Mr. Sato finds that they don’t make them like they used to.

The year was 2011: The Arab Spring revolutions were sweeping across Africa and the Middle East, and a young Prince William and Kate Middleton wed in front of an audience of two billion. At about that same time, a cub reporter named Mr. Sato, still fresh off the boat from Shimane Prefecture at the tender age of 37, was settling into his new life in Tokyo.

One day, while browsing the eccentric Nakano Broadway shopping district, he came across a stand-up restaurant called Daily Chiko that also sold ice cream. It wasn’t just any ice cream, however. This was a massive Tokudai Soft Cream that towered above the competition.

It was a delight that sparked his long-running love affair with over-sized portions and pretty food.

Ten years later, our now world-weary reporter suddenly got a hankering for a Tokudai Soft Cream and went back to Nakano Broadway to seek one out.

▼ Daily Chiko

Some say that about 70 percent of restaurants close within three years after opening, so it’s rather amazing that Daily Chiko is still running, not only after a decade, but for 55 years since it first opened in 1966.

Thanks to this longevity, Mr. Sato can more accurately gauge how the ice cream business has changed over the years. When he first bought a Tokudai Soft Cream it cost 390 yen ($3.55), but since then there have been several consumption tax increases and periodic dairy shortages that must have affected the price.

▼ The Daily Chiko ice cream menu in 2011

This time as he walked up to the counter, Mr. Sato was delighted to find the price was 700 yen ($6.38). Although that was nearly twice the 2011 price, it was still well below what you’d pay at other places. You might be able to get a single-flavor tall cone for 700, but even 1,000 yen ($9.11) would be pretty good deal for a multi-flavor octuple-decker.

And this was one girthy cone…

Actually, come to think of it, this seemed fairly bigger than he remembered. Upon checking the archival footage, sure enough, the 2021 cone was noticeably larger than the 2011. It even seemed to be compressing itself under its own weight.

Mr. Sato had gone back to this place a few times in the past decade as well. Last year he paid a visit while made over to look like U.S. President Joe Biden, and even then, the Tokudai Cone seemed smaller than it is now.

So it looks as if even though the price has been hiked substantially, Daily Chiko has done their best to make sure customers are still getting their money’s worth.

By the way, as a seasoned eater of gigantic ice cream cones, Mr. Sato thought he would share some tips. A person’s first instinct would probably be to start licking at it, but that’s a critical error. You should always eat it with a spoon.

▼ No, Mr. Biden! No! Bad President!

Frozen snacks have a certain innate structural integrity. Once the warmth of your mouth comes into contact with even a small section of it, that integrity is compromised and everything begins to melt extra quickly.

Using a spoon at all times will help prevent your frosty delight from turning into a ticking time bomb.

Also pay attention to your spoon-work. Don’t carve out too much from one side, and maintain a balance until you get low enough to the cone.

After you’ve reached the cone, feel free to go wild and start chomping at it with your mouth.

▼ Flawless victory.

You might also be tempted to take a selfie with your giant ice cream, but doing so is a deadly game that could easily result in it all on the floor. Much like with swimming, you should always eat lots of ice cream with a buddy.

Mr. Sato had heard that President Biden is a big ice cream fan, and really hopes that word of Daily Chiko reaches the White House by the time he visits Japan. A presidential visit would really help them and their reasonably priced giant ice creams stay in business for another half a century.

Restaurant information
Daily Chiko / デイリーチコ
Address: Tokyo-to, Nakano-ku, Nakano 5-52-15, Nakano Broadway B1
東京都中野区中野5-52-15 中野ブロードウェイB1
Hours: Noon – 7 p.m.

Photos: ©SoraNews24
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