Ice-cream lovers submit to matcha powder challenge in Tokyo
Stars and Stripes May 11, 2023
Intrigued by one of the latest internet trends in Tokyo, my friends and I set out for a small shop that serves green tea, or matcha, ice cream coated with matcha powder.
Ice cream shops like Nagamine Seicha are popular with people looking for a special dessert.
This shop gained notoriety after customers posted social media videos of themselves consuming soft-serve ice cream coated in matcha powder.
In scenes reminiscent of the “cinnamon challenge,” videos surfaced on Twitter showing consumers taking a large bite of matcha-flavored ice cream coated in matcha powder, then coughing up the powder or falling helpless into a bout of sneezing.
While it’s not the most bizarre form of ice cream produced in Tokyo (that might belong to the fish-flavored dairy treat), matcha-powdered ice cream received its share of mainstream and social media attention.
After a train ride to Tabata Station on the Yamanote Line and a five-minute walk, my friends and I arrived at the shop to see if powder-coated ice cream lives up to the hype, or if it’s just a gimmick to draw attention to the shop.
The matcha ice cream dusted with matcha powder was hit or miss with my friends. I was not a fan.
The ice cream itself was good, but the powder was too bitter and extremely messy. Anytime a breeze disturbed the powder, it blew it right off the ice cream, staining everything from clothes to skin.
A cone with matcha powder is the most expensive selection at the shop but is still relatively inexpensive at 500 yen, or about $3.70. There is no seating inside, so most people sit on an outdoor bench to enjoy their ice cream.
The shop is cash only, and I recommend bringing extra yen in case you want to purchase something from the selection of teas, snacks or other items for sale in the store.
Location: 2-9-15 Higashi Tabata, Kita City, Tokyo 114-0013
Hours: Open daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Prices: Between 200 yen and 500 yen
Directions: At Tabata Station, take the North Exit, cross the street and turn right. At the intersection, take the ramp down to street level. Cross and continue straight for about a minute. The shop will be on the left with banners outside.
Information: Phone: 0120-450-839; Online: nagamine.jp