No trip to the seaside is complete without an ice cream. Just a short stroll off the beach in Niigata by the Marinepia City Aquarium is Gelateria Popolo which served delicious, home-made gelato. They come in three sizes - single, double and triple. There are so many tempting flavors on offer that a single just doesn't seem to be enough.
Gelateria Popolo opens at ten in the morning and stays open until there is no gelato left. With the beach so close I can imagine it is a very popular place in the hot summer months. We were there on a cold, wet autumn day in November and it was still busy. A constant stream of people kept flowing in as we enjoyed our post-aquarium treat.
It is not a very big location, being a small section on the ground floor of a building that also houses a yoga studio and a vegetarian buffet restaurant. The shop itself is little more than a counter and the display of gelato. Out the front is an enclosed deck with a few wicker chairs and some benches. There are a couple of universities nearby and the clientele seemed to be a mix of young students and families coming in from the Aquarium.
The gelato are hand-made and there are a selection of different flavors which change on a daily basis and with the seasonal ingredients. They are beautifully presented and often have bits of fruit or chocolate mixed into the ice cream. I managed to try the milk flavor, the mascapone flavor and the banana choco flavor. All three were amazing but the choice is so good that it was very hard to decide which one to go for. As I said above, a single sometimes is just not enough. The blueberry yogurt, the caramel and the espresso flavor almost made it onto my cone. I'll be heading back next time I am in the area.
It's really high quality gelato and well worth dropping by. The beach, the aquarium and some good eateries are all nearby so this little gelateria would be a great way to finish an enjoyable day in the area.