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Rich & Refreshing! Hokkaido’s Top 5 Must-Try Soft-Serve Ice Creams

Rich & Refreshing! Hokkaido’s Top 5 Must-Try Soft-Serve Ice Creams

Update: 19 July 2018

Cows leisurely grazing in the vast landscape. This is what many people imagine Hokkaido is like. Having a colorfully decorated sweet at a stylish café is nice, but eating soft-served ice cream while being surrounded by nature’s beauty is something special indeed. We would like to recommend ranch-style soft-served ice cream with a refreshing finish! Taste the sweet milk flavor under the blue sky.

Sapporo: “Tsukisup” Ice Cream - Loved by Locals, Made by an Agricultural School!

Sapporo: “Tsukisup” Ice Cream - Loved by Locals, Made by an Agricultural School!
Soft-serve ice cream (from 160 yen) with a light texture that gently melts in your mouth. It is as if you are eating milk!

During the dawning age of Hokkaido’s central city Sapporo, Hakko Gakuen was established to train excellent agricultural leaders. The Hokkaido Agricultural Technical College Farmer’s Market located on the property of Gakko Hojin Hakko Gakuen Hokkaido Nougyou Senmon Gakko (Hakko Gakuen Agricultural Technical College), known for its experienced based education, sells many handmade and processed vegetables and livestock products. With silos and other buildings, it gives off a ranch like appearance. One of the signature dish is the soft-serve ice cream that’s only available from late April to early November (small, 160 yen; large, 270 yen, cocoa waffle, 290 yen).

Tsukisup Milk processed on campus (200 ml, from 160 yen) and Drinkable Yogurt (200 ml, 210 yen) is so good that you want to have it at your hotel

The cows are raised by school staff and students and only fed non-genetically modified feeds such as grass and dent corn. The raw milk from these carefully tended cows produces the soft-serve ice cream, which receives major praises from people in Sapporo who adore sweets. The texture is smooth, however it has the rich and deep flavor of milk. With zero unnecessary additives, it melts easily, but proves the natural deliciousness of the ice cream. Also the ingredient for the soft-serve ice cream, the pasteurized Tsukisup Milk (200 ml, 160 yen), which retains its original milk flavor is popular.

The farmer’s market with the unique red silo. Grab and soft-serve ice cream, sit on the bench and enjoy the green scenery
  • Hakko-Gakuen Nousanbutsu Chokubaijo
    八紘学園農産物直売所
    • Address 〒062-0052 北海道札幌市豊平区月寒東2条13丁目1-12/13-1-12, Tsukisamu Higashi 2-jo, Toyohira-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido, 062-0052, Japan
    • Phone Number 011-852-8081

    Hours: 10 AM ~ 5 PM (closes at 4 from mid-November ~ mid-April)
    Closed: Thursday (closed from Tuesday ~ Friday from mid-November ~ mid-April)
    Access: 10 minute walk from Toho Subway Line Fukuzumi Station

Otaru: Enjoy the Ranch Style Yamanaka Dairy Farm Milk Soft-Serve Ice Cream While Viewing the Otaru Canal

About a 40 minute drive southwest from Otaru City is Yamanaka Dairy Farm surrounded by nature in Akaigawa Town. This prominent farm in Hokkaido raises dairy cattle with natural feeds to produce dairy products. The soft-serve ice cream made with their fresh milk became a big hit. For this style of ice cream they have fans from all over the nation.

The standard Milk flavor, and cocoa and milk mix. Both are 270 yen

To get the full flavor of milk, it is additive-free. They have matcha (green tea) and cocoa flavor, however their main seller is the Milk Soft-Serve Ice Cream (270 yen) with full milk flavor. Also the Strawberry Cup (330 yen) with the homemade fruits sauce on soft-served ice cream in a cup is popular. They have opened up shops in other locations than the shop at the ranch in Akaigawa Town. There is a shop on Otaru Ekimae Dori which is nearby Otaru’s sightseeing spot. Enjoy your soft-serve ice cream while strolling along the canal.

They sell other dairy products such as Yamanaka Milk (900 ml 390 yen) and Premium Butter (950 yen)
  • Yamanaka-Bokujo Otaruten
    山中牧場 小樽店
    • Address 〒047-0031 北海道小樽市色内1丁目6-18/1-6-18, Ironai, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido, 047-0031, Japan
    • Phone Number 0134-27-5123

    Hours: 11 AM ~ 6 PM
    Closed: Mondays (opened if it’s a holiday)
    Access: 5 minute walk from JR Otaru Station

Niseko: In idyllic view of Mt. Yotei, find "Niseko Takahashi Ranch Milk Studio" for supreme sweets!

Niseko: In idyllic view of Mt. Yotei, find "Niseko Takahashi Ranch Milk Studio" for supreme sweets!
Soft-serve ice cream (290 yen). Let's watch the idyllic scenery of Mt. Yotei and pastures called "Ezo Fuji!"

