Shopping and food.
Some of the best things about Japan in one place.
Department store basements are food paradises- they're great for trying new foods and buying gifts without breaking the bank.
If you want to try a variety of fresh deli foods made in Japan, a depachika is the place to go! Depachika is a shortened phrase for “department store basement” (depa from department store, chika being the Japanese term for underground). The depachika is a whole basement floor with rows of stalls, each selling their original delicacy, and the types of foods they sell are wide in variety. Bakeries selling pastries and cakes, Japanese/Chinese/Western delia, chocolates, sweets, pickles, rice crackers, traditional foods and many more are all usually available. Though some foods are packaged, you can purchase most of the deli foods by the gram. Many places offer samples for tasting, so you can be sure you are buying something you like. This is the perfect place to go if you want to keep your food budget low, but at the same time wish to try many things. It’s even better when it gets close to closing time, when all the fresh foods go on sale! Many of the deli shops sell air-tight wrapped foods which last longer for storage, and are perfect to take home as a souvenir for family and friends. Below are some of the major department stores you can find in large cities: