During the summer, temperatures in Japan can be quite high and the atmosphere gets very humid. This makes finding ways to cool down indispensable. And how to better do this than with kakigori, or freshly shaved ice? It is one of those things that kids look forward to every summer, besides noodle rivers, camping trips, and watermelon smashing.
The regular version of kakigori is made with ice that has been shaved to resemble snow. Of course, there are also copious amounts of melon, lemon, or blue raspberry flavored syrup. The texture of a kakigori is slightly different from slushies or Slurpees since it is thinner but it still has crystals. And that is why it is always eaten with a spoon. Like many foods and drinks in Japan, kakigori comes in many versions with various flavors and also of a different quality.
History of Kakigori
This dessert dates from the Heian era (794-1185) when ice was stored in warehouses called ‘himuro’ to be taken to Kyoto in the summer. Here, the syrup was added and the dessert was handed out to the Japanese aristocracy. Much later, in the Meiji era, ice became more accessible and the machine that can mass-produce kakigori was invented a b bit after that.
Since then, when summer comes it is sold everywhere, becoming one of the various ways to tell that summer has come and time is passing. The stores that sell kakigori indicate this with a flag with the symbol “氷” in red, this symbol reads ‘kori’. This means ‘ice’ in Japanese.
Where To Find It
This tasty dessert can be enjoyed in street stalls during festivals, events, and at most touristy places. It can also be consumed more elegantly in restaurants specialized in creating them. The latter version is more high-end and is a nice experience to try when you are in Japan. Not to mention the very nice photo opportunity it will give you. While the kakigori on the streets is usually flavored with melon, lemon, or blue raspberry. The restaurant versions are often made with green tea, strawberry, or kinako.
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