7 Places to Go for Kakigori in Tokyo
Beat Tokyo's summer heat with a bowl of shaved ice
· 44 min read
Shaved ice is a common food item across many Asian destinations, each with its own unique character — Singapore and Malaysia have ice kacang, Korea has bingsu, Taiwan has cua bing, and Japan has Kakigori. Whether it's during summer where the heat can get very intense, or during winter where it gets cold, there is really never a bad time for a bowl of shaved ice. And if you are visiting Tokyo this summer, this list of best places for Kakigori is probably going to come in very useful.
This café in Ginza is best known for its ginger syrups and fruit confitures, which are ingeniously combined in their delightful shaved ice creations. The kakigori menu, available all year round, offers shaved ice generously adorned with homemade ginger milk, accompanied by a jar of delectable confiture in flavors such as kiwi or strawberry.
Situated in Setagaya, this enchanting shop mesmerizes patrons with its exceptional use of natural ice sourced from Nikko in Tochigi. The menu boasts an array of kakigori flavors, ranging from beloved classics like strawberry, milk, and matcha. However, the star of the show is undoubtedly the highly sought-after yam and milk kakigori. Additionally, the shop regularly introduces seasonal flavors that feature unconventional ingredients, resulting in a delightful fusion of unique and unexpected tastes.
If you're looking for a hidden gem tucked away in the backstreets of Tokyo, Himitsudo is the place to be. This unassuming shop offers a wide range of seasonal flavours, from traditional favorites like strawberry and matcha to unique creations like pumpkin cream and sweet corn. Himitsudo's flavours vary from day to day, so you will be in for a surprise when you visit! Do note that the shop is very popular, so you might need to head down early to get a queue number.
Darumaya is a shop that sells a variety of traditional Japanese sweets, and kakigori is one of the items on their menu. They don't have as extensive or innovative a menu for the kakigori flavors, with the flavors being mostly ujicha or hojicha based, but they sure do go back to the basics of Japanese dessert. Be sure to top your ujicha-flavored kakigori with some Azuki beans, because really, what better combination than the good green tea with red bean?
Asakusa Naniwaya is a Taiyaki shop that also sells kakigori (and yakisoba). Unlike most kakigori shops where the flavors and toppings are poured all over the entire bowl of ice, the toppings here are mostly concentrated at the top of the shaved ice — forming a visual which depicts the sunrise atop Mt. Fuji. You can expect to find the traditional flavors of ujicha, hojicha, and milk here.
Initially available only as a seasonal treat in the upstairs soba shop, the kakigori at this Sakura-Shinmachi establishment quickly gained immense popularity — one of the reasons being the Instagrammable plating attributed to the cute little details that are added to the kakigori. In response to the overwhelming demand, Yukiusagi is now a shop that is dedicated to serving their exquisite deluxe shaved ice creations. Their menu showcases innovative flavor pairings, such as salted caramel granola and strawberry fromage.
For those seeking a modern twist on kakigori, Yelo is the place to go. The menu is filled with exciting flavor combinations that push the boundaries of traditional shaved ice, offering flavors like avocado, honey lemon, and hydrangea. The presentation is Instagram-worthy, with vibrant colors and carefully placed toppings.