On the bottom floor of nearly every department store in Japan, there is a hidden gourmet food wonderland. Informally, the Japanese refer to it as “depachika” (“depa” for department store and “chika” for basement). These underground spaces in Japan have many surprises. The vast spaces are filled with a maze of aisles with different food stalls displaying tasty local favorites and imported delicious culinary delights.
You can find any type of food, both savoury and sweet as well as beverages and you can spend hours looking at the options and tasting the sample available before deciding what to take away for you dinner or purchase as a gift.
The quality of the food available and the way it is presented will make you want to buy everything, items range from Japanese favourites like various bento, Tea, sushi and sake to international sweet favourites like Belgium chocolates, muffins and macaroons. Most of the food is packaged beautifully and you can watch as the food and cakes are prepared by the workers.
To get the most desirable foods you need to move quick as most are limited in quantity.
When I visited Tokyo I went to a few Depachika and was in heaven! The food was amazing and so much choice, I had amazing bento, karaage chicken and the best strawberry and cream muffin I have ever eaten! I could have spent all day in there, but would not have been good for my waistline.
Once you purchase you food items it is a good idea to go up to one of the roof top gardens that most department stores have or even a local park to enjoy your feast.