Shinpachi Chaya: Sad Ice Cream
Hello! Kyoto was pretty cold during our visit in late December. But, that didn't stop us from eating ice cream, or more specifically, matcha flavored ice cream. Kyoto is known to produce some of the highest quality teas (and matcha) in the world. There was one shop that looked pretty good. It was called Shinpachi Chaya.
The area surrounding Shinpachi Chaya is very quaint. The small town of Arashiyama is littered with tiny shops and food stalls. It's walking distance from many popular tourist spots like the bamboo forest, the monkey park, and the Tenryu-ji temple. It's easy to walk around and what better way to enjoy Kyoto, the former capital of Japan, than with a cold, refreshing treat in hand.
That being said, we absolutely HAD to try at least one matcha ice cream place.
For a city known for its matcha, you're bound to find a better spot. Pass on Shinpachi Chaya.
Before I get to the Matcha ice cream, Steph ordered a flavor we have never seen before: Cherry Blossom Ice Cream. It came out semi-chunky as you can see in the picture above. A Cherry Blossom is the flower that blooms from a type of tree, specifically the Japanese cherry tree.
FUN FACT: Most of these trees don't actually produce fruit. They just make little white and pink blossoms that are nice to look at.
Anyway, I'm assuming they made this ice cream with those small Cherry Blossoms because the taste was mildly sweet and floral in flavor. It's not bad but it's not amazing. I think it's worth a try if you're curious but you might not find much satisfaction if you get a whole cone to yourself.
Steph: "I was so excited to eat my first CHERRY BLOSSOM ice cream... Where I would picture myself in a Shojo anime in the middle of May when the cherry blossoms are just blooming, while riding my bike on the sidewalk. But, when I took my first bite, it was not a Shojo anime. It was like the scene from Hunter x Hunter where Gon and Killua part ways. SADNESS."
For myself, I ordered one cone of Matcha Ice Cream (see above). I was so excited for this but I was eventually disappointed. Seriously. Ice cream makes me so happy. Just look at the pictures of me below. Honestly, it was a bit more like frozen yogurt than anything else because it lacked creaminess. Also, we got some nasty service from one of the sales ladies. No smiles. No friendliness. She even recommended getting the matcha ice cream over the matcha gelato. And, look at that tiny portion of matcha ice cream.