Taste of summer
―Beat the heat with shaved ice

Text by Chikako Shimizu

Lately this frosty treat has become more widely available, more varied, and much more sophisticated. Shops featured here have added distinctive doses of originality to this cooling tradition.

―Shaved ice to savor year-round

Himitsudo is one of the few Tokyo shops using natural ice from Nikko, Tochigi prefecture. Additive-free syrups and condensed milk, both made in-house, are its signature touches. Owner and former kabuki actor Koji Morinishi has created a repertoire of 120 different seasonal offerings. His daily menu features 12 or 13 choices. The shop is a popular destination in summer, so try to go on weekday mornings if you would like to enjoy a leisurely treat.

This luscious yellow syrup is made of pure kawachi bankan pomelo.

3-11-18 Yanaka, Taito-ku
Tel. 03-3824-4132


Shimokita Chaen Oyama
―Proud creations of a tea master

Shimokita Chaen is a shop specializing in green tea. On the second floor, customers can enjoy shaved ice prepared by owner Yasunari Oyama, a grand master of tea tasting. He makes a point of using green tea whose taste, fragrance, and color are enhanced when served over shaved ice. Oyama himself is not partial to chilled treats; his shaved ice has a fluffy texture that doesn’t cause brain freeze, making it ideal for children or others who prefer to avoid super-cold confections.

Left: Matcha shaved ice is made with specially selected matcha powdered green tea from Uji, Kyoto. The delicate astringency is refreshing. Right: Hojicha shaved ice uses green tea freshly roasted on the premises.

Shimokita Chaen Oyama
2-30-2 2F Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku


Azabu Yasaigashi
―A mecca for vegetable lovers

Azabu Yasaigashi opened in 2014 to sell Japanese-style sweets made from vegetables. Summer offerings include the unusual taste experience of shaved ice topped with vegetable compotes or sauces. Owner Toshihide Hanazaki says, “I hope customers will enjoy my sweets not just because they are made with vegetable but because they really are delicious.” Hanazaki plans to serve shaved ice through late September.

Eggplant and azuki beans top shaved ice. The eggplant compote is a particularly innovative touch.

Azabu Yasaigashi
3-1-5 Azabu Juban, Minato-ku
Tel. 03-5439-6499


This article is an excerpt from Kateigaho International Japan Edition Tokyo Summer Discoveries 2015. Please note the opening hours, days, and menus are subject to change.



2020 Autumn / Winter

Spotlight on Heritage