3 Shops for Eating High-Quality ‘Fluffy’ Shaved Ice
The shaved ice you’re used to is probably crunchy, right? But in Japan we have shops serving ‘fluffy’ shaved ice that use the best natural water and special syrups. These are at a level like you’ve probably never had before. Every shop has its own unique qualities so have fun as you read about them. But there’s 1 thing to note… all of these shops will have lines! So you better be prepared to line up and wait.
Shaved ice made by a Japanese tea specialty store. What’s amazing about this shop is that it has two top-level tea masters, out of only 10 in the whole of Japan. So naturally, you should get the matcha shaved ice here. Take a look at the two they have on menu.
They’re known for their mousse-topped syrup. And it’s like a big serving of rice. The soft mousse and ‘fluffy’ shaved ice will be a whole new experience. And hidden inside is a flood of matcha syrup.
Here we have the normal liquid syrup but inside are homemade adzuki beans. And as a shop specializing in Japanese tea, the strong flavor of their syrups is like no other shop. It’s so rich! It’s the role of the adzuki beans to offset this richness. The sweeter adzuki beans bring out the taste of the matcha.
A cozy shop that began as a small street stall and grew in popularity thanks to word-of-mouth. That’s evidence of a truly good place. Of note is their plethora of flavors—enough to allow the menu to change daily. In the past, people have waited over 6 hours. For those long waits, I recommend going for a wander around town after getting your number. There are lots of Japanese-style stores to browse and keep you occupied.
Pumpkin Cream Caramel
Just looking at it makes me hungry! The ice is a lot thinner so it melts faster than regular shaved ice, but they provide straws (upper left in the picture) so you can enjoy to the last drop. They’ve really thought of everything!
This shop uses ice from the natural ice warehouse in Nikko, “Shogetsu Himuro”.
They’re most famous for their mitarashi milk. The milk syrup is already poured over the shaved ice and had with mitarashi syrup (a sweet soy sauce glaze), seaweed and roasted mocha. A true Japanese style of shaved ice. You get to enjoy sweet, salty, seaweed flavors and the texture of the roasted mocha at the same time.
Rich Purple Sweet Potato Milk
I’m sure you see how dark the color is, right? It leaves a big impression. But the taste is different from how it looks and isn’t overly sweet. The natural sweetness of the purple sweet potato is just right. Milk will collect in the bottom of your bowl as you eat. As you finally reach it, the flavor will have changed and it’ll make you feel great.
I recommend all of these but, when you come to Japan, make sure you try the matcha at least once.