One of the summer traditions in Japan is “shaved ice” (kakigori). It is a delicious dessert made out of ground-up, powdery ice with a topping. Japanese shaved ice has a long tradition. You can even find descriptions of the summerly treat in books like “The Pillow Book” written by Sei Shōnagon in the Heian period around 1002.
Cafes offering kakigori often have a flag outside the store blowing in the wind with the Chinese character for “ice” (氷) on it. When you spot the flag somewhere in the city, you feel as if it is waving at you. “Come here! Get a cold treat!” … and then you HAVE to go inside.
Eat your veggies – have them as dessert!
“Azabu Yasai Gashi” is a vegetable confectionery store facing the main street passing the popular Azabu-Juban area. It’s a fashionable store with a small cafe in one corner.
During the hot summer period, the cafe offers a big variety of shaved ice with vegetable toppings such as tomato, spinach, and avocado. Like me, you might ask yourself; “Tomatoes on ice? Is that really delicious?” But the sweetness of the mini tomatoes tastes more like a fruit rather than a vegetable. It’s incredible!
A mixture of pumpkin with condensed milk and cream cheese sauce enhances the taste of fresh pumpkin on the delicate shaved ice, which melts at the moment you put it in your mouth.
If vegetables in a dessert aren’t your thing, try the shaved ice with “Banbara Tea”. Which is a roasted tea with a kind of coffee-like taste. To add some sweetness, this shaved ice variation comes with a brown sugar sauce and a kinako and adzuki bean topping which is the perfect “combination of typical Japanese flavors”.
Besides the amazing shaved ice creations, there are many other seasonal dishes you should try, such as “mizu manju” (jelly sweets). Which is a new creation by the cafe owner. Once you have been to “Azabu Yasai Gashi” there is no doubt that you will want to go there again and again.
Fluffy shaved ice in a cafe dedicated to all dog lovers!
“DOG DEPT CAFE” is a recommendation for all for dog lovers out there. This store is a mixture of shop specialized in dog goods and a cafe space where dogs are also welcome. If you have a furry friend yourself, you might find a gift for them there.
The cafe has everything you want for a nice lunch close to the beach. But my mission is clear- I’m here for the shaved ice!
The shaved ice that can be eaten here is the so-called “snow ice” type. The difference between Japanese kakigori and this type is, that “snow ice” has already a flavor (like vanilla) mixed into the ice before it is shaved off the ice block. This creates a rich taste that is lighter and fluffier than your usual ice cream. Add some fruits as a topping – done!
They have three kinds of snow ice: ‘Peach & Mango’, ‘Berry Mix’ and ‘Matcha Red Bean’. The taste of the snow ice wasn’t too sweet. It was very creamy and tasty.
With the beach just around the corner, the location is top! If you are in the area, check it out!
Azabu Yasai Gashi
3-1-5 Azabu-juban, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Business hours 11: 00-19: 30
Closed on holidays and every Tuesday
80m from Azabu-juban station (Exit 1), Tokyo Metro Namboku Line and Oedo Line
DOG DEPT CAFE Odaiba Tokyo Beach Store
1 F DECKS Tokyo Beach, 1-6-1 Daiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: [Monday – Friday] 11: 00 ~ 21: 00 (L.O. 20: 00)
[Saturday, Sunday and public holidays] 11: 00 ~ 21: 00 (L.O. 20: 30)