Thursday, February 5, 2015

Yakushima Gelato Solaumi -- Gelato and Sorbets on the Sunny(er) Side of Yakushima

Until recently, Yakushima had no speciality ice cream stores. I mean, you could find ice cream at a few cafes or restaurants, but the only real way to satisfy a sweet tooth was to go to the grocery store.

Until 2014, when TWO completely independent ice cream stores opened.
1.) Just north of the airport in the town of Koseda, Cafe Mori offers soft-serve vanilla made from Jersey milk.
2.)Near the town of Mugyo, right next to Pension Echoes and Mori-no-Ferry Cottages, Sola Umi spoons out a variety of gelatos and sorbets.

At Solaumo, I always get a double cup so I can pick two flavors -- something exotic like papaya or avocado(?!) or my favorite coconut, and something more traditional like chocolate. A small double-cup costs a little less than 500 yen. They also serve coffee.

Then comes the best part of the experience: Indoor hammock chairs. After a couple days in Yakushima, you may understand why this is such a brilliant idea, even in one of Yakushima's sunnier towns. The name of this ice cream parlor translates to "Sky Sea," and sometimes I wonder if that's a reference to sun-and-fun or to incredible rainfall! On rainy days, bring a book or some headphones and watch the sky poor down outside as you lounge in one of six individual hammock chair.*2019 Edit: I hear the hammocks have been replaced with something just as cool.

I advise you call ahead though, because they keep some unusual business hours.

Yakushima Gelato SolaUmi
Location: Mugio (30.262792,130.6045482)
Business Hours: 1pm to 5:15pm, closed on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and the first Saturday of the month*

*Hours of business may change, so please check the website or call ahead.

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