Hokkaido was covered with snow as it is on northernmost island of Japan, hence become the coldest place in the whole country. At the tip of the island, the Wakkanai is already a gate to Sakhalin, Rusia.
Of all the city in Hokkaido, Otaru is probably one of the warmest because it’s located around the sea, yes a harbour city. The temperature was 10 degree Celcius when we were there, while the capital, Sapporo city, already on -3 degree Celcius and Asahikawa city even on -10 degree Celcius. The first time we arrived in Otaru, i felt quite relieve… because it’s not as cold as the previous cities we visited so my body can take a break for a while…
Well, visiting Otaru is not complete without strolling through Otaru Canal, where many old buildings stand strong on the side of the canal, giving the beautiful old day pics. I’ll show you about the canal on separated post. Another unique thing traveller must try in Otaru is 7-Layer Rainbow Ice Cream! Winter season can’t stop me from trying this famous ice cream :p
It is sold in Venetian Cafeteria, which located on 5-27 Sakaimachi, Otaru 047-0027, Hokkaido (phone : +81 134-33-1993).
Below is the menu. You can choose the taste and the layer according to your preference. The number on the bottom of every cone is the price in Yen.
They also provide realistic display to make people easier to imagine.
Since i never taste any flavors, i chose to taste a lil’ bit of everything. As per se, the rainbow tower! There are 7 flavors on this ice cream, which in different order with the pic earlier. Maybe they change the layer order every once a while. Here is the enormous colorful appearance:
The taste from top to bottom is:
- Green tea
- Yubari Melon
Green tea is specific Japan taste, most people already know it i guess. While Yubari Melon and Lavender are kind of Hokkaido-specific tastes.
Yubari Melon is a kind of melon that is planted in Yubari area of Hokkaido. The taste is sweeter and more delicious than regular melon. In Japan itself, Yubari Melon is exclusive and so expensive. The taste is nice and yes it’s sweeter than regular melon.
While Lavender is Biei’s (a region in Hokkaido) specialty. There are wide field of lavender in Biei, which become a picturesque place when you come in summer. In Hokkaido, lavender is used as various food essence, from cookies, cake, candy, even ice cream. It’s a bit strange for me, because in my country lavender is used mostly as fragrance for non-edible things such as perfume, room freshner, etc (what about you?). But, tasting the lavender flavor on this ice cream blow my mind. It’s delicious! The taste is not too strong (i was afraid will taste the room freshner in my mouth), but i was wrong. The taste of lavender hint in a nice way on my tongue.
Overall, i like every single layer!
Practically, eating this ice cream on cold season makes it last longer (try eating on summer days! They’ll melt so quickly). It’s only true if you bring the ice cream outside, eating while strolling around looking at good view. As for us, we’re already tired and this “equatorial body” needs a break from low temperature, brrrr… We ate the ice cream inside the cafe, where they use room heater. So, our ice cream still melting, tho :p
Even the half-eaten appearance is still beautiful, like flower buds, lol. Btw, you are given a small plastic spoon to eat the ice cream. Because licking all of those tall layers by your tongue will be clumsy, rite? :p
There are free drinking water available on the cafe. This is a good facility, as after eating those bunch of ice cream your mouth and hand will get sticky. They provide paper cup on the side to fill.
Also, can you see that yellow sign? Put your own plates and cups to this place, please! Japanese people is a self-service kind of people. If you can do it by yourself, why ask someone else? That’s kind of their unspoken motto on everything. Keep that in your mind if you go to Japan. It’s a good culture, by the way.