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  • Writer's pictureAkiko Murakami

Nara, the birthplace of ice culture

Big and gorgeously decorated "Shaved ice" have become a big boom in Nara.🍨🍧

Things seem little too much for me, some are too pricy (more than 1,000 yen per bowl) , or you have to wait so long. Thanks to COVID-19, this summer, I took advantage and tried some of the famous ones.

To give you some picture of the best examples,

One of the best shaved ice shops in Nara is "Hosekibako. (宝石箱), literally means, "Jewelry Box".

You can enter the shop as long as there is a seat available, but it's not easy to stand in line in the heat.

For 100 yen (including tax), you can get a numbered ticket for any time slot from 8:30 am to 10:00 am or later (in 30-minute increments).

The Nara-style "fawn ice" is limited to 30 servings a day. 100 yen from the price will be donated to the Deer Protection Society.

The fluffy ice is topped with black tea syrup and milk espuma, creamy foamy ice.

The cute fawn cookie on top of the caramel and nut topping are eye-catching!

There's even some rum raisins in the ice, so it's a very indulgent shaved ice!

The following is "The Pine Kiwi Yogurt Espuma Ice."

Plenty of ripe pineapples topped with sweet and sour yogurt espuma, creamy foam. Topped with sweet pineapple and kiwi syrup, it's a very healthy dish with a fresh, summery color.

Last some years, an Official guide book to find the best shops in Nara is available at some famous shops (not at the information center)✨😋 See the picture below.

[氷の食文化のはじまりの地 奈良かき氷ガイドブック2020] ✨🍨

----French style, patisserie style, teahouse style. There are many different ways to prepare kakigori, or "shaved ice". The demand for this treat is concentrated around the summer months, but kakigori shops cannot rely on only business during only one season, as they need to make ends meet outside of just the summer. In order to succeed each shop has a unique speciality.

While there is a small tendency to get lost in making niche kakigori, having a specific store flavor often makes the ice taste that much better.

The unique banana meringue flavor.. The rare Taiwanese tea flavor. The local green tea / hojicha (roasted tea) flavor with toppings of homemade red bean and mochi.

The caramel mousse and espresso flavor with the chocolate mousse inside.

etc, etc......

In Nara there is a never-ending pursuit to create new types of kakigori, and more new shops are opening every year.

The list was compiled with the creator of the Kakigori Festival, Sousuke Hirai. Without a doubt, each spot is worth a try. By going to every single store, they tasted the flavors themselves and listened to the story of the shop owners and staff. With the help of each shop, they were able to create a special guide for their digital guide users.

Why don't you try to hop from one location to the next using this guide. (Believe me, in the summer season, you must wait in a line to taste them!!)

Both tourists and kakigori shop owners from other countries come here to study to meet the flavors of ice unique to Nara.

Acai Bowl style shaved ice, very healthy look, and low calorie.



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