Shiroichi, which bills itself as a "fresh milk ice cream shop," is located near Yoyogi Park and NHK Hall, away from the hustle and bustle around Shibuya Station.
The street is not crowded a little after 3 p.m. on a weekday afternoon. But it is snack time, and the shop, which can hold maybe eight customers, quickly fills up with office workers, housewives pushing strollers and parcel delivery staff. On some weekends, the line extends outside to the sidewalk.
At the shop, servers must start over if the ice cream does not come out as expected, no matter how many people are waiting. "We want our customers to enjoy not only the taste but also the way it looks," Kaneko says. "So I'm happy when the customer reacts positively." The shop doesn't rely on eggs, butter or dairy cream to make its wares, preferring to use only milk.
Although it looks like soft ice cream, the product tastes different. The texture is crisp and firm. A young woman who came in with her boyfriend tells him, "There's supposed to be a prime time to eat it."
Kaneko explains she hands the ice cream to customers 10 to 15 seconds after the coil is complete. "That's when it is most delicious, when the surface is nice and crisp but soft inside," she said.
Shiroichi ice cream shop is open 10 a.m.-10 p.m. (11 a.m.-8 p.m. November-February).
Ice cream on a cone or in between "monaka" wafers at 380 yen ($4).
Milk or coffee floats at 460 yen ($5).
Near Shibuya and Harajuku stations. (Asahi)