A few weeks ago, I shared a full write-up of our #Hokkaido2018 trip – STUNNING HOKKAIDO: Experiencing the Best of Winter in Niseko, Sapporo, Sounkyo, Biei, & Lake Shikotsu (Hokkaido Travel & Budget Guide).
In that travel narrative and a social media post, I enthusiastically shared a story of accidentally experiencing the best ice cream we’ve ever had!
If you missed it, here is our BEST MILK ICE CREAM EVER! story:
After 1.5 hours from Herb Hill Furano, our bus stopped for a bathroom/rest break.
My mom and I decided to buy ice cream at the outlet nearby because Tomo, our tour guide, recommended it. We immediately found an ice cream shop and ordered the 2 flavor swirl. After tasting it, we thought it was just okay.
After a few seconds, my mom noticed our other tour mates coming from around the corner holding different ice cream cones and cups. We then realized that we bought from the WRONG ice cream shop! GRRRRRR! Both cones even had the same price!
Just to be sure, we bought one from where our tour mates got theirs.
AND OH WOW! THAT WAS THE BEST ICE CREAM WE EVER TASTED! It didn’t compare to any of the other ice cream products we tried during our whole Hokkaido trip. If we could go back to that rest stop, WE WOULD! SOBRANG YUMMY OMG! When the cream hits your tongue and you get that first taste, it’s a splash of YUMMY-NESS! QUALITY luxury milk! #FOODGASM
NAKAKAIYAK SA SARAP! We never got to taste ice cream as good as that for the rest of our trip! HUHUHUHU!
I checked our Hokkaido photos and zoomed in on our images with the ice cream & YAY! I got to capture the brand. Barely!
When in Hokkaido, find North Plain Farm Ice Cream 100% Pure Hokkaido Milk! Ice cream cone rates start at ¥300 (₱145).
On both my trips to Hokkaido, I’ve tried quite a few Hokkaido ice cream products (and generally, milk ice cream products in Japan) and not one of them came close to the heavenly creaminess and sweetness of North Plain Farm’s! Not one!
BEST ICE CREAM EVER!
After writing about it and finding North Plain Farm’s contact online, I emailed them and inquired what locations in Japan served the ice cream so that I would be able to share it on social media and the article.
While browsing through their website, I found out that they sell more than just ice cream and imagined if the soft serve was THAT good, what more their other products, right?
Since my sister and I had a recent trip to Japan, it was the best opportunity to try other products from North Plain Farm and maybe that heavenly ice cream again?
NORTH PLAIN FARM (NPF) IN HOKKAIDO, JAPAN
Established in 1984, North Plain Farm is an award-winning company that is in the business of dairy & grass farming and the production & sale of milk, dairy products, & confectionery.
Product range includes milk, cheese, cakes, butter, meats, and many more. From 1998 to 2018, North Plain Farm has won awards for their yogurt, milk, cheese, and cakes.
Why are North Plain Farm’s dairy products so gooooood? In summer, the weather in Hokkaido is just right for cows to have an excellent appetite. The cows then get to eat a lot of organic grass which keep them very healthy. During production, milk is pasteurized and not homogenized (Source: Sierra Farmer).
FOOD HAUL + TASTE TEST + REVIEW!
North Plain Farm provided me the opportunity to taste test some of their products. Here’s a food haul and my first impressions (with a bit of feedback from my family) of their products.
NATURAL CHEESE 80g – SMOKED (¥620 or ₱300) & GOUDA (¥600 or ₱290)
My mom recently had a trip to Europe and she came home bearing gifts of cheese. These cheeses from NPF reminded me of them. It’s just so fresh and creamy.
You’d know the difference from local cheese products because there’s no after taste of preservative-like ingredients. It’s like the cheese was just made and immediately served.
My mom and middle sister liked the smoked one while my youngest sister and I preferred the Gouda variety more because we felt it was creamier. We ate this with toast and strawberry jam. We even cut it into small pieces and ate them like chips. Super creamy chips? HAHAHA!
The smoked cheese had the right amount of smokiness to it without overpowering the overall taste of the cheese too much which I find a bit unappealing in a few cheese products I’ve tried.
I wanted to try this on pasta but we all had it for breakfast for the past few days so of course, it was gone in a snap!
UNSALTED BUTTER (¥972 or ₱469)
What is it with Hokkaido butter products?
WHY ARE THEY SO FREAKIN’ AMAZING?
If you’ve read my previous Hokkaido articles, you would know that I had the chance to taste the best butter I’ve ever tried in my life so far at Ki Niseko’s An Dining for breakfast!
North Plain Farm’s unsalted butter comes in close second! IT IS SOOO GOOD!
NPF’s unsalted butter was a big hit when we had breakfast as a family. This was everyone’s favorite!
