- Cafe / cream soda / ice cream soda / kissaten / retro revival / Showa nostalgia / Sweets / tsunekawa / Umbrella / Wpc.
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Japanese "Cream Soda Craftsman" tsunekawa
Some of our readers may remember tsunekawa from our recent article in which we introduced the self-professed Japanese "cream soda craftsman" and his tasty ice cream soda recipes and concoctions, beautifully crafted and often masterly photographed in compositions blending them in with surrounding scenery.
Ice cream sodas are popular again
As part of the retro-revival trend in Japan which brings back or takes inspiration from food, fashion, design, and music of the Showa era, there's been a renewed interest in クリームソーダ kurīmu sōda, old-fashioned ice cream sodas (ice cream floats) served in the once-prevalent neighborhood 喫茶 kissa coffee shops and still found in some restaurants and coffee chains.
Whether it's the standard Japanese variety using green melon-flavored soda like the one shown below, or more recent variations using blue soda (citrus or other fruit flavors), pink soda (usually strawberry), or other varieties, what they usually have in common is that they contain a scoop of vanilla ice cream and come with a maraschino cherry.
A traditional "cream soda" at the Komeda's Coffee chain. | Totti, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Tabi Suru Kissa umbrellas from Wpc.
Tsunekawa has now collaborated with Japanese fashion brand Wpc. on a cute lineup of umbrellas sure to brighten up your rainy days!
The concept of the series invites you to imagine taking a journey on a cloudy day. You take shelter in a small kissa to escape from a sudden downpour that dampens your mood but then you order a nostalgic item from the menu. Realizing how your world becomes more colorful when viewed through the effervescent filter of a kurīmu sōda glass, your spirits lift like a scoop of ice cream in a soda float, and you continue on your journey with a spring in your step and a sparkle in your eye.
The concept is inspired by tsunekawa's cafe and concept entitled 旅する喫茶 Tabi Suru Kissa (literally, traveling kissa), in which he travels all over Japan, creating original cream sodas and capturing them in photos along the way.
The umbrellas, which come in three colors and two formats, full-length and folding, express the Tabi Suru Kissa concept by incorporating the buoyant mood and uplifting colors of tsunekawa's photography into their design.
The images of ice cream sodas in glasses are printed on transparent matte vinyl panels and the full-length umbrella's rounded handle has an ice cream motif. Just like a real kurīmu sōda, the umbrellas also come with a cute Maraschino cherry charm!
The green, blue and pink color variations are respectively called 新緑のクリームソーダ (fresh verdure kurīmu sōda), 青空のクリームソーダ (blue skies kurīmu sōda), and 夕焼け空のクリームソーダ (sunset skies kurīmu sōda).
Price and ordering information
A kurīmu sōda craftsman who travels throughout Japan, tsunekawa is the owner of the Tabi Suru Kissa cafe and a fashion designer. His collection of essays, 「旅するクリームソーダ」tabi suru kurīmu sōda (officially subtitled in English as "Traveling Cream Soda") which includes cream soda recipes and beautiful images from his travels, has become a topic of conversation. You can purchase it on Amazon.co.jp here.
If you'd like to explore tsunekawa's world of ice cream sodas and travels, follow him on Twitter and subscribe to his YouTube channel. You can also admire his fashion creations here.