Jul. 14, 2021 UPDATE

Top 10 most popular ice cream flavors in Japan taste-tested

Ice cream is something everyone wants to try when in Kyoto. But which flavor is the best? Sharing Kyoto’s Vanessa finds out!
Vanessa[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]

I’m so excited: we’re going to find what the most popular ice cream flavors of Japan! I was especially surprised by the winner, but all of these ice cream flavors are classics, and they can be found in almost all of the convenience stores and supermarkets of Kyoto. 

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On a hot summer’s day, there’s nothing better than ice cream. Japanese convenience stores and supermarkets are well stocked with all kinds of icy treats, and as the summers in Kyoto are very hot, ice cream sells extremely well here. This time I have a list of the 10 most popular ice cream flavors here in Japan, based on a poll by a Japanese TV station. So, let’s see which ice cream flavor got the first spot! 

⑩ Lotte Sou Vanilla

Lotte Sou VanillaWho doesn’t like vanilla ice cream? But actually the Sou series is not quite like ice cream, it’s like a mix between shaved ice and ice cream, so it’s very refreshing, and a great treat to have in summer. 

⑨ Morinaga Pino

Morinaga PinoPino hit the market in 1976, and Pino is little ice cream balls covered with chocolate. The chocolate melts in your mouth right away, and after this, you’re hit with a nice taste of vanilla. One box contains six pieces, and you also get a plastic toothpick to eat them. Convenient! 

⑧ Glico Ice no Mi

Glico Ice no MiFruits made into sorbet! You get to taste the rich taste of the fruits. The most popular flavor is grape, and the taste is sweet but refreshing, and the sorbet-balls melt in your mouth quickly. The mouthfeel is special; it’s just as if you were eating grapes! 

⑦ Morinaga Parm

Morinaga ParmThis vanilla ice cream bar is covered with a thick layer of delicious chocolate, making for a luxurious treat. This is like a huge version of Pino, and the taste is also richer. I especially like the taste of the chocolate of Parm. 

⑥ Akagi Garigarikun Soda

Akagi Garigarikun SodaThis big soda popsicle is called GariGarikun, and it’s a veritable summer classic in Japan. The blue color of it already looks refreshing, but it’s also very cheap, so it’s a nice thing to have if you just want something to keep you cool. This popsicle has been on the market since 1981, so many Japanese people have grown up with the taste of Garigarikun. 

⑤ Meiji Essel Super Cup Chocolate Cookie

Meiji Essel Super Cup Chocolate CookieThe strong taste of chocolate with cookie bits is something that makes this not-too-sweet ice cream a Japanese favorite. The price is low but you get a lot of ice cream, so compared to the more German-sounding ice creams, this one offers very good value for money. 

④ Lotte Yukimi Daifuku

Lotte Yukimi DaifukuYukimi Daifuku hit the market in 1981, and the vanilla ice cream of it is covered with spongy mochi rice cake, making the ice cream look like a real “daifuku” mochi, just not stuffed with red beans, but ice cream. There are also many seasonal flavors, so keep your eyes peeled for them too. 

③ Morinaga Choco Monaka Jumbo

Morinaga Choco Monaka JumboMonaka is a traditional Japanese sweet normally filled also with red beans, but here it contains chocolate-covered vanilla ice cream, and there’s even a thin layer of chocolate in the middle. As the wafer is easy to break into pieces, you could also share this jumbo-ice cream with your friends! 

② Glico Giant Cone Chocolate

Glico Giant Cone ChocolateThis is a superb ice cream cone! It’s topped with an ample amount of chocolate and nuts, and down below it’s both chocolate and vanilla ice cream and each bite is a new sensation. There is ice cream also in the cone, so this is a true double chocolate ice cream cone! 

① Meiji Essel Super Cup Ultra Vanilla

Meiji Essel Super Cup Ultra VanillaThis is the celebrated number one! No matter if you’re old or young, you probably like Essel Super Cup Ultra Vanilla. The rich taste of vanilla in this ice cream is something you cannot live without in summer. You also get quite a lot for your money, and as one of these is only around 100 yen, so you’re going to feel very satisfied after just one of these! 


VanessaSo here is the list of the most popular ice cream flavors, so did you find the one you like the best? Have you tried all 10 of them? You get them in most Japanese supermarkets and convenience stores, and they’re all very cheap, and not as expensive as the more German-sounding ice cream brands. So, it’s time to eat some ice cream in Japan! 

A comment from the staff
I actually like the fifth flavor the best, the chocolate cookie one, but vanilla ice cream is also something very yummy. I loved eating vanilla ice cream when I was small, and it’s even better if you can have a cup of coffee or a cookie with it. In Japan, there are also many seasonal ice cream flavors. Because Japanese houses have heaters in them, I also like eating ice cream in winter, so be sure to try some even if the weather outside may be a bit cold!

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