A new gelateria “Japan Gelateria Asanoha”opened in Kawajima town on Friday July 30th. The gelateria is just one of four businesses in what they have called “Ebisu 1st Place”, an initiative by the Soh Corporation. The other three are a barbecue service, a fish restaurant “Jiro Charcoal Grill” and a vegetable farm “Kasugai Farm”. According to the Soh Corporation, further to having a long relationship with farmers in the area, they wanted to open a complex for locals, by locals. They define the concept of Ebisu First Place as “a desire to connect” and aim to produce locally for local consumption.
Japan Gelateria Asanoha
We maybe in the middle of a State of Emergency, but Asanoha is one of considerably few eateries that is relatively “safe”. There is ONLY outdoor seating and the tables are nicely spaced. Furthermore, the “shop” is a kiosk type so the customer is “outdoors” and the staff (somewhat) indoors. The shop is like a kitchen car (/food truck), it may actually have been made from a converted trailer. Pictured above on the right hand side.
We went to check it out shortly after it opened. I was instantly attracted to the chic design of the garden on a flyer for the shop that came in the door. The barbecue area is quite small, just one corner of the grounds at this moment in time. The fish restaurant is Japanese style tatami mats. In addition, there is a small vegetable farm that separates the seating area from the car park. Its all very scenic.
There are 12 different flavors of gelato at any one time. Both the milk and the flavor ingredients are all sourced locally. They have some really unusual flavors of ice-cream, such as miso flavor or chocolate and burdock flavor! Essentially, it is designer gelato, hence it is quite expensive. One tub of gelato costs 500 yen. There are no cones, all the gelato is served in paper cups.
- Blueberry Yoghurt
- Green Ume
- Kawajima Miso
- Hōjicha (a type of roasted green tea)
- Oriental melon
- Chocolate and Burdock
Apart from gelato you can get coffee or tea (either hot or ice) for 300 yen, lemonade (with honey) for 500 yen, beer for 600 yen and non alcoholic beer for 600 yen.
In the area
Make no mistake: this is a really rural area. However, Kawajima Ebisu First Place is right beside a car dealership and a busy convenience store. But the view from the grounds is of the rice fields that board it on two sides. With little concrete or other buildings in the area, it is a little bit cooler than housing areas. My kids were delighted with all the frogs in the grass! They caught (and released) a few which was the highlight of the visit for the younger two! However, despite its rural location, Kawajima has some nice attractions especially for those who like quieter off the beaten path nature and local type spots.
A sample of a few attractions a short drive away:
- Arakawa Tarouemon and Honda Airport is a 7 minute drive from the gelateria
- The gelateria is a 12 minute walk from this off the beaten path sakura spot which was selected as one of Saitama’s top 100 scenic spots by TV Tama
- The popular fishing center for kids “Tsuri Bori” is a 30 minute walk or 4 minute drive away
- A six minute drive to Toyama Memorial Museum | KAWAJIMA
- Fueki Shoyu Kinbue Soy Sauce Park | KAWAJIMA is about a 7 minute drive from the gelateria
- Coming soon: another off the beaten track sakura spot
There is a toilet you can use in the neighboring fish restaurant. Parking is plentiful and free. They accept JCB, AMEX, Diners, Discovery, Nicosu and DC credit cards. You can also use Paypay.
|Japanese Gelateria Asanoha at Kawajima Ebisu First Place|
|Address:||445-5, Shimomujina, Kawajima, Hiki District, Saitama 350-0135|
|Hours:||Weekdays – 11 am to 4 pm|
Weekends – 10 am to 4.30 pm
From September 1st the shop will be open everyday, but in August it will close on Tuesdays.
|Cost:||500 yen for one gelato or lemonade, 300 yen for coffee|
Japanese Gelateria is about a 7 minute drive from the Kawajima Interchange of the Ken-o expressway.
A minute walk from Kamimujina Bus Stop. An infrequent Tobu bus goes from Kawagoe Station “Kawagoe 04” (川越０４). Tobu Bus Official Website.
There is plenty of bicycle racks – the area is relatively close to one of the Arakawa Cycle Courses.