The quintessential summer icy dessert can be found all over Japan during the summer. It has a long history and can even be traced back to the Meiji period. It was regarded as a high luxury item with ice being imported as far away as Boston in the United States!
It was at the Imperial court where ice was shaved with swords and flavored with prized sweeteners (often regarded as medicinal). The first kakigori shop was opened in Kanagawa once an easier method of transport was discovered from Hokkaido to Yokohama and the invention of the shaved ice machine started the Kakigori Kraze we all know so well.
Luckily in the summer it is quite easy to come by. In fact, there is a pop-up currently in Roppongi Hills that has a good selection of the best kakigori shops in the area. The Roppongi Hills Daihatsu Wake Kakigori Collection is available until August 23rd from 11 AM to 9 PM. There are easy to navigate queues and vending machines to make ordering easy. However, with so much yumminess to choose from the options are endless. Will highlight a few of the stalls below:
Their big seller at this shop was their melon shaved ice. Served on top of half a melon, it was also one of the priciest at 1200 yen. The flavor itself was light and refreshing and have never tasted anything like it before. My friend got their green bean version which was quite good as well.
Opted for the lemon version at this pop-up and was happy with the flavor. Both tart and refreshing at the same time. Good for those wanting a citrus kick.
This one by far was the prettiest one of the batch. Almost hard to eat because it was so pretty to look at! The mango “cake” is actually formed out of cream, syrup and fresh mangoes. Despite the hardest one to break into, it was the fastest one to disappear!
With home field advantage, this stall has an actual store in Roppongi. Known for unique flavors such as marscapone, Mango Lassi and Acai. Their tiramisu flavor by far was a hit with the crowd. Word on the street that after hours they spike it with rum – yum!
I believe there is another stall we have yet to hit during the pop up hours. Please let us know which one is your favorite. Would love to hear in the comments below. As always, itadakimasu!