It’s like a cross of good butter, cheese, and whipped cream. The consistency is just so soft and creamy that the mouth feel of it is just divine! We spread this butter on toast and topped it with NPF’s cheeses or strawberry jam!
The butter balances the sweetness of the jam and smokiness of the toast with its texture and taste. Man, that’s amazing butter!
During our next trip to Japan, we will definitely purchase a stock of this at NPF’s outlet stores. It’s just been 2 days since we opened this and it’s already halfway done. HUHUHUHUHU!
If you’re in Osaka, you can easily purchase this butter (also milk & cheeses) at Mercato Piccolo at Yodoyobashi Odona. Once you alight at Yodoyobasi station, you’ll immediately find doors to the mall. Please note that this store is different from the Mercato Piccolo indicated in the NPF locations & outlets below.
Find Mercato Piccolo and check out NPF products at the chilled section. Please also note that there is no North Plain Farm milk (soft) ice cream here!
OKKOPE BUTTER CREAM CAKE HOKKAIDO (¥378 or ₱182)
I really thought this would be comparable to the Hokkaido cake that French Baker used to sell some years ago. I was excited because I really loved that cake. Too bad that they stopped selling it!
One of NPF’s popular products, the rice cream cake can be comparable to a mamon with thick cream filling. It’s not whipped cream, it’s actually butter cream.
My sister liked this one while I found the cream too thick. It was like a stick of hardened butter with every bite which I didn’t prefer. It was creamy though and the texture of it was smooth once it melted in your mouth.
FERMENTED BUTTER CAKE (¥270 or ₱130)
I LOVE THIS! It’s the best butter cake I’ve ever tried! It’s not too buttery, the taste is just right! The moistness and chewiness of the cake is perfect! It leaves you wanting more after each bite.
It seems like a casual cake you would eat on the go but the taste of it is like eating dessert at a fancy restaurant! It’s a leveled up pastry or cupcake! I really love this fermented butter cake!
FARM COOKIE – ALMOND & OATMEAL (¥432 or ₱209)
NPF’s farm cookies are a healthy variety of the pastry favorite. With its consistency and presentation, it screams healthy (fat-free) which I feel cookies aren’t supposed to be! HAHAHAHA! Cookies are supposed to be cookies! But I loved the almond one!
I like how it crumbles just right in my mouth as opposed to other crumbly cookie products which explodes in your mouth and makes it feel like powder which you just want to gag and throw up. The taste had that hint of healthiness to it but the almond and cocoa definitely left a satisfying whim for my sweet tooth.
I didn’t like the oatmeal farm cookie. It was too bland for me.
If you’re a health nut but want to be satisfied, go for the almond cookie!
ORGANIC MILK 180ml (¥281 or ₱136) & 900ml (¥756 or ₱365)
And now, for one of the products I was most excited for – NPF’s ORGANIC MILK! I highly anticipated for this one as this is the ingredient for the BEST ICE CREAM I’VE EVER TRIED! Since we didn’t get to try the soft serve during our recent trip, this was a great alternative – being able to eat the source, right?
Hokkaido milk is said to be plain and simple – it is milk in its purest form. And I feel NPF’s milk holds true to that! It’s what milk should be. It’s what milk is supposed to be – FRESH.
People usually say, Simple is Best. And feel that this greatly applies to this milk. What makes it so grand is its simplicity. One of the best milk products we’ve ever tried!
Since we arrived in the Philippines, my mom has been taking sips of this milk every morning before her errands, work, and activities for the day.
We used this on cereal, made French toast, and just drank it in a glass with NPF’s farm cookies and cakes. It has the right amount of creaminess and no overpowering after taste. After that first gulp, it’s a fresh relief!
ORGANIC SUGARLESS YOGURT 150g (¥248 or ₱120) & DRINK YOGURT 180ml (¥302 or ₱146)
When I was in college, there was a hoopla for yogurt as it was the ‘healthier’ option. I got to try some shops but most were too sour for my taste until I discovered Red Mango. It was yogurt but creamy and had just the amount of tanginess that I preferred. I feel that NPF’s yogurt products are comparable to Red Mango’s.
It was really a surprise that I liked the drink yogurt more than the organic milk. It was so creamy and tasteful that my sister and I couldn’t stop drinking the bottle. It was soooooo good!
No wonder this has been recently awarded in Japan. I would definitely want a soft serve of that drink yogurt! It does have hints and taste of the organic milk so that’s why I love this too! The yogurt ingredients amped it up and gave it that oomph factor!
I tried the sugarless yogurt with granola and it really complimented each other well. The sweetness of the granola was just perfect for the yogurt. It’s a great breakfast option to start the day!
