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Mastumoto Shave Ice

Matsumoto Shave Ice: A Must-Try When Visiting Oahu

No visit to Oahu is complete without enjoying a bowl of Matsumoto Shave Ice.

There are tons of amazing treats that you should try while in Hawaii and shaved ice is one of the ones that you shouldn’t miss. Sure, they’re most likely available in other places and that they’re not entirely traditionally Hawaiian but over the years, this cold dessert has definitely made its mark on the island that it’s already considered as a staple.

In the sleepy town of Haleiwa on the North Shore of Oahu, you’ll find what a lot of locals consider as the best shave ice in Hawaii: the Matsumoto Shave Ice. With its legacy, it can be hard to argue against the claims that it’s the most popular shave ice in the state. Some might even go as far as calling it the best and they might just be. If there’s one thing that can’t be disputed, however, is the fact that they’re pretty much the standard when it comes to the said dessert being around for decades already.

About Matsumoto Shave Ice

What makes the Matsumoto Shave Ice worth a stop on your trip to Oahu? Let this quick rundown tell you.

It’s more than just shave ice as they also offer a look at local history.

Matsumoto Shave Ice is named after its founder, Mamoru Matsumoto, who came to Hawaii to start a new life and support his family back in Japan. Alongside his wife, fellow immigrant Helen Momoyo Ogi, they worked hard to achieve their goal of starting their own business. When they opened their grocery store in 1951, they continued to work hard to get the business rolling. They worked nonstop and peddled their wares from camp to camp to make a profit. 

After their kids were born, they realized that they needed to expand their offerings. Thanks to the location along the North Shore, they discovered it to be a great spot for selling shave ice. It wasn’t until the 1960s when the North Shore surf scene started to take off when the family business started to gain some traction, however. But soon enough, word of mouth helped spread the news of their cold treat’s sweet goodness, establishing the Matsumoto Shave Ice legacy.

Today, the business is mostly focused on serving sweet and cold treats to the guests. They also make a quick buck from their lovely merchandise. They offer dozens of various T-shirt designs as well as other knick-knacks and accessories, letting you bring home a sweet souvenir from your trip.

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What To Get

With the long list of their available flavors, choosing what to get can be a bit overwhelming for first-timers. However, you can always just opt for their recommended combinations or maybe even get the Ichiban Special to free you from the hassle of taking a pick from their offerings. All of them are guaranteed to be mouth-watering and perfect for the warm climate, so you certainly won’t go wrong with their recommendations. 

Also, look forward to enjoying their edible bowls. Their choice to switch to such packaging options isn’t just a trendy thing to keep up with the millennials who want to produce less waste. It’s actually a traditional thing done in Japan as their shave ice there also come in edible bowls. So with this switch, you’ll be able to enjoy one of the sweetest Japanese-Hawaiian crossovers ever.

A stop at Matsumoto’s Shave Ice is a must on your Oahu private group tour!

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