Fukuoka is an up-and-coming prefecture. Situated at the top of Japan’s southern island of Kyushu, Fukuoka is the perfect mix of mega-city and easy going Kyushu attitude. In the central business district of Hakata you will find companies, shops and organisations all trying to bring even more money to the already profitable area.
One such place is the Canal City shopping centre. The largest shopping centre on the island of Kyushu, it boasts five floors of over 200 shops. The shopping centre is so named because of the canal that runs through the heart of it, dividing the shops and fancy hotel that occupy the same space.
Canal City is famous for its many ramen noodle shops, and often has lines of over one hundred people hoping to eat at the eight different ramen restaurants. Many people travel to the centre to sample the noodles because Hakata is the birthplace of tonkotsu ramen, the ramen that uses pork broth.
Inside the shopping centre you will find all sorts of shops, ranging from the wonderfully cheap 100-yen stores, to the designer brand clothing and accessory shops. But there is one business that is a decadent must-try, no matter what price range you prefer.
On the ground floor of Canal City you will find a small ice cream parlour that specialises in gold leaf ice cream. It can be recognised by the giant plastic ice cream draped in gold paint sitting outside.
For just 980 yen you can eat gold, and ice cream at the same time.
This is definitely the fanciest and most wonderfully tasteful ice cream around.
You can watch as the server carefully places a perfect square of gold onto your ice cream. He does this delicately, with tweezers and gloves, making sure not to bend or rip the paper. Should the gold leaf rip or crumple he will use special tools to smooth it out so that it is perfect for your Instagram post.
The staff are extremely polite and know their target market. They are more than happy to have people film or photograph the application of the gold leaf to the ice cream, and expect their customers to take a photo before eating it.
There is also a rather large sitting area with sofas and cushioned seats so you can enjoy your ice cream in peace and comfort.
The ice cream itself is deliciously creamy, having just the right balance between smoothness and thickness. The gold leaf does not add much to the taste of the overall product, but it adds to the experience.
The shop also sells drinks, such as a delicious tapioca drink with high quality milk and boba. As well as cold sweet potatoes with ice cream; a regional speciality and an interesting mix of flavours.
It is worth going for the bragging rights alone. After eating here you can tell everyone you know that you prefer to eat your ice cream with gold on top.