In Japanese department stores, the basement floor is a foodstuff market area. These areas go by the nickname “Depachika” – a combination of “depato”, meaning department store, and “chika”, meaning basement.
(Broken Japanese/Local slang)
The “Depachika” of Japan are great places to find food especially for take-out.
The selections in these markets can be broken up into two categories: an area featuring everyday delicatessen style items and an area featuring snacks and treats.
Vegetables and fish are also sold at the perishable goods market area.
With a diverse array of delicatessen shop spaces carrying Japanese, Western, and Chinese food, these “Depachika” areas are almost like outdoor markets. The fragrance of freshly baked bread wafts from the bakery shop, and the sound of Gyoza (fried dumplings) can be heard from another section.
There is so much variety available, it seems like there is nothing that cannot be bought here.
And some shops also offer food samples.
If you are offered, feel free to try a bite. Enjoy top level flavors casually at shops, with eat-in areas.
Many different kinds of “Bento are available for purchase here as well. You can even find Bento and Sushi take-out from the kind of Japanese restaurants selected by Michelin. There are also shops that sell foods prized by weight.
Showcases of famous brand western and Japanese treats shops line the snack and treats area, and the beautiful colors and amount of diversity are absolutely amazing. Seasonal events, like the lineup of chocolate shops for Valentine’s Day, are really interesting and well worth a look!
Many of these “Depachika” areas are connected directly to subway stations, so they are great places to go shopping even on rainy days. They are always bustling with shoppers, but lunch time and evenings are very crowded and especially during late hours, just before the mall closes.
That is because many Japanese would pop by on the way back from work and the items can be sold for less then 50% of the original price!
(The reason for this is because food here is never kept overnight, freshness ensured!)
I hope this post helps, especially for visitors of japan.
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