In the tranquil small town called Iwakuni lies a famous ice cream shop selling 140 flavors of ice cream.

My recent visit to the Chugoku region of the westernmost part of Honshu in Japan was more than just a journey of flavor. Who would have guessed that even an ice cream shop in a rural town adheres also the same principle?


It took just an hour drive out of Hiroshima and heading west to the Yamaguchi Prefecture. You won’t miss the famous small town called Iwakuni, famous for its 400 years old Kintai Bridge. It is a bridge so historical that it withstands the test of time and natural disasters. This beautiful arch bridge is also surrounded by beautiful countryside scene and crystal clear waters underneath.


So what is so special about Iwakuni aside from its arch bridge and the castle on the top of the hill? Well, you know what they say when it comes to food, it’s actually best to follow the example of what locals actually do. The cold weather last autumn apparently did not hinder people to enjoy ice cream while in Iwakuni.

When it comes to reaching this ice cream shop, there’s actually a price to pay to cross the bridge but it was clearly worth the experience. Once you reached the other side, take a walk for a bit and you will encounter the famous Miyamoto Musashi, known as Japan’s fearsome fencer in the past but here, it is known for as a shop that sells, as of today, 140 flavors of ice cream.


Unwittingly, there’s also a competing ice cream shop nearby that goes with the name Sasaki Kojiro – named after Miyamoto Musashi’s toughest adversary and that the story of their duel was written down in history. Quite unfortunate for me that the former closed that day and Musashi seized that moment to invite us with his treats. It was said that when both shops open, they will throw banter at each other in an entertaining way to snatch each other’s customers. Well, that would be quite a spectacle actually.

Musashi 1

Speaking of the flavors, it was too overwhelming to be mentioned here, especially when added with the combinations. Just to mention some, you will find flavors such as bilberry, caramel macchiato, banana coffee, 5 types of chocolate, milk tea, cheesecake, and many many more.

My choice that day was not the usual vanilla flavor that I personally like to try from every ice cream shop that I encounter, but it was the Hokkaido vanilla. Known for its livestock quality, Hokkaido has the country’s best dairy products. For only JPY 200, I was enjoying my share of ice cream thoroughly and all wrapped nicely with a waffle cone.

While at there, be sure to enjoy the town and head up to the castle. It’s best to finish the ice cream though before returning, as they don’t allow food and drinks over the Kintai Bridge. Thanks to autumn, I can enjoy my ice cream thoroughly without worrying that it might melt too soon.


Not halal-certified
Some dishes are suitable for vegetarians

2-1-23 Yokoyama, Iwakuni – Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan

Opening hours: Daily, 9am – 6pm


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