Shaved ice (this is called “kakigori” in Japan) is a traditional Japanese summer snack that has been enjoyed since the Heian period, helping people to overcome the brutal summers in Japan.
Tokyo's known as a hotspot for this cool summer treat, ranging from traditional to the luxurious. This has led to some Instagrammable and foreign-fusion styles of preparation. Here's a list of 20 shaved ice shops you can't miss.
Kakigori Cafe&Bar Yelo
Night Cocktail Shaved Ice
Pastels 950yen （tax included）
Kakigori Cafe&Bar Yelo is around a three-minute walk from Roppongi Station.
Their fluffy shaved ice is served with standard flavors like strawberry milk and matcha (means “green tea” in Japanese), as well as house specials like organic carrot mascarpone, tiramisu and colorfully decorated “pastels”!
Just as Roppongi's atmosphere changes at night, this shop also has nighttime-only flavors that include alcohol. It stays open until 5am on Saturday & Sunday, which makes this store the perfect place to finish your night out in Roppongi.
Intersect By Lexus
The Senses 1200yen （tax included）
Intersect By Lexus (Tokyo) exterior
Intersect By Lexus is a flagship space produced by the luxury vehicle brand Lexus.
Inspired by Lexus's elegant, one and only production style, "The Senses" offers a one-of-a-kind shaved ice experience. Using natural ice from Karuizawa, this dessert features Austrian wine grape juice topped with various types of grape, including Delaware and Pione.
After you’ve enjoyed the rich grape flavor, you can sprinkle on a powder that adds a lemon-like flavor to your shaved ice.
Mini Tomato Shaved Ice
Purple Sweet Potato Mont Blanc
Azabu Yasaigashi interior
Azabu Yasaigashi is a sweet shop where you can find all sorts of traditional Japanese sweets made from vegetables.
At their in-house cafe, you can enjoy a unique combination of flavors, such as spinach-and-green tea, avocado-and-caramel, and more. The eggplant-and-wine flavor comes with an eggplant compote that’s cooked with red wine and features cream cheese as a secret ingredient.
Their selection of shaved ice changes regularly based on the availability of seasonal vegetables.
Mango Short-Cake 1100yen
A mere 10-minute walk from Yoyogi-koen Station takes you to Sebastian, a popular cafe known for their cake-style shaved ice.
The owner has a background in French cuisine and the Dolce shaved ice cake that he so beautifully assembles will make you think you’re in a dream. When you scoop up the whipped cream from your shortcake-style shaved ice, you will be greeted by fruity layers of ice.
Ichigo Milk Kintoki 900yen
While Tokyo is home to many unconventional shaved ice places, sweet shops like Amaikko offers traditional shaved ice.
The shop's specialty, Ichigo Milk Kintoki, is served with strawberry syrup, Kintoki bean paste, and Shiratama (small sweet rice balls), topped with condensed milk. Unlike the popular fluffy shaved ice, Amaikko's roughly shaved ice has a crunchy texture.
Their opening hours are from 11am to 6pm, but they tend to close early during summertime since they run out of ingredients.
Woodstock's Shaved Ice eat-in 850yen (tax included) / take-out 650yen (tax included)
PEANUTS Cafe (Nakameguro) exterior
Located along the Meguro River, Peanuts Cafe is a lovely place filled with imagery and decor based on Snoopy and the Peanuts gang.
Patrons can enjoy themed dishes and sweets here, including Woodstock's shaved Ice. Inspired by Snoopy's best friend Woodstock, this yellowy treat is covered with brightly-colored fruits such as frozen mango, pineapple, orange, and is topped off with lemon-flavored cotton candy.
They also have a take-out version that’s topped with passionfruit sauce, lemon-flavored espuma (typically refers to the fluffy cream on top) and lemon syrup.
Ujikintoki Shaved Ice 950yen
Funabashiya is a renowned Japanese sweet shop with more than 200 years of history.
