Frozen yogurt is taking off in Tokyo as a healthy alternative to ice cream in an effort to beat the heat. Made from milk instead of cream, frozen yogurt packs far less fat and more nutrients. Woodberry’s (1-4-1 Kichijoji-minamicho, Musashino-shi; 0422-48-3315; woodberrys.co.jp) uses freshly homemade fermented yogurt and fruits straigh from the farm. A limited-edition passion fruit flavor — shipped from Fukuoka — is available until May 7. There are other flavors to choose from made with local or organic produce such as avocado, yuzu and Ehime Prefecture lemons.
At Partyland, which has a branch in Shibuya (13-4 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku; 03-6416-5900; www.partyland.co.jp) you can add a personal touch to your frozen yogurt with toppings such as brownie, fresh strawberries, nuts and bananas. Unlike Woodberry’s, there’s no set price and amount. You can weigh down your cup with as much frozen yogurt as you desire as long as you’re willing to pay extra. Also, Partyland has branches across Japan; check the website for details.
Menchie’s, which is attached to Bicqlo Shinjuku (3-29-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku; 03-6273-1858; www.menchies.com) offers a similar setup to Partyland. You can choose from frozen yogurt flavors including vanilla and chocolate, and there are plenty of syrups and fruits available to create a masterpiece. The frozen yogurt has the consistency and taste of soft-serve ice cream, but the company claims they use milk from cows that haven’t been treated with artificial growth hormones, and that no high-fructose corn syrup is used in its products. There are also gluten-free and vegan options, and the entire brand is kosher certified. It’s one of those rare sweet shops in Tokyo that accommodates various dietary restrictions. Those in Hokkaido can visit the Sapporo branch (9-2-20 Higashi, Higashi-ku; 011-721-7888).