Japan is awesome in the summer. Fireworks, festivals, beaches. Fun, fun, fun in the sun, sun, sun. Except for one thing. The unbearable crushing heat, the suffocating humidity, the inability to step outside without almost drowning in your own sweat. For us expats who are not used to high temperatures, Japanese summer can be a killer.

But the Japanese have their own ways of overcoming the heat. Most delicious of these is eating a huge mountain of shaved ice with a range of syrups and delectable toppings.

Best Kakigori Shaved Ice in Tokyo

Kakigori may be known as festival fare, but if you go to a specialist shaved ice restaurant you’ll be amazed at the elaborate creations put before you. Here are the most delicious, most interesting and most creative shaved ice desserts in Tokyo.

Kooriya Peace (Kichijoji)

Source: © Grape Japan

Koriya Peace is an intimate restaurant housing just one long counter table. It’s located in Kichijoji, a trendy but chill suburb of Tokyo where you can find plenty of unique independent cafes. Prepare yourself for a generously sized snowball with presentation akin to a piece of art. The heavenly toppings include thick home-made syrups, fresh fruit and yoghurt.

Source: © Grape Japan

Kooriya Peace Website

Address: 180-0003 Tokyo, Musashino, Kichijoji Minamicho 1-9-9 (Kichijoji Jizo Building 1F)

Azabu Yasaigashi (Azabu Juban)

Source: © Grape Japan

One cafe in the trendy neighborhood of Azabu Juban in Tokyo has taken kakigori in a refreshing new direction, replacing the fruit components with vegetables! If you’re looking for something a bit different you can surprise your tastebuds with avocado or tomato topped shaved ice. Imaginative combos like spinach and matcha are also available.

Source: © Grape Japan

Address: 106-0045 Tokyo, Minato, Azabu-juban 3-1-5

Azabu Yasaigashi Website

Atelier Sekka (Sugamo)

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A traditional neighborhood known affectionately as ‘Granny’s Harajuku’, Sugamo is a great place to sample classic Japanese desserts. This kakigori restaurant's ice is actually sourced from Mount Fuji itself. Depending on which toppings you choose, you may be given a large portion of thick syrup to pour on the mountainous shaved ice to your liking. Try a very traditional Japanese flavour like matcha or azuki bean, or throw the dessert rule book out completely with natto and soybean flour.

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Atelier Sekka Website

Address: 170-0002 Tokyo, Toshima, Sugamo 3-37-6

Café Lumiere (Kichijoji)

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Another one in Kichijoji, this café makes instragrammable treats that seem too beautiful to eat. Elaborate and colourful toppings adorn the perfectly sculpted ice. Then they straight up set it on fire. That’s right, they set ice on fire to caramelise the outer layer.

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If you want dessert and a show, this is surely the place.

Cafe Lumiere Website

Address: 180-0003 Tokyo, Musashino, Kichijoji Minamicho 1-2-2 Higashiyama Building 4F

By - Jess.