The most famous natural shaved-ice shop in Chichibu City is Asami Reizo, which has long queues in summer.
The shop is located in the Nagatoro district, famous for tourist spots such as the famous river boating experience and Iwadatami, a rock formation designated as natural monument.
Waiting time is about 2-3 hours after a queue is formed but eating the natural shaved-ice at least once is worth the wait! Since the shop is open all year round, you can purchase the ice without waiting by avoinding the busiest season of summer.
This article provides an overview of Asami Reizo’s shaved-ice.
About Asami Reizo, the famous natural shaved-ice shop
Asami Reizo is a manufacturer of natural ice been in business for more than 130 years.
In 1992, Asami Reizo opened a shaved-ice shop, the current Asami Reizo Kanasaki main shop. It has become the popular shop with long queues after being introduced by TV and in magazines.
The feature of Asami Reizo’s shaved-ice is that it is natural ice served with a syrup made of natural ingredients.
Depending on season, pure ice, which is not made in natural ponds but produced at factories etc., may be used instead of natural ice.
2 shops- Kanasaki Main Shop and Hodosan Shop
Asami Reizo has two shops, the Kanasaki Main Shop which is located in Chichibu-gun, Minano-machi, Kanasaki and the Hodosan Shop which is located in the approach to Hodosan Shrine. There are limited menus for each shop as well as a seasonal menus.
The distance between Main Shop and the Hodosan Shop is about 15 minute walk or 3-4 minutes by car. In summer, both shops have long queues.
Kanasaki Main Shop: 27-1 Kanasaki, Minano-machi, Chichibu-gun, Saitama Prefecture
Nearest Station: Kaminagatoro
Hodosan Shop: 781-4, Nagatoro, Nagatoro-machi, Chichibu-gun, Saitama Prefecture
Nearest Station: Nagatoro
About Waiting Time and Queues
This is a movie about queues at the Kanasaki Main Shop.
In the busiest time of summer, visitors can choose take-out or eat-in (there are seats inside and outside the shop).
When there is a long queue, it may take 2 hours to order for take-out and 3 hours for eat-in. The Hodosan Shop’s queues may be shorter but waiting time is still at least 30 minutes.
Since Asami Reizo is open all year round, it is recommend that people who do not want to wait in line should avoid summer, the busiest season.
I visited there at 2pm on a weekday in March and was able to sit down without waiting.
This is the gate of the Kanasaki Main Shop where there are so many visitors in summer. In the off-seasons, the entrance where the shop flag is hanging was very quiet even though the entrance is located along a national road.
The outdoor seats by the entrance are in a Japanese garden style. This place is also crowded in the summer.
After passing through the garden, visitors arrive at the entrance of the Kanasaki Main Shop.
The Japanese-styled interior has a relaxing atmosphere
The interior of the shop is sophisticated with a modern-Japanese style with glass tables.
There is an audio equipment and a piano.
There are 40 seats inside and 30 seats outside.
Tea is self-service. If visitors want a drink, there is barley tea available in a Japanese-style teakettle. It is well matched with the interior.
Visitors can drink a cup of barley tea while waiting for shaved-ice.
This is a shaved-ice menu. There are daily special and seasonal menus.
All items on the menu are delicious but the recommended one for the first time visitors is “Kuramoto Hiden Kiwami (great tastes from the master’s secret recipe) Special 3” or “Asami-no-Wa(Japanese harmony) Special”.
- Kuramoto Hiden Mitsu (syrup of master’s secret recipe) Shiro An (white bean paste): 1,000yen Azuki (red bean paste): 1,100yen
- Kuramoto Hiden Kiwami (great taste from the master’s secret recipe) Special 3: 1,500yen
- Asami-no-Wa(Japanese harmony) Special:1,300yen
- Asami-no-Kaju (fruit juice) Special:1,200yen
- Asami-no-Milk Special:1,300yen
Note:Seasonal menu and daily special may not be available.
This is Asami-no-Wa Special
It is served with maccha (green tea), kinako (soybean flour), azuki (red bean), and kuromitsu (brown sugar syrup). Umeboshi (pickled Japanese plum) is served with all orders as a palate cleanser.
It looked tasty with macha, with kinako, azuki, kuromitsu as toppings for tastier flavors.
It is very delicious with natural ice melting in mouth. It is tasty to eat ice cream in winter but shaved-ice is also tasty!
This is from the seasonal menu – the “Asami-no-Spring Special”.
It was served with peach, cherry blossom syrup and white bean paste.
It was tasty and the fragrance of cherry blossom syrup was very nice.
The natural shaved-ice melts in the mouth very lightly that it does not cause a headache even though with this heaping bowl of ice.
Eating two bowls are not that too much. Actually, I had two bowls this day.
Despite the waiting time in summer, it is worth the wait to eat this natural shaved-ice. It makes the shaved-ice exceptionally tasty.
Kanasaki Main Shop
|Kanasaki Main Shop|
|Address|| 27-1 Kanasaki, Minano-machi, Chichibu-gun, Saitama Prefecture|
|Opening hours||10:00-16:30 (Closed Thursdays)|
|Access||3 minutes walk from Kaminagatoro Station, Chichibu Railway|
|Car Parking|| Free Parking Available|
In peak-season, paid parking only, available for 500 yen
|Address|| 781-4, Nagatoro, Nagatoro-machi, Chichibu-gun, Saitama Prefecture|
|Open hours||10:00-17:00 (Closed Tuesdays)|
|Access||3 minutes walk from Nagatoro station, Chichibu Railway|
|Car Parking||Free Parking available|
Shops are open all year round (although they used to be closed in winters).
Both shops are very conveniently located within 3 minutes walk from their nearest stations. Access by car is also possible as both have car parking space.
Note: At the Kanasaki shop, free car parking is only available during off-seasons. Toll parking near the shop is available in the peak-season.
Since the fixed holidays are different at both shops, visitors can visit one of the shops even if the other is closed.
Asami Reizo is known as the famous natural shaved-ice shop in Chichibu.
As there are many items on the menu, including seasonal specialties, both first-time visitors and regular customers will be delighted.
Please visit both shops as there are limited menus for each shop.
When visiting Chichibu, this shaved ice is a must-eat!