The Zou-No-Hana-Cafe (Elephant Nose Cafe) in Elephant Nose Park by Yokohama Bay, Japan may at first just seem like another quirky gimmick, but there's a lot more to it than meets the eye.

The soft serve ice cream looks like an elephant, with the long nose sticking out of the waffle cone. There are elephant cakes, scones and cookies. You can buy elephant nose mineral water. There's special Valentine's Day elephant sweets. On Saturday you can get elephant bread and raisin and walnut filled elephant dung (scone). If you're hungry, you can order an elephant curry and have an elephant nose beer to wash it down. So what is it with this place, anyway? A mammoth replica in the cafe? Why the obsession with elephant noses?

The Elephant Nose Cafe is part of Elephant Nose Park, right by Yokohama Bay. It was named Elephant Nose Park because it was thought that the shape of the park resembles the shape of an elephant nose. Yokohama, because of its location, has historically been a place where many from foreign lands came to visit. It was, and still is for that matter, a very international and inclusive city. To keep with that spirit, the cafe is part of a bigger vision. It all started in 1854, when Commodore Matthew Perry set foot in the park when he returned to Japan and arrived in Yokohama. After he left, Japan agreed to open up to the West, after being in isolation for over 200 years. And now there is a performance art space and a terrace. And in that terrace is the cafe.

"The Elephant Nose Cafe is a place to celebrate diversity and culture, where people from all walks of life can meet and create a new and better world for the future," it says in the terrace.

Elephant Nose Cafe:

Elephant Soft Serve:

Elephant Bread and Scone:

Elephant Curry:

Elephant roll cake:

Elephant Nose Park: