Kakigori (shaved ice) is maybe the one thing that most reminds people of summer. The quality of kakigori has increased greatly these past years, so much so that it is now considered a top-class sweet. Diehard fans of kakigori are called gora.
Thanks to its mild climate Ehime Prefecture produces a large amount of high-quality citrus and other fruits, and those very fruits are used in making kakigori syrup. This fact combined with the huge number of shops that sell kakigori throughout Ehime has earned it the nickname “Kakigori Prefecture”.
In this article I’m going to introduce my recommended Ehime kakigori shop.
Delicate Ice From A Rugged Owner
Cafe Shimanomono Tanakado is located in one corner of the Mitsuhama Shopping Street close to Iyotetsu Mitsuhama Station, which is some 30 minutes train ride from JR Matsuyama Station.
The rugged owner of the shop, Mr. Akitomo Tanaka, might be a bit of a hunk (pardon me), but his kakigori creations are lovely and cute! “Kakigori fans might be called gora, but you can call me gorilla!” he jokes self-deprecatingly as he welcomes me.
The fruit is grown on the islands and is free of pesticides. It is carefully selected and then boiled together with a small amount of beet sugar and made into syrup. This is the secret to the amazing taste of the kakigori here at Tanakado. They have a wide variety of flavors, including shimano amanatsu pomelo, blueberry, fresh strawberry, strawberry compote, shima honey lemon, and naturally cultivated kiwi and fig.
For an extra 50 yen you get a generous amount of condensed milk as well.
The bestselling flavor, fresh strawberries (800 yen incl. tax), is packed with fruit both on the inside and on the outside. It sells out even before the height of summer, so make sure you visit early in the summer if you want to try this one.
Hooked On The Special Condensed Milk
My recommendation is in the photo above. It kinda looks like a miniature limestone cave, but can you see what it actually is?
This is the infamous Tanakado condensed milk (700 yen incl. tax).
With its original combination of milk, tonka beans and an assortment of dried fruits, the slow-cooked sauce completely changes what traditional condensed milk is supposed to be. The flavor is sweet and luxurious, and will get you hooked with the first taste!
Mr. Tanaka first started making kakigori after he got this hand-cranked kakigori machine. He received it from the previous owner of the kakigori shop he used to frequent as a child in his hometown of Nuwa Island.
The shop has counter seats and a large table where everyone faces each other, so it’s easy to start talking with other customers. It has a nice, warm countryside atmosphere, and is very comfortable.
Tanakado brings people and things together. The hustle and bustle of daily life disappear as soon as you walk through the wooden door.
The kakigori at Tanakado is only on offer during spring and summer. Please come and try their delicious kakigori and enjoy the surrounding shopping streets of Mitsuhama.
※Please contact for information about when the shaved ice is on sale
Address: 2-8-1 Sumiyoshi, Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture
Open: 11:00 until dusk
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Eri Hatano
Eri Hatano Born in 1978 in Miyazaki and currently living in Okayama, Eri used to work as a full-time newspaper journalist. She is now independent and writes for a number of publications across a variety of genres. As her husband's job requires him to regularly relocate to different regions of Japan, most recently from Ehime to Okayama, Eri has for the last several years enjoyed living in the Setouchi area. She says that Setouchi has a lot to offer particularly in terms of food and culture, which are both very well-established and can't be found anywhere else in Japan. Eri says that she will try to reflect her fascination with the Setouchi area with her words and pictures via Setouchi Finder.
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