Written by Chiara Mischke
Blue Seal - Okinawan Ice Cream And The Best Japanese Crepes In Tokyo!
Blue Seal Ice Cream originates in Okinawa and has now branches all over Japan. They sell delicious ice cream, tapioca drinks and Japanese style crepes. Learn all about their menu and what makes this ice cream shop so special.
Ikebukuro has become very popular with Tokyo's youth in the last couple of years. Three of the things that can never be missing wherever young people gather in Japan are ice cream, bubble tea, and Japanese crepes.
One of the shops in Ikebukuro that offers all three of these delicious sweet treats in a great variety is Blue Seal.
Blue Seal - An Okinawa Based Company Conquers Japan
Blue Seal is an ice cream company from Okinawa. They have been around since 1948. Their main menu still showcases many flavors that are unique to Okinawa. Their ice cream is loved by customers from all around Japan. One of its features is that it's not too sweet because it was developed to be refreshing in the humid climate of Okinawa.
After many years of success, they decided to branch out to deliver a "taste of Okinawa" all over Japan. Their main stores are still based in Okinawa with all the stores in the other prefectures being franchise stores. Blue Seal takes pride in their high-quality ice cream so you will experience the same delicious flavors wherever you decide to visit them.
Blue Seal Ice Cream - Get to Know the Flavors of Okinawa!
Blue Seal offers flavors that are unique to Okinawa such as purple sweet potato, purple yam, salted cookies, taimo cheesecake, and shiiquasa. So what can you expect if you choose one of these flavors? Let's go through them one by one.
1. Shiiquasa is a small citrus fruit native to Okinawa and Taiwan. It has a sour, refreshing flavor.
2. Taimo belongs to the potato family. Native to Okinawa, you can bake or fry it as you would do with regular potatoes. It is a very popular ingredient for pies and cheesecakes in Okinawa.
3. Okinawa Salt Cookies - Salty cookies are very popular in Okinawa. They just have a slight saltiness to them which helps cut the sweetness.
4. Purple Sweet Potato - Also known as Beni Imo, this bright purple sweet potato is unique to Okinawa. While some people say it tastes different than other sweet potatoes, some think it tastes the same. Either way, it is unique in its glorious bright purple color.
5. Purple Yam - Against popular belief, purple yam and purple sweet potato are not the same thing. Purple yam is also known as Ube in Japan. It has a very similar taste to purple sweet potatoes and gets used in a similar way. However, if you see ube and beni imo side by side, you can tell they are two different vegetables.
In addition to all the flavors unique to Okinawa, Blue Seal also offers a variety of Japanese favorites such as matcha green tea, milk tea and mint chocolate chip.
It is also the only Japanese ice cream shop where I have been able to find pistachio ice cream on the regular menu.
Soft Serve Ice Cream
Besides their ice cream scoops, Blue Seal also offers soft serve Ice cream. It comes in vanilla, chocolate and purple sweet potato flavors. When I visited they had limited edition salty milk flavor as well.
If you try the purple sweet potato flavor for the first time, the soft serve is a great way to ease your way into it as it is not as strongly flavored as the ice cream.
Their most popular item is the Blue Seal Sundae which features a big scoop of ice cream of your choice, topped by a soft serve of your choice in a crunchy waffle cone.
Blue Seal Crepes - The Secret Superstar
Blue Seal is best known as an ice cream shop, but their secret superstar is their Japanese crepes.
Japanese crepes are crepes filled with a variety of desserts like cake, pudding, whipped cream and ice cream
Blue Seal's regular menu features popular flavors such as banana and strawberry filled crepes with cheesecake or brownies and a scoop of ice cream.
Their most popular item is Okinawa inspired. A purple sweet potato cheese brûlée crepe with whipped cream, sweet potato cream, brûlée cheesecake and caramel sauce.
All their regular crepes come with vanilla ice cream but for an extra fee of 30 yen, you can change it into any other ice cream flavor from their menu.
If you pay 120 yen extra, you can even get two small scoops of any two ice cream flavors.
I chose sweet potato and salt cookie ice cream which complimented the Okinawa style flavor of the crepe perfectly.
Most crepe shops will never let you change the ice cream flavor, so having this option at Blue Seal is great. Their ice cream is delicious, and having it in combination with the sweet, perfectly chewy cream filled crepe is a match made in heaven!
And you can customize the crepes to make your own variations. I combined a strawberry gateau chocolate crepe with almond pistachio ice cream in the past and it was glorious.
If you don't have a sweet tooth, you can also choose one of their hot crepes which are filled with sausages, chicken, salat or avocado instead of cream, cake, and ice cream.
Every Tuesday is Crepe Day at the Blue Seal Ikebukuro store which means you can get your crepe at a lower price than usual. Please be aware that the crepes might sell out early on that day.
Limited Edition Menus at Blue Seal
Blue Seal usually offers a different limited edition menu every month. It usually includes a seasonal ice cream flavor and two different limited edition crepes.
On Halloween, for instance, they often go all out and dress up their crepes in Halloween costumes. Last year the crepes were designed like cute little monsters. Those who prefer ice cream were able to choose an ice cream cup monster version as well.
During the summer, they have also offered a mint chocolate crepe for the last couple of years. This type of crepe usually stays during the summer month and is very popular. Filled with mint ice cream, mint and chocolate whipped cream and gateau chocolate cake, it is the perfect combination of mint and dark chocolate and nicely refreshing in summer!
Please be aware that these items are time-limited and might not make a recurrence in the same form. However, there are limit edition items every month and it's worth checking them out before making your decision.
Tapioca and Hot Winter Drinks
The standard menu at Blue Seal also includes tapioca based drinks, better known as "bubble tea". Their most popular tapioca drink flavors are purple sweet potato, milk tea and Hawaiian blue shiiquasa.
The most popular flavors are available as dessert tapioca drinks as well, which means that they are topped with a scoop of ice cream of the same flavor.
You also have the option of adding more tapioca for an extra fee of 50 yen.
This winter they added limited edition hot drinks to their menu: hot chocolate based drinks with toppings of whipped cream in various flavors.
I tried the mint chocolate version and it was topped off with the same delicious mint flavored whipped cream as their mint chocolate summer crepe! However, please be aware that these drinks are only available until the end of February 2018 and it is not certain whether they will make a comeback.
Treat Yourself After a Day of Shopping in Ikebukuro!
The Blue Seal Ikebukuro Store introduced in this article is conveniently located in front of the walkway that leads to Ikebukuro Alta.
One thing that deserves mentioning here is that every Wednesday is Ladies' Day at the Blue Seal Ikebukuro store. It's a day when female customers can save some money on their favorite ice cream!
After a fun day of shopping in the lively area of Ikebukuro, how about treating yourself to some of the best ice cream and crepes in Tokyo?
In cooperation with Blue Seal
|Address||Tokyo, Toshima-ku, Higashiikebukuro 3-1-1|
|Accepted Credit Cards||Not Available|
|Menu/Pamphlets in Other Languages||Japanese, English|
|Nearest station||Ikebukuro Station|
|Access||About 5 minutes walk from Ikebukuro Station|
|Price||400 yen and up|
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In cooperation with Blue Seal Ikebukuro Store