Sunday, October 2, 2016

YukiGokeYa: Shaved ice for adults

"Coffee float" kakigori
Say you just arrived in Yakushima. You just debarked from Yakushima II, the "slow ferry" and, on a whim, you walk into the first building you see. (Maybe you even had some outdated information that said the information booth was there.) Well, these days, there's not much inside besides the ferry ticket counter, a restroom, and some coin lockers that can only be used until 5pm. EXCEPT for the cafe that opened last year on the second floor. You would never guess what an amazing treat awaits those who wonder upstairs: Snow cones have grown up. Kakigori has reached a level you've never experienced.

When Yukigokeya first opened, everyone was talking about the "new curry place," but even though they no longer serve curry, you won't leave hungry (unless you're prone to cold headaches). Now they serve toast and muffins, gourmet coffee, and kakigori (shaved ice deserts). When I last went, they had Ethiopian coffee, Mandarin coffee from Indonesia, and Brazilian coffee with a taste "to make you dance." My advice: If you like rich, dark coffee, order the Mandarin coffee if they have it, and pay the extra 80 yen for an order-made single serving. I know 480 yen is expensive for coffee, but it's good.

"Coffee float" on the left and azuki-milk (red beans with cream) on the right.
Wait! Before you order the coffee, order a shaved ice! At 500 to 600 yen, these aren't exactly cheap either, but these are no carnival-style snow cones! I ordered the "coffee float" kakigori, which features a good serving of ice cream tucked into a mound of fluffy ice. Next to the bowl of ice is a spoon and two small  pitchers: One with delicious black coffee and the other with creamy milk with which to flavor the ice. I have never had a coffee float this good.

2016 Winter Menu: Apple & Banana Hotcake!

I wouldn't have expected such a stylish cafe (with an equally stylish women's fashion shop attached) in the ferry port!

Yuki Goke Ya (雪 苔 屋)
Location: Miyanoura Port, 2nd Floor of the big white building (above the Yakushima Ferry 2 ticket office)
Hours: 10:30am to 4:30pm, closed on Wednesdays and sometimes other days too.*

Check out the pottery!

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