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Golden shaved ice that uses real gold leaf — how’s that for a lucky dessert? 

The uncomfortable summer heat here in Japan has been a recurring topic on our site, and this year is turning out to be no exception as the temperature keeps rising. Well, shaved ice, a popular treat in Japan during the summer, is certainly something that can make the heat a little more bearable. The summer season is also when people in Japan can buy tickets for the national “Summer Jumbo Lottery”, and a cafe in Tokyo’s Ginza area has combined the two items to come up with a cool, fun promotion:  golden shaved ice made using real gold leaf to bring luck to lottery ticket buyers!

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The treat, called the “Golden Ujikintoki“, is going to be offered from July 6 to 29 at Cafe Izumi located close to Nishi Ginza Chance Center, one of the busiest lottery ticket sales shops in Japan, to coincide with the sale of the Summer Jumbo Lottery tickets. The ujikintoki is a traditional Japanese shaved ice flavor that typically involves green tea syrup and sweet red bean paste, and you can bet it will offer tremendous relief to people who have waited in line outside the Nishi Ginza Chance Center in the heat to buy their (hopefully lucky) lottery tickets.

The Golden Ujikintoki will be made from ice frozen carefully over a period of more than 48 hours at a specialty ice shop in Ginza, garnished with a sauce created with matcha green tea from Uji City in Kyoto and sweet paste from Hokkaido-grown azuki red beans, plus a 10 cm (approx. 4 in) square sheet of edible gold leaf from Kanazawa, the city in Ishikawa Prefecture known for producing over 98% of the gold leaf in Japan.  And for fun (and luck), the whole dessert is topped with a piece of pineapple in the shape of the lucky number seven. Actually, the top prize for the Summer Jumbo Lottery of 500 million yen, combined with the prize of 100 million yen each for the ticket number before and after the top winning number, comes to 700 million yen for any extremely lucky winner who purchased the three consecutive numbers, so the seven is also meant to represent the maximum amount of money you can win in the lottery!

▼ The delicate gold leaf, specifically designed for use in foods by Kanazawa-based gold leaf producer Hakuichi, is a quality product that is used by major Japanese confection and snack makers.

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The golden shaved ice will be priced at 1,040 yen (US$10.13), and only 10 of them will be served each day, due to the limited supply of the precious gold leaf. Hmmm… $10 for a serving of shaved ice may sound pricey, but on second thought it might not be so bad for a treat that will keep you cool and maybe bring you luck. Oh, and if you show the staff at the cafe that you’ve bought Summer Jumbo Lottery tickets, you’ll also get a 300 yen discount.

▼ If you’re simply in the mood for an ice-cold treat and don’t need the “golden” treatment, you can also get one of their other shaved ice flavors, including strawberry milk (left) and mango milk (right), both available for 740 yen.

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Even if you’re not buying lottery tickets, the cafe’s cool treats should be worth enjoying during the hot Tokyo summer, especially if you’re in the Ginza area for some sightseeing and shopping, because we all know how grueling that can be, right?

Shop Information
Cafe Izumi
Tokyo-to, Chuo-ku, Ginza 3-1, Ginza Inz 1 First Floor
東京都中央区銀座3丁目-1 銀座インズ1-1F
(Close to JR and subway Yuraku-cho Station, subway Ginza Icchome Station and subway Ginza Station)
Open: 10:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Source and images: @Press press release