Kakigori Shaved Ice 氷

Kinozen in Kagurazaka

Kinozen in Kagurazaka

The heat and humidity of Tokyo summers can be overbearing. What better way to cool down than with kakigori (shaved ice sweets). As a child visiting my family in Japan in the summer that is one of my fondest memories. Kakigori topped with sweetened condensed milk (ask for miruku) and garnished with some sweet azuki beans. Toppings include sweet syrups, mattcha, sweetened condensed milk, fresh fruit purees (mangoes are one of my favorites), and azuki beans.

Here are some shops known for their kakigori.

Kinozen 紀の善

Shinjuku-ku, Kagurazaka 1-12 新宿区神楽坂1-12

Phone: 03-3269-2920

11:00 – 21:00, Monday – Saturday

12:00 – 18:00, Sunday & holidays

Closed the 3rd Sunday of each month

no website

station: Kagurazaka

Ishibashi in Sangenjaya

Ishibashi in Sangenjaya

Ishibashi in Sangenjaya

Ishibashi in Sangenjaya

You can watch the ice being shaved with an old hand-cranked machine here at this very quaint shop. Interesting toppings here include Calpis, caramel, kuromitsu (brown sugar syrup), and kocha (British tea).

Kakigori Kobo Ishibashi 氷工房 石ばし

Setagaya-ku, Sangenjaya 1-29-8 世田谷区三軒茶屋1-29-8

Phone: 03-3411-2130

12:00 – 18:00 (may close earlier so go early in the day)

no holidays in the summer

http://www.ntv.co.jp/burari/000819/info06.html

Shikanoko in Ginza

Kanoko in Ginza

Shikanoko in Ginza

Kanoko in Ginza

Kanoko is on the corner of the main Ginza crossing where Wako and Mitsukoshi are. The cafe on the 2nd floor gives great views of the busy intersection and this shop is centrally located in the heart of the city.

Kanoko 鹿乃子

Chuo-ku, Ginza 5-7-19 中央区銀座5-7-19

Phone: 03-3572-0013

11:30 – 20:15

no holidays

station: Ginza

http://homepage3.nifty.com/kanoko/

Tokiwadou Okoshi 浅草の常磐堂

Tokiwadou Okoshi 浅草の常磐堂

Tokiwadou Okoshi 浅草の常磐堂

Tokiwadou Okoshi 浅草の常磐堂

Tokiwadou Okoshi 浅草の常磐堂

Tokiwadou Okoshi 浅草の常磐堂

Tokiwadou Okoshi 浅草の常磐堂

Tokiwadou Okoshi 常磐堂

Kaminari Okoshi Kaminarimon Honten

Taito-ku, Asakusa 1-3-2 台東区浅草1-3-2

Phone: 03-3841-5656

www.tokiwado.com (Japanese)

This shop to the left of the main gate is a popular destination for visitors. Okoshi are the popular food gift that Asakusa is famous for. These colorful, pastel-colored, puffed rice crackers include flavors like peanuts, almond, nori, mattcha, brown sugar, and black bean cocoa. Tokwadou’s lineup includes a variety of crackers, sweets, and a unique collection of karintou crackers include flavors like Satsumaimo (sweet potato), wasabi, ninjin (carrots), tamanegi (onions), and pirikara gobo (spicy burdock root). There is a small production kitchen behind glass where you can watch the okoshi making process.

Izumiya in Asakusa 浅草の和泉屋

Izumiya in Asakusa 浅草の和泉屋

Izumiya in Asakusa 浅草の和泉屋

Izumiya in Asakusa 浅草の和泉屋

Izumiya in Asakusa 浅草の和泉屋

Izumiya in Asakusa 浅草の和泉屋

Izumiya in Asakusa 浅草の和泉屋

Izumiya in Asakusa 浅草の和泉屋

Izumiya in Asakusa 浅草の和泉屋

Izumiya 和泉屋

Taito-ku, Asakusa 1-1-4 台東区浅草1-1-4

Phone: 03-3841-5501

10:30 – 19:30 (closed Thursdays)

www.asakusa.gr.jp/nakama/izumiya/ (Japanese)

This quaint sembei shop presents the rice crackers in glass jars with tin lids. A wide variety of flavors include both sweet and savory like shiso, zarame (rock sugar), and a very spicy dried red pepper covered ookara. The very delicate and thin usuyaki, nori wrapped, and an unusual type, an extra hard genkotsu. There is also a shop in the Nakamise Dori, but this selection is much bigger.

Kanda Matsuya Soba 神田まつや

Kanda Matsuya

Kanda Matsuya

Kanda Matsuya Mori Soba

Kanda Matsuya Mori Soba

Kanda Matsuya Tempura Soba

Kanda Matsuya Tempura Soba

Kanda Matsuya 神田まつや

Chiyoda-ku, Kanda Jimbocho 1-13 千代田区神田神保町1-13

Phone: 03-3251-1556

11:00 – 20:00 Monday – Friday

11:00 – 19:00 Saturday and holidays

closed Sundays

http://www.kanda-matsuya.jp/p01.htm

Kanda Matsuya opened their doors in 1884. The soba is made from 5 parts buckwheat flour to 1 part flour. The dipping sauce is “karame” or on the dry side (versus being sweet). A popular dish here is the goma soba which is served with a a sesame dipping sauce. Other recommended dishes are the mori soba, tempura soba (both pictured here), and kake soba (hot noodles).

Kibundo Souhonten in Asakusa 浅草の紀文堂総本店

Kibundo Souhonten in Asakusa

Kibundo Souhonten in Asakusa

Kibundo Souhonten 紀文堂総本店

Taito-ku, Asakusa 1-2-2 台東区浅草1-2-2

Phone: 03-3841-4401

9:00 – 20:30, closed Wednesday

no website

This popular shop is on the main street just to the right of the Kaminarimon has a collection of kawara sembei (crispy, tile-shaped sweet crackers), uzura kasutera (small bite-size castella cakes), ningyoyaki, and a mix of crackers called okonomiyose.

Umezono in Asakusa 浅草の梅園

Umezono

Umezono

Umezono's Signature Awa Zenzai

Umezono's Signature Awa Zenzai

Umezono in Asakusa

Umezono in Asakusa

Umezono 梅園

Taito-ku, Asakusa 1-31-12 台東区浅草1-31-12

Phone: 03-3841-7580

10:00 – 20:00, closed Wednesdays and 2nd Tuesday

www.asakusa-umezono.co.jp/ (Japanese)

Just off of the Nakamise Dori the corner shop is easy to recognize from the red paper umbrella and benches in front of the shop. Umezono in Asakusa, opened in 1854, has a strong following for anmitsu, oshiruko, soup-like sweets including azuki an paste, fruits, kanten and mochi dango. Their signature dish, awa zenzai, one of the most popular Asakusa sweets, warms up the body on cold days. The awa (a small grain) is cooked slowly steamed until tender and presented in a lacquer bowl with some sweet azuki paste. The menu has a full selection of traditional sweets to enjoy inside the café and several of their popular sweets are packaged to go like dorayaki, anmitsu, and mitsumame.