With the sun beating down and the humidity at almost 100%, summer in Hiroshima can be almost unbearable for those who live here. Many people find that they don’t feel like eating and with their energy levels at a low, all they can try to do is keep cool. Luckily though, Hiroshima has plenty of places that serve a food that will not only make you shiver with excitement (and cold), but one that is usually packed full of sugar for an instant energy boost.
Yep, I’m talking about ice cream.
Perhaps the most famous ice cream shop in Hiroshima, not only due to its downtown location, but for the sheer size of its ice cream, is Polar Bear. I’m talking mammoth sized (not polar bear sized!) ice cream, which can be served in either a cone or a cup. A single serve is more than enough, but if you want two flavours and a double cone, it’s a popular choice for couples or those who want to share.
The number one flavour is the green tea and if you don’t go early, it tends to run out by early to mid-afternoon. The mango deserves an honourable mention. There is limited seating inside and you will often find large groups outside clustered around the store front, trying desperately to eat their ice cream before it melts. It’s definitely a challenge during the hotter months! Polar Bear is a must-try at least once, but be warned… the line is often very long, extending not only down the street, but also around the corner. Be prepared to wait.
My place of choice, however, is Milkissimo, located in the Roji Dining Food Court in the big Aeon shopping mall in Fuchu. This place actually serves gelato which is less fatty than ice cream because it uses whole milk, rather than cream. Generally, it’s also lighter, smoother and softer than ice cream too. The sheer range of flavours alone is enough to attract even the hardest-to-please and again, you can choose from a cone or a cup, with up to three flavours available per person.
Best of all, apart from the all-year-round flavours, seasonal ones are also available. Summertime is perfect for fruity options and there are plenty to choose from including pineapple, mango, assai banana and passion fruit, with a sorbet-like consistency that is light and fluffy and not so heavy for when you’re already feeling weighed down by the heat.
There are plenty of other places to explore and to find ice cream and gelato in Hiroshima; these are just two of the best. Of course, if ice cream isn’t your thing, there’s also the option of かき氷 (kakigouri) or shaved ice, with flavours such as green tea, strawberry and lemon. Whatever you do, just remember to keep cool this summer with lots of ice, ice cream, baby!
The Best Ice Cream in Hiroshima
Located just off Hondori, with the closest streetcar stop being Tatemachi.
Open every day 12pm-8pm
730-0032 Hiroshima Prefecture, Hiroshima, Naka Ward, Tatemachi, ５−２ キャッスル立町 (map link)
Located in Aeon Mall, Fuchu in the Roji Dining Food Court 1F. Closest train station is Tenjingawa.
Open every day 10am- 10pm
Aeon Mall, Fuchu 2 Chome-1-1 Ōsu, Fuchū-chō, Aki-gun, Hiroshima-ken 735-0021 (map link)