There’s a significant gap in my Osaka restaurant knowledge because I tend to eat in Kyoto, Takarazuka, or with my former host family, who make excellent Osakan okonomiyaki, whenever I’m in Kansai. On my last trip to Osaka, however, my husband and I were exploring Namba when he mentioned that he had discovered a pay-by-weight tart frozen yogurt shop near the covered mall, and would I like to go there for lunch?
I might have jumped for joy.
I first tried tart frozen yogurt in Cincinnati at Yagoot, the yogurt branch of Buskens Bakery, and was instantly hooked. Pinkberry, of course, is the most famous brand, but Pinkberry was mainly in New York and Los Angeles at the time, though the website informs me that has changed. My yogurt prayers were answered multifold my second year of grad school when not one but three separate companies rolled out the yogurt: Bubble Island, where my Japan- and Asian Studies friends and I already frequented for the bubble tea; the Michigan-based Swirlberry, which had a location in the grocery store as well as two in the city; and Yogobliss, which opened across the street from Bubble Island. (Yogobliss was my favorite, but I enjoyed all of shops and had no qualms about eating whatever was closest.)
The trend appears not to have taken off in Japan, and most certainly not in the tiny town I currently live in, so this was my first tart frozen yogurt in nearly a year. I was not disappointed by Osaka’s Partyland, formerly Yogurtland. Partyland’s decor is clean and modern–big windows, white and brightly colored plastic furniture. This fun, bubbly, futuristic feel is completely in line with the design of places like Yogobliss and Yagoot.
I was also impressed by the number of flavor choices. My favorite yogurt shops in the US tend to have 3-4 flavors available–a mix of standard- and seasonal flavors. Partyland has about 15 flavors ranging from plain to pomegranate to cheesecake, and all have the caloric content per 100 g written on the sign. Most of the flavors are about 100 calories per 100 grams. Flavors that are recommended to be mixed have a spout for it, but you can mix and match as you like. You can also dish up the toppings yourself. If you don’t speak Japanese, all of the flavors and toppings have bilingual signs.
The bowl you’ve made is weighed at the counter. The above picture was my lunch, so I was pretty heavy-handed with the fruit and yogurt, but the whole container weighed about 350 grams total. Since I choose fruit toppings, I’m guessing the whole thing was about 400 calories total.
Also of note: the pretty green spoons are biodegradable!
Osaka-fu Osaka-shi Chūō-ku Namba 1-4-10
h+ Building, 1-2 Fl.
Open weekdays 11:00-24:00; weekends and holidays from 10:00-24:00.
No regular holidays.
The first floor is the counter and some seats; more seats (78 total) on the second floor.
Partyland is accessible from a variety of lines that meet at Namba (Osaka) Station (難波駅): the Midosuji Line (御堂筋線), the Yotsubashi Line (四つ橋線), and the Sennichimae Line (千日前線); exit 15A.
The Sennichimae underground mall also connects the subway (地下鉄) stations Osakanamba (大阪難波駅) and Kintetsu-Nipponbashi (近鉄日本橋駅) as well as Nipponbashi Station (日本橋駅) on the Yotsubashi Line (四つ橋線) and the Sakaisuji Line (堺筋線).
(There are two other Japan locations in Okinawa.)
Price: 100 grams costs 210 yen (including tax). Expect to pay about 600-800 yen per person.