Their shaved ice syrup contains lactic acid bacteria that is extracted from the main ingredient that ferments Kuzumochi, a jelly-like Japanese sweet typically made using arrowroot powder. This gluten-free syrup is easy on the stomach, so you can enjoy it without worrying about an upset stomach.
Their Kameido branch offers six different flavors of shaved ice. If you’ve completed trying out the main flavors, just remember, there’s a secret menu.
Raw Melon Yoghurt 1000yen (tax included)
Nestled in a quiet neighborhood of Yanaka, Himitsudo takes special pride in offering hand-shaved ice throughout the year.
The availability of flavors changes daily, but their signature flavor strawberry milk, features special syrups made purely from carefully selected ripe strawberries and sugar.
Due to its immense popularity, customers often visit the shop before opening hours to get numbered tickets so that they can secure their spot.
The Strings Omotesando
Champagne Melon Shaved Ice 2100yen / Champagne Peach & Raspberry Shaved Ice 2100yen
Chai Espuma & Tapioca Balls Shaved Ice 1900yen (tax included/service charge seperate)
The Strings Omotesando is a classy dining space and offers luxury shaved ice starting this summer.
Their Champagne Shaved Ice features a beautiful layer of crushed ice, seasonal fruits and champagne-flavored jelly. You can choose between melon or peach-and-raspberry flavor.
The Chai Espuma & Tapioca Balls shaved ice is served with fluffy ice, chai-flavored espuma, tea-flavored ice cream, and of course comes with tapioca balls.
- cafe & dining ZelkovA ストリングス表参道
Matcha (fermented tea) set 1200yen
Hoji Tea Latte (fermented tea) set 1200yen
Chachanoma is a cozy cafe in Omotesando where you can enjoy a cup of fine Japanese tea with sweets.
The owner himself is a Japanese tea sommelier and he offers green tea shaved ice during the summertime. Using crunchy ice, this refreshing bowl of shaved ice delights is served with rich green tea syrup.
The sweets come in drink sets here, so tea lovers will have the extra burden of choosing what top quality Japanese tea they want to indulge.
Lumiere specially made Yaki Kakigori 1481yen
Shaved ice from Cafe Lumiere in Kichijoji is one of the most eye-catching summer delights in Tokyo.
Their Yaki Kakigori (“Burning Shaved Ice”) is coated with lightly grilled meringue. Once it has delivered to your table, the waiter will pour rum on top and set it aflame. Watching the meringue coating covered with a blue flame is beautiful and captivating. Many customers will flock to this cafe just to capture this special moment.
- Cafe&Party 貸切 Lumiere 吉祥寺
- 東京都武蔵野市吉祥寺南町1-2-2 東山ビル4F
Wa Kitchen Kanna
Richly Flavored Purple Potato Milk 800yen
Wa Kitchen Kanna interior
Wa Kitchen Kanna is a spacious and cozy Japanese restaurant that’s situated in a quiet residential area near Setagaya Park.
Sourcing natural ice from a traditional ice shop in Nikko, their shaved ice melts in the mouth.
They offer a good mixture of standard and original flavors served with hand-made syrups. Two popular flavors are tiramisu (made with plenty of mascarpone), and their richly flavored purple potato milk.
Lobby Lounge at Dai-Ichi Tokyo Hotel
(only 10 servings per day) Melon Yoghurt Shaved Ice X Haagen Dazs Ice Cream 2800yen (tax・service charge included)
The Melon Yogurt Shaved Ice is a must for melon lovers. The Lobby Lounge serves only 10 of these delicacies per day, so you might want to get there early.
Using half of a melon as a base and with custard cream around the rim, this ultra-luxurious sweet contains yogurt-flavored crushed ice, chunks of melon, mango, coconut gel, and is topped off with a dollop of vanilla Haagen Dazs ice cream.
