Speaking of popular Japanese “summer sweets”, shaved ice (kakigori) comes into my mind first. As the hot summer continues, from time to time I feel like treating myself with this heavenly pile of powdery snow to get on going. Recently, convenience stores started selling various kinds of shaved ice, which is great on the go. However, special gourmet shaved ice also exists. If you have never eaten shaved ice (or if you have already eaten a lot of shaved ice) you should try something special next. Here is my list of popular and hidden shops!
365 days of shaved ice pleasure
One of the most centrally located gourmet shaved ice is “KAKIGORI CAFE & BAR yelo” at Roppongi. This shaved ice café offers shaved ice throughout the year. In the afternoon, you (and your kids) can order from the cafe menu. But at night, things get special. After it gets dark, they offer a grown-up version with alcohol. It’s like a „shaved ice cocktail“!
“Yelo” is two minutes walking distance from Roppongi Station (Exit 3). I visited on Saturday and the area around Roppongi station was quite crowded. “Yelo” is located at a back street. After turning the corner, there weren’t any people around – except one spot. There was a crowd of people standing in a line…, well, that’s where “yelo” is.
You may have to wait quite a bit, but you can order shaved ice to go, too! If there is a queue in front of the shop and you do not have much time, you should definitely make a take-out order. I waited.
One hour later, I was finally called inside.
“Yelo” has four types of shaved ice as a regular menu. There is also a “limited-time menu” and a “14-days limited menu”. You won’t get bored, even if you visit many times. I decided to try the shop’s most popular “Tiramisu shaved ice with mascarpone” and the limited menu “Mango lassi shaved ice”. You can also have toppings, like Oreo cookies, rice cakes (shiratama), red beans (azuki), oiri, granola and so on.
I had oiri balls with the mango lassi flavored ice. After I decorated my shaved ice, it looked like a Christmas tree. So cute!
The tiramisu shaved ice tasted like chocolate milk. So good! If you get can’t decide, I think you should choose the 14 days limited shaved ice or the most popular tiramisu flavor one. Both types are quite rare here in Tokyo and I bet, you can only eat it here.
A hidden cafe: exquisite shaved ice surrounded by fashion & miscellaneous goods
Another great cafe is in the fashionable Aoyama area. “COBI COFFEE AOYAMA” is hidden in one corner of the store “Bloom & Branch” that sells fashion and miscellaneous goods. “COBI COFFEE” has various types of coffee, also for take-out.
This cafe has a very unique shaved ice as a regular menu: espresso, kibito sugar and azuki beans cream! I just recently learned that the sweet azuki beans surprisingly taste great with coffee. Of course, I ordered. In addition, there is a monthly flavor produced by a famous “shaved ice expert”. The flavor of July was “apricot and buttermilk.
To enjoy shaved ice in this sophisticated, calm atmosphere is special, and also the taste was delicious. The espresso version was quite strong. This is only for coffee-lovers, who will loooove this! The fruit-based limited flavor wasn’t too sweet. It tasted very natural and nice!
Vegetable shaved ice?!
In addition to the shaved ice cafes I introduced this time, there is also a very cool cafe where you can eat shaved ice with vegetables. (View article) you visited before. If you are in the Azabu-Juban are, why don’t you try this wonderful and healthy treat?
In Japan, shaved ice is a MUST in the hot summer months. In my opinion, you should have at least one shaved ice during your stay in Japan! Which one did you like best? Tell us in the comments what you like!
Roppongi Minato-ku, Tokyo 5-2-11, Patio Roppongi 1 F
OPEN: AM 11: 00 ~ until morning
(Sun, public holidays ~ PM 11: 00)
COBI COFFEE AOYAMA
(shaved ice from June to September)
1-10-5-101 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
9: 00 ~ 20: 00 (weekdays)
10: 00 ~ 20: 00 (Saturday, Sunday and public holidays)
(Shaved ice in summer only)
3-1-5 Azabu Juban, Minato-ku, Tokyo