This weird Japanese dessert flushes all the others down the drain. 

If you’re a small business owner who wants customers to travel from far and wide to visit your store, you could always invest in flashy ads or seek out celebrity endorsements. Or, you could do what this owner in Yamanashi’s Kiyosato Kogen did, and enlist the power of poop to help support your business.

▼ Kiyosato Restaurant and Cottage Boku

Kiyosato Kogen is a popular summer resort destination, and in addition to serving meals to customers and providing accommodation, Kiyosato Restaurant and Cottage Boku also sells souvenirs and desserts, one of which is an ice cream called “Ku Soft“.

▼ The sign out the front reads: “The Fabled Ku Soft“.

The innocent-sounding sweet, which incorporates the “ku” from “soft kuriimu” (“soft cream”, Japanese for “soft serve”) in its name, seems no different to any other ice cream at first, but this brightly coloured flag soon makes its difference known.

▼ Is that…poop?

Our reporter Haruka Takagi was travelling through the area when she saw this sign, and she immediately pulled over to find out more about it.

▼ Sure enough, when she looked at the menu on the front door…

▼ …there it was — the Kai ☆ Un “Ku Soft”, for 550 yen!

The poster for the sweet was adorned in adorable little poops, and Haruka realised that what she first thought was a hand-drawn bee on all the signs was actually a fly, swarming around a delicious pile of excrement. The poster alone made her smile so she stepped inside and placed an order for the ice cream with the friendly looking gentleman at the soft serve corner.

It only took about 30 seconds for him to put it all together, and when he handed the ice cream to Haruka, her smile grew even wider.

▼ Look at that poop!

Haruka had never seen a poop quite like it, and making it even more special was the cute image of a fly on the wooden handle.

▼ To top it all off, the ice cream sat in a custom-made container that resembled a Japanese-style squat toilet.

Haruka couldn’t stop laughing at all the fun details, especially the long turd-like karinto brown sugar stick that was jutting out of the soft mound of poop.

▼ Soft and hard poops, together in one bowl.

It was a hefty load, and as the weight of it all began to weigh her arm down, Haruka decided the time had come for her to try her first taste of poo. Dipping her spoon into the toilet bowl, which made it look as if the fly had started buzzing around the turd, Haruka had to look away from the ice cream as she placed the soft brown cream in her mouth.

▼ Mmmmm…would you like a taste?

It was actually really delicious — creamy, soft and chocolatey, which is just how Haruka likes her ice cream. However, things began to get messy as she reached the bottom of the toilet bowl, when she discovered a mound of crunchy cornflakes, and the stains began to appear.

▼ Wonder what reactions this’ll get on the ‘Gram?

Haruka may have made a mess of the bowl, but that’s the whole point here, where the aim of the game is to have fun with your food.

▼ The bowl even comes with a tongue-in-cheek “TOTU” logo instead of “TOTO”, the name of the famous Japanese toilet manufacturer.

After polishing off the last of her turd, Haruka spoke with the owner and his wife to find out the origin story behind the unusual creation. They told her it was actually the brainchild of the former owner, who sold them the site a few years ago.

▼ Looking closely at this sign reveals the name of the former restaurant, “Kitchen Perrruche”, can still be seen at the top.

The ice cream was first created about 20 years ago, and often became a talking point online and with various media outlets. When the current store owners set up shop, the former owner told them that the ice cream had a lot of fans, so there were hopes that they would continue its legacy.

▼ Today, the store that originally sold Ku Soft sits abandoned just behind Boku.

The current owners told Haruka they initially wanted to decline the offer to continue selling the ice cream, seeing as it wasn’t a very elegant product. Plus, they had their hearts set on making their “Fresh Cheese Soft Serve” the signature product instead.

         ▼ The Fresh Cheese Soft Serve is on the menu for 450 yen, and it’s incredibly delicious, like a cheesecake-flavoured ice cream.

However, the owners realised it would be a shame for such a popular product to disappear, and they thought it would be nice to sell something that brought a smile to people’s faces. So they decided to continue selling the turd-like ice cream, and they’re glad they did, as customers who enjoyed the ice cream years ago regularly pop in to buy it, while also telling them how happy they are that they can still purchase it.

 ▼ The owners have now fully embraced the power of poop, filling their souvenir section with all sorts of poo-related merchandise.

The ice cream is no gimmick, as the owners say they make all their ice creams with a great deal of attention to taste. There are many shops in Kiyosato Kogen that serve soft serve ice cream, and they all have different flavours, but no ice cream is quite as memorable as Boku’s poop one. Not only does it catch the eye with its surprising appearance, it’s also said to give you a bit of luck, as it’s listed on the menu as “Kai ☆ Un”, which is a play on the word “unko” (“poop”) and “kaiun” (“better fortune”).

Lucky ice cream that looks like poop is yet another reason to fall in love with Japan, and it’s nice to know the longstanding tradition of making people smile with poop remains alive and well in this rural part of the country. Long live the humble poop, in all its deliciously edible forms!

Store information
Kiyosato Restaurant and Cottage Boku / 清里レストラン&コテージ睦(BOKU)
Address: Yamanashi-ken, Hokuto, Takanechō Kiyosato 3545-2411
山梨県北杜市高根町清里 3545-2411
Hours: 9:30 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
Irregular holidays, please check website for details

Photos © SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]