Yokohama is in Kanagawa prefecture and is just about an hour or so from Tokyo by train. By the port in Yokohama’s Minato Mirai area, there is a small cafe with a signature ice cream shaped like an elephant’s trunk called Zou-no-Hana Terrace. This is one of the most popular places to relax when you visit Yokohama.
All around you will see cute blue elephants. The cafe also has elephant-inspired items that you can buy as souvenirs.
Although known for its cute ice cream, the store has a classy feel.
You might think the inspiration behind this shape is simple but actually it has a deeper meaning.
Yokohama was one of the first trading ports that opened in Japan in 1859 under the Treaty of Amity and Commerce between the United States and Japan. The influence of this port city on Japanese culture is immense. Aspects of Western culture seeped into Japan through ports; the port of Yokohama was one of the most important ones along with those in Nagasaki.
The East Wharf was constructed in 1867 and resembled a bow-shape. It came to be called “Zou-no-Hana” meaning elephant’s trunk in Japanese.
On reading this handwritten sign inside the store, we also realized that the wharf was damaged and rebuilt several times. With the expansion of imports and exports, the port also expanded. After the Kanto earthquake in 1923, the East Wharf was rebuilt in a linear shape but over the years, the curved shape was restored.
If you sit outdoors, you can enjoy a cool breeze as you enjoy the delicious creamy soft serve in the summer heat.
How about adding this to your itinerary when you visit Yokohama?
Address: 1-1 Kaigan-dori, Naka-ku, Yokahama, Kanagawa
Business hours: 10:00－18:00
Official Website: http://www.zounohana.com/