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Cool off with some shaved ice (a.k.a. kakigori)

Whether it’s during steamy hot summer season, or a sunny autumn day, kakigori is an all-time favorite sweet delight that should be on all dessert lovers’ must-eat list.

From classic red bean or kinako to seasonal favorites such as strawberry mascarpone, mango, pumpkin cream or yuzu — what better way to journey through the manifold Japanese seasons and local flavors than with a bowl of freshly shaved ice.


Saka No Ue | Yushima 

In the otherwise quiet neighborhood in between Ueno and Akihabara, you can spot this Kakigori gem first and foremost by the long line that usually stretches along its building. Saka No Ue is certainly not an underdog in Tokyo’s competitive shaved ice community, but few do the mouthwatering summer dessert as well as this café. With its milky, smooth shaved ice, its deliciously creamy yoghurt toppings and constantly changing seasonal varieties such as apricot pistachio, pineapple, pumpkin, or pear earl grey - Saka No Ue is sure to stun just about anyone with a perfect kakigori selection. If you’re worried about the wait, stop by outside of weekends or the hot season, and be sure to put down your name at the entrance before queuing up.

︎Kakigori served all-year around

︎Weekdays: 10:00-19:00, Weekends and Holidays: 11:00-18:00, Closed on Mondays
︎Google Maps

Palace Hotel | The Palace Lounge (summer only)

Photo by Palace Hotel
One of our favorite lounges to take a break from this busy city, Palace Hotel’s “The Palace Lounge” rings in the summer season with two mouthwatering kakigori flavors: mango with yogurt cream and coconut powder, and matcha green tea & azuki beans with rice-flour dumplings . Served in the superb ambiance of this lofty lounge with a beautiful view of the imperial palace, we have no excuse not to keep coming back. Advance reservations recommended.

︎Kakigori served durin summer season only (until August 31)

︎Palace Hotel Tokyo, 1st floor “The Palace Lounge”
︎Open Every Day: 10:00-24:00
︎Google Maps

Kuriya Otona Kurogi | Ueno

Photo by Kuriya Otona Kurogi
If it’s traditional japanese flavors that you are after, look now further than Kuriya Otona Kurogi. This café specializes in Japanese traditional sweets and also serves some of Tokyo’s best kakigori with local favorites such as the kuromitsu-kinako and always changing menu of outstanding seasonal flavors such as chestnut cream, red bean sweet potato, yuzu or sakura. You can check the shop’s instagram page for updated info on the current menu and opening hours, but be ready to wait in line on weekends and during holiday periods.

︎Kakigori served all-year around
︎Kurogi, 「廚 otona くろぎ」
︎Open: 10:00-19:00
︎Google Maps

Higashiya | Ginza (summer only)

Photo by Higashiya
Brainchild of Shinichiro Ogata, Higashiya Ginza is one of Tokyo’s most sophisticated modern tea houses offering a selection of delightful Japanese tea blends and tradtional wagashi sweets. It comes as no surprise then, that Higashiya also offers some of our favorite kakigori this summer which comes cut from an old-fashioned ice shaving machine. Higashiya serves three styles of shaved ice: Kintoki Green tea with red beans and rice balls, summer citrus, and honey plum.

︎Kakigori served during summer season only
︎Higashiya Ginza
︎Open Every Day: 11:00-19:00 (last order 18:00)
︎Google Maps
︎Website (Japanese only)

Wa Kitchen Kanna | Sangenchaya

Photo via Wa Kitchen Kana
Located slightly off of the beaten track in the popular bar-hopping neighborhood of Sangenchaya, Wa Kitchen Kana is another local hotspot for Tokyo’s kakigori lovers.  Its solid menu of tiramisu, sweet potato or strawberry kakigori attracts a steady flow of local customers, we however, were blown away by their outstanding salted walnut with mascarpone kakigori from the seasonal menu, so be sure to check out Kanna’s instagram to see limited-time-only flavors.

︎Kakigori served all-year around
︎Wa Kitchen Kanna
︎Google Maps
︎ Instagram (Menu)

Funabashi-ya Koyomi | Hiroo (summer only)

Photo by Funabashi-ya
With a history that spans over 200 years, Funabashi-ya has long established itself as one of Tokyo’s most venerable confectioners, specialising in Japanese traditional sweets. During the summer months, Funabashi-ya’s café serves up some of Tokyo’s most sought-after kakigori such as strawberry-milk, peach, pineapple - and of course, green tea. 

︎Kakigori served June 20 - September 30 2019
︎Funabashi-ya Koyomi, Hiroo

︎Open Every Day: 10:00-19:00
︎Google Maps
︎Website (Japanese only)

Himitsudo | Yanaka

Photo by Tak H.
Himitsudo is located in Yanaka, a district of Tokyo known for its old shitamachi atmosphere. True to its location, the staff at this café prepare the shaved ice by hand, using traditional machines, and ice from Nikko, making for a special experience that has become rare to witness in Tokyo. Himitsudo has a daily changing menu which is published on their Twitter account, and is said to have one of the best strawberry-milk kakigoris in town. Beware however, that this café is extremely popular and lines sometimes form around the block, with people eager to get their hands on some of the famous kakigori.

︎Kakigori served all year around
︎Himitsudo, Yanaka
︎10:00-18:00, closed on Mondays
︎Google Maps
︎Website (Japanese only)
︎Menu (Japanese only)

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