- 3 min read

Copio Gelato Shop in Ushimado

Handmade gelato shop selling local flavors of Okayama

On a warm spring day I made an appointment to meet the owner of Ushimado Gelato Shop called Copio.It is located just down from the Olive Garden and across the road from the International Villa, etched into the hillside looking over Ushimado and the Seto Inland Sea. The view alone will make you want to travel the distance, but if you happen to be a gelato lover you will have to try Copio Gelato.

Interviewing the owner, I was able to learn his story. Ushimado is his hometown where his family has been involved in farming for many generations. As a young man he would get up to milk his cows and then go to work in the fields. He said that it only seemed logical that after time he would become interested in taking his raw ingredients and turning them into other things, which of course brings us back to his new side business and delicious venture, Copio Gelato Shop.

He makes the gelato every day using his own milk with other locally made products. On the day I visited there were 12 different flavors available. The locally inspired flavors include Okayama peach liqueur, which is made down the hill at an Ushimado sake company. Another locally inspired flavor is olive which pays homage to the Olive garden which dominates the landscape around Ushimado. Other flavors include grape, green tea (macha), milk, watermelon, chocolate, pumpkin, and I expect that as Copio grows in fame as a location to visit in Ushimado you will probably see some unique Japanese flavors like wasabi (Japanese horseradish), daikon (Japanese white radish) and whatever fancy Copio decides to try.

On this day I tried milk, but as I sat outside in the hot afternoon sun I found I could not eat the gelato fast enough and, just like my children, some of the gelato ended up on my clothing. I was glad to have made this appointment and to have eaten the gelato and admired the sea view. My only real disappointment was that I have to be honest and say the gelato was not the best I have ever eaten. The flavor was a bit too light compared to other gelato I had eaten that seemed much richer and deeper in flavor. I asked members in my group who were Japanese what they thought and they loved it, but it was mentioned that Japanese do prefer a lighter flavor. So to end this story, you will have to come to Okayama and Ushimado to find out for yourself if this gelato is thumbs up or just OK.

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