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  • This is kakigori.

  • It's a traditional Japanese dessert similar to the shaved ice desserts that you probably know.

  • But of course, here, it is so much more than that.

  • Let's start with a quick history.

  • The dish was originally a summer treat meant to help cool down the wealthy elite of Japan during the late 1800s.

  • The ice was topped with fruit syrups and teas grown and harvested locally, and, in some places, it still is.

  • This is Aya Eguchi in her shop in Otsu.

  • And to get very thin ice, there is, of course, a special machine for that, which you can find in Tokyo at Kori Ishibashi.

  • This is Kumiko Ishibashi in her shop.

  • How thin the ice is shaved?

  • Well, that depends on the weather.

  • OK, so we've got our pure non-freezer made ice shaved by hand to perfection based on the weather.

  • Next, we need toppings.

  • Our last stop is Chasanraku tea house in Kyoto.

  • An area known for its matcha.

  • And this is Hiroki.

  • From more traditional matcha flavors to mainstream ones like strawberry, Hawaii blue, melon, cream.

  • This dish has range.

  • But the only thing that matters at the end of the day is how delicious it is.

This is kakigori.

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