On a hot summer’s day in Japan, nothing is quite as satisfying as a chilled bowl of kakigori, or shaved ice in English.
This traditional Japanese dessert features a fluffy ice base and is typically topped with flavored syrup and condensed milk. Some elevated versions of this treat also include fresh fruit, rice cakes, red bean paste, and more. The airy ice paired with the sweet flavors of the syrup and milk make for both a refreshing and energizing bite to combat the summer heat.
As Tokyo is known for its hot and humid summers, Shinagawa serves as an excellent place to grab a bowl of this cherished Japanese dessert. Listed below are four shaved ice shops that are guaranteed to cool you down.
Ramen & Shaved Ice Haimuru
Shaved ice with a special ingredient—espuma
Ramen & Shaved Ice Haimuru is located a two-minute walk from Musashikoyama Station on the Tokyu Meguro Line. The restaurant is named after haimurubushi, which means "Southern Cross" in the language of the Yaeyama Islands in Okinawa Prefecture.
Since its 2014 opening in Musashikoyama, Ramen & Shaved Ice Haimuru has become a staple in the community thanks to its unique menu of shaved ice and ramen.
The restaurant has both table and counter seating to ensure that everyone—individual customers and groups alike—can eat comfortably. Many guests visit from all over Japan to enjoy its delicious eats!
Ramen & Shaved Ice Haimuru’s specialty is shaved ice with espuma. Espuma, which means foam in Spanish, gives the dessert a light and smooth texture like mousse.
One of the restaurant’s most popular menu items is its strawberry-flavored "Princess" topped with a fizzy espuma cream. The dessert’s cute appearance is guaranteed to put a smile on your face, and its use of the fizzy espuma adds a unique texture that sizzles in your mouth.
The espuma—made from strawberries that have the perfect balance of sourness to sweetness—matches deliciously with the condensed milk-flavored ice. Inside, the dish has a mild cream cheese and honey mixture that rounds out the flavors.
Ramen & Shaved Ice Haimuru offers a variety of shaved ice options that use espuma, pure ice that has been frozen for at least 48 hours, and seasonal fruits.
Koji Ibuchi, the owner of the café, shared some insight into crafting shaved ice, “You can create anything because all you have to do is add flavor to the water, and with simple ingredients, you can develop complex flavors. The creation process is like solving a problem that has no answer.”
Ramen & Shaved Ice Haimuru’s shaved ice is visually gorgeous and cute—making it a guaranteed hit with friends and couples. Be sure to visit well in advance, as lines are inevitable during the height of summer.
Ramen & Shaved Ice Haimuru Address: 4-9-4 Oyama, Shinagawa City, Tokyo Business hours: 11:30am–6:45pm Closed: Monday URL: https://www.instagram.com/haimuru_ramen_and_kakigori/
Visually beautiful and creatively flavored shaved ice
ICHOUNOKI, a sweets shop, is located about a four-minute walk from Keikyu Line's Kitashinagawa and Shinbamba stations.
The store originally opened in 1979 as a coffee shop, before the present owner, Tomoko Kon, took it over 16 years ago.
The shop’s wood-framed entrance is marked by a large ginkgo tree—giving it a nostalgic atmosphere despite its urban location.
ICHOUNOKI is famous for its artistic shaved ice, which highlights Kon's background as an art college graduate who majored in oil painting. “My goal is to create a menu with combinations that other restaurants do not have!” Kon shared.
Therefore, the restaurant offers a range of inventive flavors including Watermelon Chili—which combines watermelon, ginger, and chili powder, Zunda Tiramisu, Spinach and Pistachio, Lavender Coffee, and more.
Another one of the shop’s creative dishes is its Watergate Cake, which features lacy whipped cream topped with a small cookie inspired by the Grimm’s Fairy Tale, The Frog Prince. This menu is based on desserts that originated in the western United States.
As you enjoy the dessert from top to bottom its flavors gradually change from pistachio cream and marshmallow to pineapple and rum raisins to cacao nibs and pecans. One of the unique features of Kon's shaved ice is that you can experience multiple changes in taste and texture within a single bowl.
ICHOUNOKI’s interior is decorated with iron kettles and folk art items, including many wall clocks from Kon's father's collection. The walls are also lined with celebrity autographs!
“My dream is to become a tourist attraction in Japan! When I run the restaurant's Instagram, I feel like I can connect with the world even though I am based in Japan,” Kon shared, “I want to be able to proudly say that I am the best shaved ice shop in Japan!”
