The idea of eating an ice bar in the middle of winter might seem ridiculous: This is the season for oden and extra warm soup and buying canned coffee from a vending machine to use as an ad hoc hand warmer.

Lawson’s Japan Flavors series of desserts, however, makes this cold-weather gamble worth it. The series debuted back in summer with a handful of citrus-flavored ice bars, and now the convenience store chain has rolled out two new varieties for winter in the form of grape and strawberry ice pops (each ¥185 after tax).

Both flavors hit the spot when it comes to taste, with the grape being my personal pick thanks to the slightly less sweet taste. What really makes both work is that they aren’t hard like your typical popsicle offering, but soft enough to just bite into right away. They’re also frozen at slightly cooler temperatures, making the treat a far more reasonable prospect to enjoy now that temperatures are in the single digits.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

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