August Snack of the Month: Kakigori・かき氷

With all the rainy weather, I hadn’t really been in the mood for shaved ice・kakigori・かき氷 but the sun is out, its hot and perfect weather for one of my favourite summer sweets. This shop, Roponpon・ろっぽんぽん, is just beside my place and I often get their tai-mochi snacks after hiking.

This kakigoari had the fluffiest shaved ice and was topped with condensed milk, kinako flour, and almonds with red bean paste and little mochi balls hiding at the bottom. Even though this wasn’t the perfect summer, and even though summer is coming to an end, it was so lovely to sit outside on my lunch break and eat this.

Summer Mochi

The sun is out, its hot and beautiful and time for sasa mochi・笹餅. Sasa is the word for the bamboo leaf that the light, chewy mochi filled with red bean paste is wrapped in. This mochi is more moist and less dense than usual and kind, and they are best served nice and cool.

A Nice Sturdy Snack

This is an ikinari dango・いきなり団子 from Rabbit Moon・兎月, which is fairly popular around this area but from what I understand is much more famous in Kumamoto. It’s a quite sizable steamed dumpling filled with red bean and sweet potato. Some are so large they can double as lunch. In the winter I often toast them for a minute but it’s still summer and hot and humid here so I passed on that this time.

Interactive Jelly

This is actually another sweet I got while staying in my old neighborhood in Tokyo a little white ago. It’s a lightly sweet jelly inside of a bamboo tube. Always love a prop, you can use the plunger to push in through a little grid that slices it into cute jelly noodles. Then you pour a sweet, black sauce over it, similar to molasses. It was a very fun, light snack that I loved, even if it made me nostalgic for my old home!

Hokkaido Souvenir Snacks

Can’t go on vacation without souvenirs! In Japan they’re called omiyage・お土産 and almost exclusively refer to food. These butter sandwich cookies are one of the most popular from Hokkaido and are very near the top of my list. Buttery white chocolate and raisins sandwiched between more buttery biscuits. Worth a trip up north alone!

Edamame Mochi

I had to spend the night in Tokyo because of flight transfers, and while it was not my goal to spend a moment in Tokyo during the Olympics amid the current situation I have to admit I was happy to spend the night in my old neighborhood. Predictably, I went to one of my favourite sweet shops, Iseya and brought a bunch of cute snacks back with me. This one is a edamame mochi! Really the flavour is called zunda mochi・ずんだ餅 and it was perfect.