Both the stunning visuals and unpredictable flavors of ICHOUNOKI’s shaved ice will make you want to exclaim, “Wow!” Be sure to stop by and experience Kon's creativity for yourself.
ICHOUNOKI Address: 1-28-14 Kita-shinagawa, Shinagawa City, Tokyo Business hours: 11:30am–5pm Closed: Mondays and Thursdays *Saturdays and Sundays by reservation on website URL: https://ichounoki.com/
Cold shaved ice with heartwarming service
Opened in March 2022, SCHAFT is a shaved ice specialty store located roughly a five-minute walk from Oimachi Station on the Tokyu Oimachi Line.
When you enter the restaurant, you will immediately feel welcomed with its simple DIY atmosphere.
Mutsuto Numata, the manager of the café, shared, "I thought it was essential to have counter seating so we can talk directly with customers. We want to create a hospitality-oriented restaurant with attentive communication.”
One of the shop’s unique recipes is its Rare Cheese Shaved Ice, which is topped with a sauce made from the pulp of three kinds of berries—blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. The rich, yet refreshing cheese sauce and gentle milk flavor pair perfectly with the acidity of the fruits.
The store’s owner—a shaved ice enthusiast—has visited shaved ice stores all over Japan, from Hokkaido to Okinawa, and invited Numata, an elementary school friend, to help him out with the shop. "Even though we were childhood friends, we hadn't seen each other for a long time,” Numata explained proudly, “When I saw him again, I was surprised to see how full of energy he was. I admired his drive to start a store of his own.”
The Hojicha Espuma Shaved Ice, another delicious menu item, is cute with a little bit of fresh cream espuma on top. The mildly smooth whipped cream and the bitterness of roasted green tea mingle wonderfully, and the topping of chocolate chips adds a delicious texture.
You can even add additional milk sauce for free!
SCHAFT continuously refines its menu and adds new items created by the staff. This year is the shop’s second summer since it started its business, "Our staff is growing, and we want to do our best to satisfy our customers with even higher quality shaved ice," Numata said enthusiastically.
SCHAFT is a wonderful store where you can cool off with shaved ice and warm your heart with the shop’s courteous and sincere service.
SCHAFT Address: 2F, 1-53-6 Oi, Shinagawa City, Tokyo Business hours: 1pm–5pm Closed: No regular holidays (announced on Instagram) URL: https://www.instagram.com/kakigorischaft/
Relaxed coffee shop vibes meet shaved ice
Café Velley, located in a residential area, is a 9-minute walk from Togoshiginza Station on the Tokyu Ikegami Line and an 11-minute walk from Musashikoyama Station on the Tokyu Meguro Line. The shop’s retro, Western-style exterior makes you feel as though you have stepped outside of Japan.
The owner, Akiyama, discovered the brick building while he was taking a walk and thought, "If I want to open a store, this is the place to do it!” He fell in love at first sight.
Akiyama often comes up with recipes inspired by the various ingredients in the store, thinking, “I want to make this kind of shaved ice!”
Since the name of the store includes the word “cafe,” he wanted to serve shaved ice that is typical of a cafe. So, he created the Ice Cream Soda. The fluffy ice topped with homemade milk and sizzling carbonated syrup offers a modern take on the beverage, while still holding true to the cream sodas of old-fashioned coffee shops. Customers can also squeeze on lime according to their preferences.
The restaurant always uses freshly opened soda, so guests can enjoy the sizzling sensation to the fullest. The shop can also carbonate the soda afterwards, so please feel free to ask.
As you continue eating, you will find a juicy mango in the center. The natural sweetness of the mango matches both the milk and carbonated soda, making it a unique product that does not stop at just cream soda flavor.
“At Café Velley, we are always trying to create a restaurant that people will want to visit with their loved ones through continuous improvement, individuality, cuteness, and a unique menu,” Akiyama shared.
Inside, you can enjoy dried flowers from nicoflower, a flower shop in Musashikoyama, and listen to music that Hoshino, one of Cafe Velley’s staff, plays on his record player.
Offering three to seven different kinds of shaved ice daily, "Café Velley" announces the week's menu on Instagram. Enjoy “beret-like” shaved ice that incorporates seasonal fruits and the Japanese traditional sweet mizuyokan (red bean paste sweet) in a cozy cafe setting!
Café Velley Address: 102 Corpo Sunflower, 1-7-12 Ebara, Shinagawa City, Tokyo Business hours: 12pm–6pm Closed: No regular holidays (announced on Instagram) URL: https://www.instagram.com/velley_velley/
*Please note that the above information is subject to change.