I had a hell of a time looking up the name to this hole-in-the-wall ice cream shop, but it’s actually hard to miss the storefront! Located at the base of the hill leading up to the Ishikawamon (石川門) Gate of Kanazawa Castle and Kenrokuen, Kyokusuien (曲水案) specializes in Japanese flavors of soft ice cream. While that may not sound as exciting as the ice cream shop a few doors over with 10 different premade flavors, Kyokusuien’s handmade soft cream is much better than the icy pucks of flavored soft creams that go into the machines at festivals.
The flavors of regular cones cost about 350 yen; waffle cones are 400. I’m personally a fan of the sakura ice cream, but the sakura-matcha swirl and sakura-vanilla swirl is also delicious. The soft serves are rich and creamy but not overly sweet, and the flavors are all natural and completely lovely. The shop also mixes ice cream and soft serve: have matcha-vanilla on top of mango; vanilla soft serve on strawberry or blueberry; chocolate soft serve on matcha ice cream or matcha soft-serve on chocolate ice cream; etc. The shop has the same flavors year round, so even if you’re passing through in August or January and need a taste of Kanazawa in the springtime, you won’t miss out on the sakura, which is a seasonal flavor at places like Malga.
There’s a cafe on the second floor that sells jibuni (stewed duck) and other meals and sweets, but I always went straight for the ice cream. Also, I believe the menu on the counter is bilingual, but the flavors are fairly easy to read as long as you know katakana and matcha (抹茶).
〒920-0936 石川県金沢市兼六町2−13 1F
1st floor, 2-13 Kenroku-machi Kanazawa-shi Ishikawa-ken 920-0936
Closed Tuesdays (according to Tabelog)
Price: 300-350 yen