The sun is high in the sky and the heat bears down on you as sweat pours down your back – you have a bottle of mugicha (barley tea) in your hand but it isn’t enough to cool you down. At times like this, you’d give anything to be an air-conditioned space enjoying something sweet and icy. Here are the best finds on our side of the town to get that fix.
Who says melon soda is just a drink? You can enjoy a shaved ice version of it from here! Found on the second floor of an unassuming building with a dark grey marbled exterior, its interior features a bar table and brown leather seats reminiscent of the 80s. Though their shaved ice isn’t too budget friendly at 2000yen per bowl, its seasonal flavors and gravity-defying feat to retain its roundness in a shallow bowl is sure to garner some fans. If you’re into unusual flavors, you should try their Sansho (a citrusy Japanese spice often used in cooking) Chocolate Mint shaved ice too!
Note: On July 19, the owner has announced that the air-conditioning in the shop has broken down and there are no immediate plans to replace it. So be prepared to expect that if you’re going!
Why is this place called Ginza Ginger? Is it a ginger specialty store? In some sense, yes, as everything on its shaved ice menu is infused with ginger! Fans of cheese rejoice too because there’s an entire page on the menu dedicated to camembert cheese base flavors. Their current seasonal flavor is margherita and onee of their past seasonal flavors was peach oolong mozzarella, so you know they’re not holding back when it comes to their creative culinary endeavors.
Just 5 min away from Tokyo’s iconic temple, Sensoji, is a little known dessert shop that will surprise you with its nostalgic atmosphere and range of traditional Japanese desserts. Shaved ice is available too but takes the back seat in this shop as the real stars of the show are its mitsumame desserts (clear jelly blocks with various sweet ingredients on the side, ice cream is an option too!). Its menu has pictures and is available in English too.
Here’s Another traditional Japanese sweets shop with standard options like mitsumamae on the menu, but they are more friendly for your pocket as their ala carte desserts are all under 1000yen! It’s also housed in a building that has been standing since the 1930s. Their shaved ice options include strawberry cream, matcha, and red bean. The highlight of the menu however, is definitely the sakura tea! Yes, they have actual sakura petals in their tea. As for what it tastes like exactly, you’ll have to drop by to try it yourself!
16 min walk from Section L Yushima
Looking for a super Instagrammable shaved ice? Come here! This little corner street store boasts a few fresh fruit shaved ice, including a very pretty kiwi honey one. The cutest item on the menu not to be missed is its Camembert Berry Panda.
It’s almost too cute to eat! With such a delightful selection, you can expect to be be queuing up for it. The shop has kindly lists how long you can expect to wait based on the number of people in line too. If there are 5 people in front of you, you can expect to wait 20 mins. But hey, good things are worth waiting for.
We hope that simply reading this post has cooled you down a little and inspired you to try a different dessert at a different shop no matter which location you’re staying with us at!
Cover Photo: Norikko