Niseko is a town rich in natural splendor, and it's also known for its tourism and agricultural products. An exquisite sweets paradise can also be found here! As you look over the green pastures of Niseko Takahashi Ranch over to Mt. Yotei, you'll surely find yourself thinking: "Wow, so this is Hokkaido!" Niseko has a variety of places to enjoy in any season, such as pizza shop Mandriano, which uses plenty of locally handmade cheese in its dishes, to Prativo, where locally grown vegetables are used in their buffets. Especially popular is "Niseko Milk Studio" where you can enjoy sweets using fresh milk just freshly squeezed at the ranch. The ice cream and soft-serve are essential tastes in the early summer sightseeing in Niseko.

ミルクの美味しさがぎゅっとつまった「アイスクリーム」(350円)もおすすめ。味を2種類選ぶことができる

First off, we invite you to taste the smooth soft-serve ice cream (290 yen) that's filled with the milk's original sweetness. The flavor of the fresh milk unique to the ranch spreads divinely across the palate, with a refreshing aftertaste. Another popular product, standard ice cream (350 yen) is also recommended. You can choose your two favorite flavors (or even double up on the same!) and enjoy the rich umami and flavor of milk. Inside the workshop there are other "Niseko Milk Goodies" (from 650 yen) packed with the aroma of milk, plus freshly baked roll cakes that use plenty of fresh cream and 100% rice flour (1,000 yen) and other sweets are available.

Products using milk from their own farm are packed with natural flavor. Perfect for souvenirs!
  • Niseko Takahashi DairyFarm Milk-Kobo
    ニセコ高橋牧場 ミルク工房
    • Address 〒048-1522 北海道虻田郡ニセコ町字曽我888-1/888-1, Soga, Niseko-cho Abuta-gun, Hokkaido, 048-1522, Japan
    • Phone Number 0136-44-3734

    Hours: 9:30-18:00 (varying according to the season)
    Closed: Open daily
    Access: 8 minutes by car from JR Niseko Station

Lake Toya: Exquisite Gelato at Lake Hill Farm with a Soothing Pasture View!

The guest ranch Lake Hill Farm is located on top of a beautiful hill near Lake Toya. This is another popular spot for sweets lovers, as it offers exquisite gelato and soft-serve ice cream made by dairy farmers. With a way of thinking of “to make good milk, you must start with good soil and grass,” they focus on a process that results in an excellent environment. They let the dairy cows freely roam in nature so they won’t be stressed.

Makiba no Gelato (double 410 yen), you can pick and choose your favorite combo

Freshly squeezed milk will be processed that day and will be sold as gelato. The Makiba no Gelato (double, 410 yen) has around 40 flavors such as matcha, cream cheese and corn to choose from. Another recommendation is the Makiba no Milk Soft-Serve Ice Cream (410 yen). With a smooth texture the milk flavor naturally expands in your mouth. Enjoy your delicious rich milky ice cream while sitting at the terrace seat offering a magnificent view of Mt. Yotei and other mountains of Niseko.

They also have a colorful flower garden. Behind the ranch they have an area to interact with sheep and rabbits.
  • Lake Hill Farm
    レークヒル・ファーム
    • Address 〒049-5724 北海道虻田郡洞爺湖町花和127/127, Hanawa, Toyako-cho Abuta-gun, Hokkaido, 049-5724, Japan

    Hours: 9 AM - 7 PM (may change depending on the season
    Closed: Open daily
    Access: 20 minute drive from JR Toya Station

Biei: Fostered by Nature, the Naturally Flavored Soft-Serve Ice Cream at Biei Farm

Biei: Fostered by Nature, the Naturally Flavored Soft-Serve Ice Cream at Biei Farm
The milk flavor is really rich! Soft-serve ice cream (cone, 400 yen). The crispy waffle cone is a perfect match

Last but not least is the soft-serve ice cream at Biei Farm in Biei Town. Biei Town is known as “Oka no Machi,” the town of hills – and the farm is located in a beautiful rolling countryside, mainly raising Jersey cattle and others such as Brown Swiss cattle and Holstein Friesian cattle. With a strong belief that a stress-free healthy cattle will produce quality milk, the cows freely roam all year round. They say that the cows don’t sleep in the barn, but sleep in the forest.

At the café you can try the Pasteurized Milk (cup, 280 yen; 180 ml bottle, 320 yen)

They are proud of their rich flavored milk squeezed from the free roaming cows. The Soft Cream (cup, 360 yen; cone, 400 yen) only uses freshly squeezed milk and sugar beets from Hokkaido. It offers a pure rich and deep milk flavor. They offer it in cup and cone, but we strongly recommend the cone. Cones are made from Biei flour and handmade butter, which produces a nice crispiness that matches the ice cream. There is a café on the farm and the Pasteurized Milk (cup, 280 yen; 180 ml bottle, 320 yen) and Milk Pudding (350 yen) are popular. Enjoy the view of cows grazing the field and the beautiful patchwork hills of Biei with you ice cream.

How about a delicious soft-serve ice cream at the farm with the refreshing breeze blowing
  • Biei HobokuRakuno-jo
    美瑛放牧酪農場
    • Address 〒071-0473 北海道上川郡美瑛町字新星平和5235/5235Heiwa,Shinsei, Biei-cho Kamikawa-gun, Hokkaido, 071-0473, Japan
    • Nearest Station 0166-68-6777

    Hours: 10 AM - 5 PM
    Closed: Tuesday (if it is a holiday, the next day will be closed)
    Access: 20 minute drive from JR Biei Station

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.

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