, chocolate, and strawberries, and is available all through the year. They also have seasonal specials and short-term products that are put on sale one after another. There seem to be many ice cream lovers who make it a rule to try a particular flavor of a certain series.

スーパーカップ/Super Cup

The long-selling product loved by people of all ages. Flavors of matcha and chocolate cookies are popular as well as staple vanilla.


Smooth texture ice cream delicately made with carefully selected ingredients. Also, the eco-friendly product with the FSC® Certified paper being used.


As the character "爽: refreshing" indicates, this product melts lightly in a mouth with a refreshing texture. Its volume is comparatively large.

牧場しぼり/ Bokujo Shibori

The secret behind its incredible taste is to use a lot of fresh milk within 3 days after being expressed.


No mention is needed for this. The product of the world-famous ice cream company. Very popular in Japan, too.


The best part is its smooth texture. The chocolate outside is made to melt at the human body temperature.

ピノ/ pino

This bite-sized ice cream with a unique shape is easy to pop into the mouth. The balance of ice cream inside and the chocolate outside is exquisite.


Ice candy bar transformed from shaved ice! Enjoy its garigari texture. If you find the words, "1本当り (Get another for free)" on the bar, take it to the store where you bought and exchange it for another Garigari-kun.


Looks like daifuku mochi (rice cake stuffed with bean paste), but the inside is ice cream! To enjoy its mochi texture, I recommend you take it out of the freezer and leave it at room temperature for several minutes before eating.

やわもちアイス/Yawamochi Ice Cream

Open the package, and you will see small mochi cakes on bean paste and ice cream. Excellent fusion of Japanese confectionery and ice cream.


Bite-sized sorbet ball. Tastes so fruity like real fruit.


This easy-to-eat ice pop has a smoothie-like texture and refreshing taste. Two pieces are packed together, so you can give one of them to someone.

Note: This image is referred from a review site, ShareView.

These are just a part of ice cream products on the market in Japan. Did you know any of them?


Top 10 Ice Cream Rankings Based on Reviews

Finally, here are the Top 10 Ice Cream Rankings based on consumers' reviews from a review site, ShareView.

1. 大人なガリガリ君 ピンクグレープフルーツ/Otona na Garigari-kun Pink Grapefruit

2. パピコ 大人の華やか苺/papico Otona no Hanayaka Ichigo

3. ビエネッタ ティラミス/Viennetta Tiramisu

4. PARM チョコレート&チョコレート/PARM Chocolate & Chocolate

5. ピノ やみつきアーモンド味/pino Yamitsuki Almond Aji

6. MOW PRIME バタークッキー&クリームチーズ/MOW PRIME Butter Cookies & Cream Cheese

7. フロールカップ チョココーヒー/Flor Cup Choco Coffee

8. アイスの実 大人のショコラ/Ice-no-mi Otona no Chocola

9. MOW PRIME ゴールドラムレーズン/MOW PRIME Gold Rum Raisin

10. ガリガリ君 グレープフルーツ/Garigari-kun Grapefruit

This ranking list is made based on the information as of June 1, 2022.

▸The full score is five stars. Products reviewed ten times and more are counted.

▸Comments below are excerpted and translated from reviews.

1. 大人なガリガリ君 ピンクグレープフルーツ/Otona na Garigari-kun Pink Grapefruit

Total Rating: ★4.71

"The grapefruit flavor is amazingly real." ― ちーこちゃん

"Impressed by the flavor. I didn't know grapefruit tastes so good like this." ― 千香

2. パピコ 大人の華やか苺/papico Otona no Hanayaka Ichigo

Total Rating: ★4.63

"The percentage of strawberry juice is 50%. Smooth like gelato." ― しゃち鳥

"It has strawberry chunks here and there. Makes me feel luxurious." ― アイミコアキ

3. ビエネッタ ティラミス/Viennetta Tiramisu

Total Rating: ★4.61

"The best grade Tiramisu ice cream of THE Viennetta series." ― きなこもちきな

"The crunchy chocolate layers hit the spot." ― sun5

4. PARM チョコレート&チョコレート/PARM Chocolate & Chocolate

Total Rating: ★4.58

"Well-developed product in terms of the texture, sweetness, and how it melts. Excellent ice cream." ― マイキー

"Starts and ends with chocolate. Irresistibly good for chocolate lovers." ― T K N

5. ピノ やみつきアーモンド味/pino Yamitsuki Almond Aji

Total Rating: ★4.58

"Almond bits with a roasty flavor are incredibly nice!" ― ぺこまる

"It does make me YAMITSUKI (addicted)." ― プリムラ

6. MOW PRIME バタークッキー&クリームチーズ/MOW PRIME Butter Cookies & Cream Cheese

Total Rating: ★4.57

"Every part is delicious. This is the encounter with the perfect ice cream." ― kidoricco

"I got addicted to the crunchy cookie texture." ― たまごボーロ

7. フロールカップ チョココーヒー/Flor Cup Choco Coffee

Total Rating: ★4.57

"Portion is big. This is the ice cream for big eaters." ― Tora Tora

"I'm so happy with the large volume and the crunchy chocolate." ― べたーばたー

8. アイスの実 大人のショコラ/Ice-no-mi Otona no Chocola

Total Rating: ★4.55

"Creamy texture as if eating a rich ganache." ― mim

"Nicely viscous. I thoroughly enjoy the chocolate's rich flavor." ― tkg33

9. MOW PRIME ゴールドラムレーズン/MOW PRIME Gold Rum Raisin

Total Rating: ★4.54

"Plenty of rum raisins fulfill my cravings." ― まりーど

"This would be the richest rum raisin ice cream I've ever had." ― noco

10. ガリガリ君 グレープフルーツ/Garigari-kun Grapefruit

Total Rating: ★ 4.53

"It's like frozen 100% grapefruit juice." ― Risa

"The flavor of grapefruit is juicy and rich." ― ミーみ


How did you like it?

There are too many more ice cream products including long-selling ones to list here at one time.

Let us know in the comments if you find your favorite ice cream.

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1 Comment

Aug 16, 2022

I must admit, I have a weakness for Parm. My local supermarket carries the box of six ice cream bars. I share the box with a neighbor.

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