Best ice-cream in Kansai area
Summer is almost here and for the people familiar with summers in Japan, know how hot and humid it can be. So what better way to cool down than with some delicious and gorgeous ice-cream or ‘kakigoori’ (かきごおり – かき氷) shaved ice-cream.
Here is our guide where to get some of the best ice-cream in the Kansai area.
Our first selection is a very nice Japanese style café located 5 minutes from Shinsaibashi station called ‘wad omotenashi café’. WAD Omotenashi is a very nice and peaceful café that sports a very minimal style Japanese interior and is both a café and shop that displays and sells Japanese ceramics.
Wad’s specialty is their Japanese style shaved ice-cream, called kakigori (かきごおり – かき氷). It comes with a big bowl of shaved ice, some sweet condensed milk and a bottle of black sugar syrup. A delicious sweet refreshment on a hot day.
GUFO Groovy Ice Cream is a small ice-cream shop in the trendy Yotsubashi area that sells one of the best ice-cream in Osaka.
GUFO has become extremely popular due to their fancy decorated ice-creams, parfaits and ice-cream in jars, but their plain milk and pistachio ice-cream flavors alone are absolutely fantastic. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to upgrade and go over-board by adding some caramel sauce, white chocolate sprinkles or even crunchy chocolate. You won’t be disappointed.
RanRan is a small café located in Minami-Ibaraki that is famous for their sweet-potato products.
While Ranran sells both shaved-ice and normal ice-cream, shaved ice is only available by eating inside the café, which requires a reservation. The ice-cream cones are take-out only. With that said, the cones only come in one shape, size and are only sweet-potato flavor with a caramel sauce on top, they taste absolutely amazing. A great summer treat to cool down.
Kaigen Cafe, Utsubohonmachi
Kaigen Cafe is a small cafe that is located on the ground floor of a building that sits on the corner of Naniwasuji and Utsubopark.
At first glance it looks like it mainly serves lunch but they also sell kakigoori (shaved ice). They have about 11 flavors (white chocolate & strawberry, matcha, black sugar and more). The kakigoori tastes absolutely fantastic. The shaved ice is soft and the flavor is deep. It also doesn’t melt so fast so you still have time to take some photos. Heavily recommended.
Yummy Fruits, Ibaraki
Yummy Fruits is a family run hairsalon converted into a shaved ice-cream shop hidden in a residential area near JR Ibaraki station. So instead of shaving heads, they now shave ice.
They have about eight different flavors (watermelon, mango, strawberry, melon, and many more) and every single one of them are gorgeously decorated with whole fresh fruits. Absolutely fantabulous.
Kakigoori Kenkyuusho, Shinmachi
Kakigoori Kenkyuusho (literally translated: Shaved Ice-cream Laboratory) is a shaved ice-cream shop that sells one of the best, most delicious and most gorgeous shaved ice-creams in Osaka.
The shop is located on the second floor and looks a little shabby but don’t let it’s appearance fool you.
They have six different flavors (Montblanc revolution, Strawberry Milk, Pistacchio Caramel and more). They might be simple names but what you get is far from it. Besides the bowls of shaved-ice looking absolutely delicious, their flavors are more than that. The outside is just the shell of what is waiting for your inside. The deeper you scoop the more flavors will come out. That with the fresh fruit on top makes this one of the best shaved ice-creams in Kansai area. A tad on the pricey side perhaps but totally worth it.
Cafe Twelve, Fukushima
Near Fukushima Station is ‘Cafe Twelve’, a cozy little café famous for its delicious cheesecake and shaved ice cream.
Café Twelve sells more than 10 different bowls of shaved ice with simple flavors like: “Caramel Nuts, Strawberry Milk or Tiramisu” but also somewhat more unusual flavors like: “Strawberry Fromage, Spicy Choco Caramel Raisin or Chocolate Espresso”. There is even the more extravagant “Corn & Strawberry” shaved ice-cream. Yes, you read that right. Corn. No flavor is too crazy for the owner who often experiments around with new flavor combinations.
While the ice is of course absolutely amazing, its the hospitality that also makes Cafe Twelve on of our favorite entrees.
The cheerful and funny owner will make a quick chat and will provide the customers with a straw to drink the molten ice before it flows overs as well as provide a hot cup of water to prevent your mouth from freezing off.
Café Twelve comes HIGHLY recommended.
Matsushita Kitchen, Tamatsukuri
Another extremely popular shaved ice cream cafe is Matsushita Kitchen, near Tamatsukuri Station.
They have a few different flavors (Matcha, Coconut, Passion fruit, Strawberry and more) which they offer in mini and big sizes. The big size is definitely more appealing but after a heavy lunch or for kids the mini size is a great alternative.
Cafe Nanami, Suita
Café Nanami is a café/patissier located in a kominka (old Japanese style house) that serves delicious bowls of shaved ice cream.
They have 4 flavors of shaved ice that include: “melon milk, peach and tea, strawberry and black sugar & mango”. Each between 1000 and 1500 yen but absolutely worth it. Amazing flavor and best of all, lots of fresh fruit topping.
Tea and Sake Tasuki, Gion
Tea and Sake Tasuki is a small kakigori shop located inside the stylish Pass the Baton complex in Gion.
Due to extremely popularity the shop has moved completely to online reservations, so you have to book in advance.
Some of the shaved ice flavors are only available for a limited time so make sure to check their instagram for more info about the available flavors.
KitanoLab is a small patisserie located right in front of Kitanotenmangu shrine.
They have only a small selection of shaved ice. A simple but delicious version with a selection of various syrups and two very gorgeous but expensive shaved ice types.
The syrup version offers six flavors of syrup (strawberry, houjicha, matcha, yamamomo, apple, shiso and quince) from which you can choose three. We recommend choosing 3 different colors otherwise you will end up with a quite boring version as pictured above.
Piu Cafe, Kitanohakubaicho
To the South of the famous Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) near Hakubaicho station is the stylish ‘Piu cafe’.
Not really an ‘ice-cream’ shop persee, Piu Cafe is famous for its delicious apple pie plates. However the plates come with a big ball of delicious ice cream on top and decorated in various ways which make for a good summer treat nontheless.
Chestnut Specialist Saori, Kawaramachi
On a ten minute walk from Kyoto Kawaramachi station is Chestnut specialist Saori which is extremely popular for their amazing and stylish Chestnut-cream sweets.
Their most popular product is their 1mm thick chestnut-cream covered ice-cream which doesn’t only look stylish it also tastes fantastic. The ice-cream consists of a bowl filled with ice-cream, a merengue cone on top and covered with the 1mm thick chesntnut-cream.