Translated by Sandy Lau
Excellent Shave Ice! Top 5 Kakigori Shops In Tokyo
Japan's quintessential summer treat is kakigori - shave ice topped with syrup and fruit. We introduce five excellent stores in Tokyo where you can savor this refreshing summer staple.
Written by MATCHA
One of the many summer specialties of Japan is kakigori, a mound of shave ice that is topped with sweet syrup. A refreshing treat like kakigori is perfect on a hot summer day.
Many shops are creative with their shave ice concoctions and you can sample unique flavors and fruit toppings wherever you choose to visit. In this article, we will introduce delicious kakigori specialty shops in Tokyo.
1. Asakusa: Asakusa Naniwaya
Condensed milk and various fruit (limited edition flavor)
In the summer, the most popular dessert is the condensed milk with various fruit kakigori, which is topped with lots of fruit as its name implies. The condensed milk is not too sweet and is recommended for anyone who prefers light natural sweetness. Also true to its name, this kakigori is stacked with an assortment of fruit from top to bottom.
You can choose from more than ten flavors, such as red bean or strawberry and milk. All cost around 1,000 yen each.
2. Omotesando: ICE MONSTER
Almond jelly (annin) kakigori (1,220 yen with tax). Picture courtesy of ICE MONSTER JAPAN
ICE MONSTER is a kakigori shop that originates from Taiwan. It has even been nominated as one of the top ten desserts in the world.
ICE MONSTER's kakigori are distinct in how they shave flavored ice blocks to replicate the taste of real fruit and coffee. The almond jelly (annin) kakigori (1,220 yen with tax) is a limited edition flavor in Japan and tastes as if you are eating a chilled version of the jellied dessert! This is a popular shop that is always filled with people year-round.
3. Roppongi: yelo
Matcha green tea (850 yen with tax)
Yelo is a kakigori shop located in Tokyo's nightlife district of Roppongi. Open from 11:00 to 5:00 in the morning, its operating hours are befitting for this entertainment district that never sleeps.
This time, we ordered the matcha green tea kakigori for 850 yen with tax. The matcha green tea has the delicate flavor of uji-kintoki (*1) blended with rich condensed milk. It also has a nice touch of bitterness that is ideal for those with a refined taste. After a night of eating and drinking in Roppongi, why not indulge in a refreshing bowl of fluffy shaved ice?
*1 Uji-kintoki: kakigori with matcha green tea syrup topped with red bean (kintoki) and shiratama mochi.
4. Asakusa: Asakusa Chakura
The "Gold Medal Matcha Kintoki" made from natural ice (1,280 with tax)
Chakura is a Japanese-style cafe located right by Sensoji Temple in Asakusa. It is a popular shop with a fancy interior where you can eat delectable sweets.
The most popular kakigori is the "Gold Medal Matcha Kintoki" made from natural ice (1,280 with tax). It is not only arranged in a stylish Japanese dish, but also comes topped with a swirl of soft serve ice cream and azuki red bean from Tokachi, Hokkaido.
The best part of Chakura is how everything is homemade. The matcha green tea syrup is especially made from a gold medal awarded green tea while the condensed milk is hand mixed from scratch in the shop.
5. Ningyocho: Morinoen
From “Taste Hojicha Japanese Tea And Sweets At Morinoen In Ningyocho, Tokyo" (Picture courtesy of Morinoen)
Morinoen is a hojicha (roasted green tea) specialty shop located right by Ningyocho Station on the Tokyo Metro Toei Line. On the first floor, you can find Japanese tea leaves, including hojicha, along with hojicha-flavored ice cream. On the second floor, you can eat parfaits infused with the flavor of Japanese tea and traditional Japanese sweets.
The hojicha kakigori (1,609 yen with tax) doused in homemade hojicha syrup is a popular treat in the summer. Upon first glance it may look simple, but there's red bean paste and shiratama mochi hidden inside!
Lastly! For Those Craving Kakigori Elsewhere
If you want to try a new type of shave ice, just look for the nobori (*2) shown in the photo above. This sign indicates that a store serves kakigori. For those who wish to beat the summer heat, why not savor a tasty kakigori in Tokyo?
*2 Nobori: A banner attached to a pole.
Original article writer: Sawada Tomomi
This article has been rewritten from the original that was published on June 22, 2016.