#3331

Tourist Tip #4: The Underground World of Food and DEPACHIKA!

Japanese department stores are famous for many things: elevator girls, first-class customer service, and unparalleled gift wrapping. But venture underneath one (on the basement floor) and you'll discover something else they have to offer: the world of "depachika".

"Depachika" is a portmanteau on "depato" (department store) and "chika" (basement). It's essentially a foodstuff market area where you'll find an array of delicatessen-style shops and items from everyday essentials to regional specialties and more. And not just Japanese edibles, either. Western, Korean, italian, French, and Chinese foods are also common finds.

For many who live in Japan, depachika are a part of everyday life, as they are nearly all connected directly to subway and train stations - making them the perfect place to shop for on-the-way-home meals. I almost always visit them when picnicking or wanting to buy a foodgift for a friend.

Almost every major department store has one; they're fun to stroll around in even if you're not shopping for anything (and a perfect place to kill time during heavy rain storms). Some of the most famous are in Tokyo, here's a quick list:

Nihombashi Mitsukoshi (Main Store)
1-4-1 Nihombashi Muro-machi Chuo-ku Tokyo
http://www.mitsukoshi.co.jp/store/fcs/

ISETAN (Shinjuku Store)
3-14-1 Shinjuku Shinjuku-ku Tokyo
http://www.isetan.co.jp/

Daimaru Tokyo
1-9-1 Marunouchi Chiyoda-ku Tokyo
http://www.daimaru.co.jp/tokyo/
http://www.daimaru.co.jp/english/tokyo.html (English)

Matsuya Ginza
3-6-1 Ginza Chuo-ku Tokyo
http://www.matsuya.com/foreign/index.html (English)

Former Deep Japan Writer image

Former Deep Japan Writer

United Kingdom

Former Deep Japan Writer's other advice

Let's Go Swimming in Yokohama! images

Let's Go Swimming in Yokohama!

In my last post, I talked about swimming at Yokohama's International Swimming Pool: http://www.deepjapan.org/a/4437But, of course, there are plenty of other pools in Yokohama where you can go to …

Quick and easy things to do in Yokohama #14 images

Quick and easy things to do in Yokohama #14

Summer time means trips to the beaches and swims in the ocean, but the Yokohama International Swimming Pool is open all year long. It's also one of the the biggest and most beautiful pool facilities …

Best book-browsing, electronic-buying, time-killing spot in Tokyo images

Best book-browsing, electronic-buying, time-killing spot in Tokyo

Tsutaya Electric store opened its doors on Sunday, May 3rd, 2015 in the Futako-Tamagawa Rise building. Dubbed as a "lifestyle shop", its layout gives a whole new experience to purchasing products suc…

Once Only Space and Survival Foods Now Convenience Store Snacks images

Once Only Space and Survival Foods Now Convenience Store Snacks

According to a well-written article on the subject, "freeze-drying technology was originally developed for the production of medicine and is probably best-known among consumers for its use in instant…

Experience the Edo Period at the Edo-Tokyo Museum images

Experience the Edo Period at the Edo-Tokyo Museum

The Edo-Tokyo Museum was established in 1993, and remains one of Tokyo's most interesting musems, featuring the history of Tokyo during the Edo periodAmong its main permanent exhibition features …

Another Easy and Affordable Way to Beat Tsuyu (the Rainy Season) images

Another Easy and Affordable Way to Beat Tsuyu (the Rainy Season)

Two years ago I wrote about one of my favourite summer dishes: "Hiyashi Chuka" - chilled Chinese noodles. It's a summer staple in Japan because it's tasty, light, and refreshing - a perfect meal to b…

You might also like

5 Traditional Japanese Villages to Explore images

5 Traditional Japanese Villages to Explore

The rural area of Japan is quite worth an exploration. Many villages in Japan have typical Japanese styles. Although they are quite far away from big cities, you can enjoy enchanting natural views an…

Alexlovetravel image

Alexlovetravel

HoneyBaked Ham - Now a new store in Tokyo images

HoneyBaked Ham - Now a new store in Tokyo

Just an FYI that you can now get HoneyBaked Ham in Japan. We used to always have this growing up so happy to share it with Japanese friends. They are always amazed to try what we call 'real' ham.…

JiyugaokaPaul image

JiyugaokaPaul

Funniest Japanese Show in Japan: Itte-Q images

Funniest Japanese Show in Japan: Itte-Q

If you're interested in japanese TV, Itte-Q is the show to watch. Even if you don't understand Japanese, the show should be entertaining. Its on Channel 4 from 8pm every sunday. On the show, they do …

GenS image

GenS

SUKEROKU images

SUKEROKU

When I don't have a clear idea of what type of food (bento) to buy, I always choose SUKEROKU bento.It is simple bento, kind of Sushi without raw fish.As you see the picture, two kinds of sushi …

Moo Moo image

Moo Moo

I opened a craft beer bar in Tokyo images

I opened a craft beer bar in Tokyo

I recently opened a new craft beer bar in Tokyo and I thought an article re the process of this would be interesting. After the forced closing of my previous beer bar in Aoyama (the building was …

Adstev73 image

Adstev73

“Promotion Daimyo Character” Ieyasu Kun Rallies for your Success in Hamamatsu City, Japan images

“Promotion Daimyo Character” Ieyasu Kun Rallies for your Success in Hamamatsu City, Japan

Festooned with Symbols of Success for Japan “Ieyasu Kun” will make you smile and help you feel you can do anything you set your mind to.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlwK79Rl3ioHis “Chon Mag…

 image