Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Ice cream first went on sale in Japan in 1869 on Bashamichi Street (Bashamichi Dori) in Yokohama, just south of Tokyo. Yokohama was the entry point for a lot of "Western" things, and ice cream took off like wildfire when it came across the seas. The Bashamichi Aisu Bar (馬車道アイスクリン) harks back to the origins of ice cream in Japan. It's a wonderful, lightly flavored vanilla ice cream, almost fluffy in its texture, surrounded by a crystalline skin of ice milk. Pictured on the package is Yokohama's famous landmark, the Red Brick Warehouse, now housing tourist shit shops and restaurants. However the image of the the old mercantile Yokohama in a thoroughly modern Japan carries a marketing cache, and the quality of the ice cream bar belies the artificial nostalgia that all this signifies. It's that good! It gets extra points for the English writing on the the label that describes it as "Basyamichi Icecrin."