- ロビーラウンジ 第一ホテル東京
Kakigori Kobo Sekka
Strawberry Covered Shaved Ice (was a limited time menu item - ended early May 2019)
Ichigo Milk 900yen
Kakigori Kobo Sekka exterior
Kakigori Kobo Sekka is a five minute walk from Sugamo Station and is committed to offering the finest quality of ice. Their ice is sourced from the Mt. Fuji area and takes three weeks to freeze completely, which helps the ice to become dense and extremely fluffy when shaved.
Various flavors are available here, including mandarin orange, strawberry milk, and green tea. Adventurous eaters should try the Natto Kinako (a combination of fermented soybean and roasted soybean flour).
Kori Yuki To Natsu
Kori Yuki To Natsu
(limited time) Ichigo Mille-Feuille
Kori Yuki To Natsu relocated their store to Ikejiri-Ohashi this year.
Their shaved ice is served with sweet sauces & espuma, which are prepared every day before opening hours. Espuma takes longer to melt than shaved ice, so this helps the sweets stay cool.
Depending on the season, you will see items on the menu such as tiramisu, kiwi green apple and awayuki mille-feuille.
Hugo & Victor
Glace Pilée Tropiques 1296yen (tax included)
Glace Pilée Espresso 1296yen (only available at Omotesando Hills / tax included)
Hugo & Victor is an established chocolaterie from Paris.
At the Omotesando Hills store, they offer two types of fancy shaved ice between June 14 and August 31.
The charmingly round-shaped Glace Pilée Tropiques is served with guava-and-pomegranate flavored syrup. This is then showered with mango, blueberry, and raspberry topping.
The Glace Pilée Espresso is a bittersweet delight which uses an espresso as its base and vodka-infused Kahlua jelly sauce as a topping.
Glace Pilée au Chocolat Melon 1388yen (tax included)
The chocolate boutique of Jean-Paul Hevin in Omotesando Hills offers an extensive selection of jewelry-like chocolate sweets shipped from Paris.
At their in-house cafe, you can try the Glace Pilée au Chocolat Melon, a luxury shaved ice that’s served in a round double-walled glass. Cocoa-flavored shaved ice, French melon sauce, and chocolate mousse adorn this drink-like creation. An exquisite combination of sweet melon and bittersweet chocolate will delight any chocolate lover.
Black Tapioca Balls with Mango Fluffy Shaved Ice 1404yen (tax included)
Taiwanese-style shaved ice is making its presence felt on Tokyo's shaved ice scene.
Located in Omotesando Hills, Kageyamarou’s Black Tapioca Balls with Mango Fluffy shaved ice offers juicy mango in all shapes and sizes, with only 20 servings per day.
Using shaved mango ice as a base, this Taiwanese delight is topped with plenty of mango chunks, mango pudding, and chewy tapioca balls on the side.
Asakusa Izumi is an old-fashioned style Japanese sweets cafe on Kaminarimon Street in Asakusa.
They offer a wide variety of traditional sweets using azuki (sweet bean paste) and mochi (sticky rice cake).
Their famous shaved ice Ujikintoki (green tea and sweet kintoki beans) is one of the most popular menu items. They prepare the green tea after the order is made to make it as flavorful as possible. The green tea flavor has a great contrast with the sweet bean paste.
Peach Milk Yaki Kakigori 1100yen (tax included)
Tokyo’s renowned Japanese chef Kihachi Kumagai has brought us the Kihachi Cafe which resides in Hibiya.
This summer, Peach Milk Yaki Kakigori (“Yaki” means baked) is on the menu. This cake-like treat features sponge cake, vanilla ice cream, fresh peach and peach-flavored shaved ice, topped with lightly grilled, fluffy meringue. Once you bring a scoop of aromatic meringue and fruity ice to your mouth, they combine for a delightful harmony of flavors.
If you like, you can pour condensed milk on top to add a mellow taste to your shaved ice.