Travel Japan: Summer Favorite Kakigori!
Japanese shaved ice, Kakigori
I can't tell Japanese summer without explaining Kakigori, which means shaved ice in Japanese. Its origin is very old, Kakigori has been loved by Japanese people for more than 1,000 years. At the beginning, although it has been a special and high class sweet for people like aristocrats and Shogun, it has changed its shape and become one of the Japanese favorite sweet during summer. At the beginning of Japanese summer, you can see a lot of flags that Kakigori is illustrated at the coffee shops and restaurants, which means "we are serving Kakigori here". That flags tell people that summer is coming. Because of its easy way that add sweet syrup on shaved ice, it can be made at home with Kakigori machine, and Japanese people enjoy its sweet taste with family.
As a traditional Japanese Kakigori style, simple one has been popular, simple syrup on the crashed ice. That syrup is usually fruit flavor such as strawberry, mango, melon and lemon. As a other flavor, there are blue-Hawaii and coke Kaigori. In Kyoto, where is famous for Matcha, there are many shops that serve Matcha Kakigori.
Trend of Kakigori
These kind of traditional Kakigori has been popular however, these days Kakigori is evolving in unique ways and getting more popular. Deliciousness is of course important, but now beauty and Kawaii (pretty) is required to Kakigori. Many Kakigori shop is making more photogenic Kakigori and trying to get more customers. Decorated Kakigori with not only syrup but also toppings like many fruit and chocolate is now popular. The shaved ice is more popular than crashed one, and people like fluffy ice more. Some Shop is famous for its anime character shaped Kakigori, and others are famous for its high class Kakigori like some gold leaf on ice and caviar on ice. When you travel to Japan next time during summer, just try some Kakigori!