Tucked away behind a counter on the first basement floor of renowned manga, anime and action figure haven Nakano Broadway is Daily Choco, a simple soft serve ice cream joint.
It is more than just a place for Nakano’s many college students and subculture geeks to take a few licks against the summer heat. Daily Choco is home of the comically-oversized Tokudai Soft Cream, an eight-flavor behemoth that rises 20 centimeters off the rim of the fragile cone beneath it and costs but 390 yen.
In Building a Tokudai, watch the Daily Choco staff member expertly wrap vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, mocha, musk melon, banana, peppermint, and pineapple Calpis soft serve ice cream above the cone in perfect spirals. First, she empties any remaining soft serve out of all the nozzles, presumably because air could then make it into the soft serve and compromise the integrity of the structure she is about to build.
She then bounces around from nozzle to nozzle, adding flavor after flavor to the Tokudai Soft Cream. It appears that the order is influenced by the hardness of each flavor. Finally, she proudly hands the monster over to the customer, issuing a warning not to tip it to the side because it will fall over.
Daily Choco does not have tables or chairs, so there are many people standing around the counter devouring their tremendous towers of soft serve before they melt. The soft serve is plenty cold and melts more slowly than it appears it might. The eight tastes are all distinct at the outset, but they tend to run together after many licks.
The shop does sell small- and medium-sized portions, but the challenge of the Tokudai is too tempting and too much of a bargain for most to pass up.
Location: B1F Nakano Broadway, 5-52-15 Nakano, Nakano-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 10:00 to 22:00 every day
(Pictures = RocketNews)