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.
It pains me to think of how fast time is going by. Here we are over half way through my precious dessert calendar! Well, it’s a great one for summer. Anmitsu! Opalescent jelly cubes, red bean paste, fruits, and black sugar syrup served chilled in a super cute cup from Kichi Zoh ・吉蔵. A cute, light treat perfect for a hot summer day.
There are a few summer holidays in July so a few friends and I escaped north of the city to Kitakyushu. Just east of there is a place I’ve had my eye on for ages: Hiraodai. It isn’t so mountainous but is more gorgeous rolling green hills and beautiful views. This group is a big on sunrises so we started our day around 3:30am and were not disappointed. I could not get enough of the morning light.
It was just like out of a dream. On the way to the summit it was a little cloudy but cleared up beautifully later in the hike.
Sometimes (every time) sunrise hikes are a bit challenging but they are so worth it. I wouldn’t be supr keen to try an 8 hour hike on so little sleep but its a great time to do smaller, less physical hikes; especially in the summer heat.
The grass was really up to my waist at some points! It was a lot of fun to go around and play around in.
Believe it or not, I did manage to find some sweets. Matcha kakigōri・かき氷 and anmitsu・あんみつ at a really old school style shop and they were beyond heaven.
I love a double snack day, I love eating a snack that looks like another food I’m eating. It’s summer, it’s time to eat watermelon of all varieties. Fukuoka gets pretty hot, but I love the heat and taking my matcha set into the sun for a little break from work is hard to beat. In this pic you can catch a peek of the mountains in the background, a bunch of which I’ve gotten to hike.
June is over already! I can’t believe it. Today’s matcha set is a bit of children’s classic: Konpeitō・金平糖, which is a cute little sugar candy. Sometimes Japanese sweets are about the delicacy and nuances, and sometimes you just need a sugar hit.
A picture perfect mint mizu yōkan・水羊羹 from Tugi. Like I’ve said before, chilled mizu yōkan is one of my favourite summer treats, very very smooth, jellied red bean paste that’s nearly the texture of a pudding. Adding a minty fresh flavour was a first for me, and a perfect patio dessert.
One of the most beautiful annin dōfu puddings I’ve ever had, unsurprisingly from Rabbit Moon ・兎月. It has a bright, tart mango puree on top that was really the perfect balance of creaminess, sweetness and brightness. On the walk home from getting this, I saw the most beautiful and interesting hydrangeas, with funny little spots on them.
There’s a first time for everything, and today was the day I woke up at 3:00am to go chase the sunrise. A few of us avid hikers drove up and made the quick hike up. Full disclosure! Most of these are my incredibly talented friend’s pictures from his amazing camera and the boring unedited ones are mine.
The sun rises very early in the summer so it was a little brighter than we planned on the way up, but incredibly beautiful.
Even at such a low elevation we were above the clouds, which in this sunrise pic look like the ocean I think.
I’ve been to this area a few times, it’s a pretty popular hike because if it’s accessibility and being beginner-friendly. It was really nice to have the place to ourselves.
It was such a nice start to the day and I would definitely go on another sunrise trek again.
Hard to beat this summer combination. Frothed matcha poured over matcha ice cubes with amanatsu daifuku・甘夏大福. Amanatsu is a summer citrus that has the bitter tanginess of a grapefruit with a deep sweetness. This one has white bean paste covering the candied, pulpy citrus.