Tokyo ice cream shop ‘towers’ above the rest thanks to its eight-layer cone
By HANA KUSUMOTO | Stars and Stripes | Published: August 23, 2018
Nakano Broadway, located a short walk from Nakano Station in west Tokyo, isn’t just famous for anime merchandise and comic books — it’s also famous for a shop selling an eight-layer ice cream cone.
On a recent hot, humid August day, a crowd of people eating ice cream were gathered in front of Daily Chico, a small ice cream stand located in the basement of the popular shopping complex. Surprisingly, while the shop is famous for its towering cone featuring eight flavors of soft serve ice cream, most customers were just eating two- or three-layered cones and not the famous jumbo offering.
My companion and I were here, however, for the eight-layered cone, referred to by the shop as the “large size” (550 yen, or about $5). The cone, which has long been popular on social media and television, comes with all eight flavors of ice cream sold at Daily Chico.
Less ambitious ice cream fans can order a small cone (280 yen) or cup (300 yen), which comes with one to three flavors of choice, or a medium cone (380 yen) or cup (400 yen), which comes with two to four flavors.
The available ice cream flavors change regularly, allowing customers to always try something new. During my visit, the day’s flavors included: vanilla; chocolate; strawberry; cafe au lait; banana; muscat grape; matcha, or green tea; and ramune, a clear-carbonated Japanese soda similar to Sprite.
The sign at the shop asks customers to order their desired ice cream flavors by number, which are clearly indicated by samples displayed near the register. Customers are also asked to eat their ice cream in the area in front of the shop, with signs warning visitors against eating and walking elsewhere within Nakano Broadway with their snack.
The staff at Daily Chico assemble the large ice cream cones quickly and calmly, pulling the lever of each flavor on the soft serve machines. The entire process takes less than a minute.
I didn’t have high expectations for this ice cream, since visually interesting food popular online doesn’t always taste good. However, each individual flavor was tasty and not too sweet — which made me able to finish more ice cream than I expected. My only complaint was that the ramune flavor had a slightly weaker taste compared to the others.
The ice cream was definitely too big for one person to eat alone. For an extra 100 yen, customers can purchase a cup to make the ice cream easier to share with a friend. Its height made the ice cream difficult to balance and it didn’t take very long for it to begin melting.
A sign at the shop warns customers that the eight-layered ice cream can topple easily, and that the shop will not refund or replace dropped cones. Maybe this was why most customers opted for smaller portions. Still, for those looking to beat the summer heat in Tokyo, Daily Chico makes a great stop to break up any outing in the city.
Address: 5-52-15, Nakano, Nakano-ku, Tokyo
Prices: Vary by size and range from 280 yen (about $2.50) for a small cone to 550 yen for the extra-large cone.
Hours: Open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Directions: Daily Chico is in the basement of the Nakano Broadway shopping center, accessible via the JR Chuo Line and Tokyo Metro Tozai Line at Nakano Station (5-minute walk).