Kakigori, a Summer Snack
It's said that kakigori has been a popular snack in Japan since the Heian period, which was way back between 794 and 1185. Supposedly it was popularized by royalty in Nara Prefecture, after a prince stumbled upon a local shop selling the dish.
- When you see this sign, with a big "氷" (ice) kanji on it, you know there's some shaved ice for sale nearby!
- The ice is ground in a special machine, before sweet syrup is poured on top. It's a lot like a snow cone!
- Since it's often eaten while wandering through a summer festival, you'll usually find kakigori in nice portable bowls.
Kakigori Comes in All Shapes and Sizes!
The most common shaved ice is the simplest variety: ice topped with fruity syrup, like strawberry or melon. In recent years, however, extra fancy and especially cute kakigori has been on the rise in Japan!
- Your basic strawberry kakigori.
- Upping our game a little, we've got basic kakigori topped with vanilla ice cream!
- Now we're starting to get fancy: this luxe kakigori is finished with a handmade strawberry and cream topping.
Whether you enjoy a little cup of kakigori at a summer festival, or you find some at a specialty shaved ice establishment, don't miss the chance to try some shaved ice next time you're in Japan!
Of course, if you want to try a Japanese specialty that's a little more filling, you could always look for Saitama's unagi kabayaki eel
, or firefly squid hot pot in Toyama
! Or, when you want a Japanese sweet treat that you can bring home to your friends, grab some retro Japanese Fujiya candy
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