Because of the organic milk & yogurt varieties, I REALLY WISH I HAD AN ICE CREAM OR SOFT SERVE MACHINE!
Instead, we settled for ice candies. When we were younger, our grandmother always used to make ice candies for us made of coconut or melon. It was a refreshing snack during a very hot summer day.
Since we had the ice candy plastics, we decided to make ice candies out of the organic milk, drink yogurt, and sugarless yogurt. I’m glad we did this because they are super yummy! The ice candies tasted so fresh because of the milk and provided cold relief for the hot day! North Plain Farm SOFT SERVE ICE CREAM, I’ll have you next time!
ONLINE SHOP & ORDERS
North Plain Farm’s locations are a bit far from tourist destinations like Sapporo, Osaka, or Tokyo. So it would be a bit difficult to visit the stores unless your itinerary points are nearby. You can also choose to visit their outlets in Osaka and Tokyo if you have time to deviate from the touristy path. You can also inquire if they have special booths at food fairs during your trip that may be close to tourist destinations.
Although NPF does not ship their products overseas, they do ship all over Japan so when you get the chance to visit, you can just order through their website and have the products delivered to your accommodation.
In our case, since our itinerary included stays at Kansai Airport’s Hotel Nikko because of our consecutive Manila – Osaka – Okinawa & vice versa flights with Jetstar, we had the NPF package delivered there.
Just make sure to inform your accommodation before your trip about the delivery. Our hotel was also able to refrigerate the items until our check-in.
You can contact North Plain Farm and inquire for delivery and payment options if you’re having a hard time navigating their Japanese website.
For browsing the website, just translate the page and most of the written text will change to English. There are lots of photos so you can be aware of the products that NPF currently sells.
Their customer service is very responsive so you won’t have a problem with your queries. You can also view product pages with descriptions and reviews.
NORTH PLAIN FARM OR MILK CRAFT CREAM?
Before my sister and I embarked on our recent Japan trip, our cousins visited Osaka before us and recommended ice cream from Milk Craft Cream. They said it was one of the best ice creams they’ve tasted. When I found out that the milk was made from Hokkaido, I quickly browsed the internet to check if it was the same milk from NPF.
Unfortunately, it was not. NPF’s milk is produced in Okkope while Milk Craft Cream’s is sourced from the Kushiro Subprefecture.
The locations are around 5-6 hours away from each other by car.
Based on online reviews, Milk Craft Cream is very popular among locals in Tokyo and Osaka. Intrigued, my sister and I visited the branch at Namba City in Osaka. When we arrived, there was one long line at the counter and another long line at a corridor nearby. My sister and I thought, this better be worth it!
We waited for around 20 minutes before it was our turn at the cash counter.
Milk Craft Cream’s Hokkaido Ice Cream Cone is ¥500 or ₱240. I ordered the cone while my sister had the ¥600 or ₱290 Shake & Whipped Cream.
My sister tried hers first and she was in awe! She was so happy that she tasted the best milk product she’s ever had! After her reaction, I tasted my ice cream cone. It was fresh & really good!
But I gotta say, NPF’s soft serve has ruined all other ice cream cones for me. Milk Craft Cream’s ice cream didn’t make me feel the same way that I did when I first tasted NPF’s soft serve in Hokkaido last January.
Don’t get me wrong, they are both VERY GOOD but I find NPF’s ¥300 or ₱145 soft serve to be better! I just remember it being tastier, creamier, and more heavenly.
NORTH PLAIN FARM LOCATIONS & OUTLETS IN JAPAN:
- [Directly managed store] Milk Hall – 5 hours away from Sapporo
- [Sister Store] Esperio – 3 hours away from Sapporo & 30 mins away from Asahimaya Zoo
- [Sister Store] Milk Stand Esperio – Asahikawa Airport
- [Sister Store] Milk Kitchen Furaipan – this is the shop we visited during the Japanican Tour.
- [Sister Store] Ryokuen – 1 hour train away from Tokyo
- [Sister Store] Gyu-sya – 2 hour train away from Tokyo
- Jam & Natural Food Mercato Piccolo Sakaisuji Minamisenba Osaka – 3 blocks away from Nagahoribash Monument Station
- D&Department Kyoto – 10 minute train away from Kyoto station & 5 minute walk from Shijo Station
The soft serve (BEST MILK ICE CREAM EVER!) is available at all these locations.
Check out North Plain Farm Today!
For more information on North Plain Farm Hokkaido, visit northplainfarm.co.jp or inquire at email@example.com
You can also check out North Plain Farm’s social media accounts:
Please note that prices may vary depending on exchange rate. As of July 2018, ¥1 = ₱0.48
This is a sponsored write-up. My experiences with these food products may or may not be the same as yours. All opinions are inspired by my experiences (with a bit of feedback from my family) & nothing else.