Japan’s 10 weirdest ice cream flavors

By Jessica, RocketNews24

Temperatures are shooting up all around the archipelago and that means soft serve season has come to Japan. For some baffling reason, vanilla remains far and away the most popular flavor for Japanese, but that doesn’t mean they don’t get creative with their frozen treats too. Flavors like green tea and ume plum are easy to find (and delicious), but don’t stop there if you want to try some really out there local flavors.

Here are our choices for the 10 weirdest soft serve flavors Japan has to offer.


Love it or hate it, this horseradishy kick is a big part of Japanese cuisine. Now you can try it in creamy, frozen form too. Better than a cup of coffee or a slap across the face at waking you up.

Wakame seaweed

You wouldn’t even think of making a cup of miso soup without this tasty, vitamin-packed sea veggie, but would you consider trying it in a cone?

Kamatama udon

I’ve heard of chilled udon before, but this takes it a step further. In Kagawa Prefecture, you can get their famous kamatama udon noodles on ice cream, complete with chopped green onions.

Soy sauce

Behind rice, it’s probably the most essential Japanese food, so you know they had to turn it into ice cream.


I’m told that eating jellyfish is both healthy and eco-friendly, but the weird chewy-crunchy texture is a high culinary hurdle for me, so maybe soft-serve jellies are the way to go.


You may not be familiar with this tiny fish, but it’s popular food in Japan, often mixed with a bit of soy sauce and mirin and served on a bed of rice. Not sure about the combo of fish and dairy myself, but having seen this flavor at multiple shops, it seems to be catching on with Japanese people.

Mozuka seaweed

Wakame’s lesser known cousin, mozuka seaweed is the gloopy, gelatinous brown strings you’ve probably been served as a starter if you’ve been to an Okinawan restaurant. It’s good fried, dried, boiled, fresh, and now in soft serve form.

Squid ink

You may associate squid ink with Mediterranean food, but it’s very popular in Japan as well. Try some squid ink pasta and then top it off with some squid ink ice cream, but check your teeth before you flash a smile!

Fried oysters

Oysters, or kaki in Japanese, are extremely popular around Japan. You’ll find them in all kinds of dishes depending on regional tastes, but fried oysters are available everywhere, including atop your ice cream. And that’s not chocolate sauce; it’s soy sauce.


Stinky, sticky fermented soy beans. Trying them for the amusement of your Japanese hosts is a ritual of passing for every Japanese visitor, so why not take the edge off with some ice cream?

Well, there you are, boys and girls, the 10 weirdest soft serve flavors we could rustle up.

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Top 10 food disasters prepared by Japanese wives who have extraordinary talent in the kitchen -- We try eating insects — they don’t taste like chicken -- Raw fish, fermented soy beans, and Chinese food: Japan’s 7 weirdest parfaits

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2 more interesting ones for you. You can get nanohana ice cream in the northern part of Aomori. Nanohana is the flower used to make canola oil and tastes like frozen margarine. I have also tried asparagus ice cream in Shiga. The shop that sells it is still working on its recipe but it's a very light flavor and it topped with some delicious yuzu.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A little too weird. No, thanks I'll stick with what's available @ 31 flavors.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Love soba ice cream.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Weird is not a reason not to try something, in this case eat it. A lot of discoveries in culture, scientific, engineering, arts and so on has come from trying "weird" things

Think... that it must have being very "weird" when for the first time fruit jelly came around... a semi transparent, wableling looking snot like thing.

Or the first time some one ate bacon... a greasy strip of pork meat taken from the most grease part (belly) of the animal.

Or how weird must have been for the people who for the first time ride on horses... you know... getting on over a big swetty long face animal?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Generally the range of ice cream flavors in Japan is extremely limited unless you search out these rare and exotic, hard to find places.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What about beef tongue?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Or the first time some one ate bacon... a greasy strip of pork meat taken from the most grease part (belly) of the animal.

I don't know about that example, I think when people fried up bacon for the first time, it was a hit or became a hit very quickly.

As for these Ice Cream flavors, why re-invent the wheel? But that's just my personal opinion.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Have you tried the goya flavor yet?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They all sound revolting! but Ive never tried them, nor do I want to! Ill stick to my raspberry ripple thanks.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

We have charcoal flavor here in Matsuyama. Suprprisingly....whats the word.. Pleasant? It tastes a little sweet, much like actual charcoal smells. Doesnt beat most legit flavors, but worth a try.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"For some baffling reason, vanilla remains far and away the most popular flavor"

What's baffling about this? Vanilla is far and away the bestest ice cream flavor!



"Wakame seaweed"


"Kamatama udon"


"Soy sauce"






"Mozuka seaweed"


"Squid ink"


"Fried oysters"



Oh my gawd...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As long as Urophagia isn't the new flavor rage everything else is fair game.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Any body tried rotting whale meat flavoured ice-cream ? it could catch on!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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