Kakigori is a Japanese dessert made using finely shaved ice and topped with a deliciously sweet syrup. If you ask almost any Japanese person, no actually any Japanese person really what season they associate kakigori with, then they are certain to answer Summer!” Allow me to explain why kakigori is considered such a standard dessert during summer. To give you an example, if you look inside the kitchens of many families with children, you’d see that many of them own a kakigori machine and make use of it regularly during the summer months. And at basically any summer festival, you’re guaranteed to see a stall selling it, with people wearing yukata eating kakigori a clear symbol of summer in Japan. It’s hard to associate kakigori with other months outside of summer, yet there’s one store that offers it year-round in Roppongi, in Tokyo. The store is called yelo.
Our reporter Alisa Urahama (from Tokyo Girl's Update) visited that store, and upon our visit we were delighted by the stylish, red exterior that was supported by an easily recognizable flag with the kanji “氷(Ice)”.
After descending down a flight of stairs, we were faced with a wooden door. As we opened the door, it was as though we had just stepped into what looked like a bar. The store was so stylish we couldn’t help but wonder “Will we really be served with kakigori here?”
First, Alisa took a seat and accepted a menu from one of the restaurant staff. Not only was the store’s layout stylish, but even the menu had a very interesting fan design.
From a menu of approximately 10 different kakigori, Alisa chose to order the recently added “Pastels” flavor.
The “Pastels” flavored kakigori is inspired by Kagawa’s legendary confectionery “Oiri” and as its name suggests, is shaved ice topped with a cute pastel colored topping of rose and vanilla flavored syrup!
“Let’s dig in!” Alisa said with excitement as she took her first bite!
“Mmm.. Delicious!”, she said with a big smile of satisfaction on her face. The kakigori mountain slowly began to dissolve as she took more and more bites.
And then suddenly it hit her! If this was any normal, run-of-the-mill kakigori and she consumed as much kakigori in as short a time a she did, she would’ve been smacked with a brain freeze, yet for some reason she didn’t have one after eating so much! The secret to this, appears to be hidden in the ice! It’s only common sense to think that ice is extremely cold but at yelo, they use ice that isn’t as cold as ordinary ice. Now on to the fluffy taste sensation that yelo’s kakigori gives us! In order to create kakigori that instigates this sensation, the staff at yelo make use of air while shaving the ice.
In addition, after 5pm, the store begins to serve alcohol, and even offers kakigori that contains alcohol. Here we have kakigori topped with Kahlua milk! It feels like a very mature dessert!
And on top of that, you’re even provided with unlimited amounts of green rooibos tea! With free wifi and a comfortable atmosphere, you’ll find yourself staying for a long time for sure!
If you happen to be in Roppongi, be sure to stop by! Just look for this flag!
OpenRice recommends "Kakigori" shops in Tokyo🍧
Himitsudo specialises in kakigori shaved-ice desserts, prepared with a traditional handle-operated machine and served with one of 132 ‘secret’ seasonal toppings (the selection changes daily).If you're going during the summer, be warned that the shop is extremely popular, and on busy days customers can expected to be allocated a numbered ticket for entry.
Shimokita Chaen Oyama
The specialty of Japanese green tea, "Shimokita Chaen Oyama" has a tea room and cafe upstairs where you can enjoy Kakigori, a shaved ice dessert with syrup. The syrup itself comes in three flavors; Matcha (green tea), Hojicha (roasted green tea) and Matcha Azuki (red beans).