- Bullet Trains / Ice Cream / Shinkansen / Vending Machines
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If you've ever traveled by shinkansen, or bullet train, in Japan, you may have had the pleasure of ordering from the food cart (particularly on the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen, Tohoku Shinkansen, and Hokuriku Shinkansen) for a refreshing beverage or snack. One of the most popular items from the cart menu is Sujahta Ice Cream. Served super cold, the refreshing cup ice cream has earned a lot of rave reviews as the perfect bullet train dessert, especially during the summer.
However, it's usually referred to by its nickname--"too hard ice cream", and that's because, well, it's super hard!
(c) grape Japan
The delicious ice cream cups are kept and served incredibly cold, which means you have to do some extra hard digging with the plastic spoon that accompanies them (or carry a nifty heat-conducting spoon), wait a while for it to thaw, or employ a popular commuter lifehack of resting on top of a hot coffee.
The train-exclusive cups are likely served so cold out of consideration for those with long commutes who want to leisurely enjoy their ice cream, but it can be a bit of an obstacle for those traveling a shorter distance or simply want to dig into their ice cream right away.
Commuters can take a little more time to figure out their strategy there, and perhaps at home, as the super hard and tasty ice cream has come to vending machines, much to the delight of its many fans online.
The vending machines are installed on the Tokaido Shinkansen platforms at Tokyo Station near car number 2 on platforms 14 and 15, as well as car number 6 on platforms 16 and 17. Five flavors (vanilla, green tea, pistachio, mocha, and strawberry) are currently available from the vending machines at all hours. Ice cream fans will want to be careful when purchasing as the machines don't accept cash payments.
Although limited to the platform, the announcement was met with a lot of excitement from those who have always wanted to buy the cups for use at home when leaving, or simply eat them outside of the shinkansen.