Department store basement
Depachika is the nickname for the basement floor (B1) of Japanese department stores. It’s gourmet heaven for fine-quality foods and beverages from around Japan and worldwide.
Each depachika is a busy market, constantly crowded with shoppers. You’ll find a cornucopia of popular brands — from washoku (Japanese foods) to Chinese and Western fare to desserts — plus specialties only available from retail shops located in this basement. It’s overflowing with fresh foods (often cooked on site), ready-to-eat side dishes, colorful sweets and cakes. Many customers buy food for dinner for home, souvenirs for families, and meals to celebrate special occasions. You can even try selections right after buying in a break area of the department store or a park nearby.
Japanese department stores are well-stocked with Japanese sake, whiskey, and regional liqueurs, traditional Japanese seasonings like soy sauce and miso (fermented bean paste), and seasonal fruits. Moreover, this wealth of selection caters to the gift-giving needs of shoppers. For the typical Japanese consumer, depachika shopping offers a sense of luxurious indulgence.
Experience the depachika at Isetan Shinjuku Store, Tokyo. Most days, you’ll find about 160 shops open plus a special event space for seasonal food demonstrations, featuring different retailers every week. Demonstrations include tempura made with seasonal vegetables, roll sushi with fresh seafood, lunchboxes (bento) with seasonal ingredients, and traditional Japanese cake (wagashi) celebrating the seasons. Depachika is an ideal place to enjoy washoku — officially designated an Intangible Cultural Heritage asset.
Depachika is like a culinary theme park for your five senses. Why don’t you buy some fresh-cooked treats or a lunchbox? Then go up to the roof terrace of the department store and savor your feast!