Japan’s Summer Essentials: “KAKIGOORI” (Shaved Ice)

As Japan’s unbearable hot and humid summer approaches, people would have common desire to eat “kakigoori (Shaved Ice)” to beat the heat. Although some may commit themselves to prepare homemade style ones topped with their favorite syrup, still many are eager to queue up for popular kakigoori places for hours to savor their specialties.

(photo: A classic kakigoori topped with green tea syrup and sweetened condensed milk)


kakigoori1 Since kakigoori is generally served as a seasonal delicacy, shops in Japan start putting up small flags with a letter “氷(Ice)” from early summer to announce the return of a summer delight to their customers.

Kakigoori is said to have well over 1,000 years of history in Japan.

 It is somewhat interesting to imagine that people back in those days might have suffered brain freeze as we do when trying to eat them quickly.

(Photo: Asami Reizo in Nagatoro- A kakigoori shop displaying a small flag with letter “ice” and Japanese traditional ice shaver (on the right))


kakigoori4Kuriya Kashi Kurogi’s kakigoori topped with kinako (roasted soybean flour), sweetened red beans and walnuts with brown sugar syrup on the side.
But please don’t worry. There are plenty of options in Japan which unlikely trigger headache as they serve fluffy kakigoori which will melt in a second. Kuriya Kashi Kurogi, located in the premise of the prestigious Tokyo University, is definitely worth your visit not only for its fluffiness as well as taste but also for its photogenic atmosphere. It’s operated by a famous Japanese restaurant Kurogi.

Just for your information, July 25th is designated as “Kakigoori Day by the Japan Kakigoori Association.
If you will be in Japan during the period, it will be nice to celebrate the day with tasty kakigoori!


Return to home: Tokyo based fixer for film shooting and production service in Japan