I know I’ve mentioned that I live in the greatest little town and now I’m sure you’re rolling your eyes at me. But let me ask you, does your town have an ice cream scavenger hunt? Well little ole Taketa does! Every summer Taketa holds a scavenger hunt of sorts. The goal is to promote local shops by traveling around the county, buying ice cream and collecting stamps. At the end of the summer you turn in your stamp card and prizes are awarded accordingly. Last year I collected all the stamps and became an Ice Cream Ambassador, complete with an official pin and certificate! I also won a drawing for free tickets to a local onsen.
I plan to collect all the stamps again and move up to the Gold level ambassadorship. Luckily this year I only have to eat 20 ice creams to collect the title, unlike last year when I needed 23. The flavors stray pretty far from predictable chocolate and vanilla. Unsurprisingly, pretty much everyone’s least favorite is soft-shell turtle, with the Dutch wine and tomato flavors trailing close behind. In the lead are flavors like black sesame, kyoho grape, soy sauce, and the simple but delicious Guernsey milk.
Even though it’s a bit ridiculous to document eating that much ice cream (let’s face it, I probably eat that much ice cream every summer anyway), it sure is a great way to make sure you do a bit of traveling around! Summer is a great time for day trips and some of these cute little shops are quite a bit off the beaten path. Driving around to find all of them inevitably leads to some great times and otherwise undiscovered jewels of rural Japan. I wish my hometown had something like this, then when my college friends visited we could have been traipsing around finding hidden treasures!
Yesterday I gathered a big group of friends and we ate our way through one of the main areas in the county. Now I’m 3 stamps/ice creams in, and the summer is looking like it’s off to a great start. We’ve still got rainy season going fairly strong. Had a break for a few days and now today the rain is back, making up for lost time. Anyway, what are your plans for the summer? Any big plans or trips? Or just eating ice cream and staying cool?