Blue Seal Ice Cream
In the 1940’s, the only thing American GIs loved more than hunting Nazis and assaulting strangers was ice cream, and Blue Seal wisely tapped into that market by opening their first shop in Okinawa. Today, their ice cream outposts can be found throughout the island (and the rest of Japan too). This is great news for us since it means we’ve been able to Blue Seal daily. Not an overstatement.
The ice cream is dense and rich, and the flavors totally Okinawan. The shiiquasa sherbet, Okinawa salt cookie, sugar cane, and Ryukyu royal milk tea varieties are all A+—though we can’t vouch for the San Francisco mint chocolate, “a mint flavor that is as refreshing as the clear skies of San Francisco.” Like, wha?
The stand-out, though, is the soft serve twist that could go toe-to-toe with Tosi. It’s vanilla and beni-imo, Okinawan purple sweet potato, and it’s light and luscious and balanced and addictive. As long as your cone isn’t stale, it’s a handful of perfect frozen food.
Atop a hill set back from the road on the Southwestern corner of Ishigaki Island sits Mirumiru. You’ll know it by the hot pink sign that shows a cartoon baby cow clutching a baby bottle.
This particular lot of land on this particular road really has no business housing an ice cream shop, but it’s there, and it’s legit. The milk comes from Ishigaki cows exclusively, the texture is soft like gelato, and the flavors are on point, when you order right. Purple Yam and Brown Sugar & Salt, tops. “Genki Cool,” which we mistook for citrus, but which is actually some sort of tutti frutti/bubblegum mess, no.
The environs (pictured at top) make you feel like you’re sitting at the edge of the earth…with a really good ice cream…and that’s a mighty nice feeling.