Tokyo Food Halls = Food Mecca


If there is only one thing to do in Tokyo, it has to be a visit to department store food halls. They are a haven, heaven, mecca..they are just amazing.

“Depachika”, as they are known, combines the words “depato” (department store) and “chika” (basement). The first depato debuted in the 1600s. Today these food halls are among the best in the world, if not the best.

The basements have a massive spread of supermarkets, counters, and pop-up vendors. The competition among vendors is fierce. As a result, the highest quality of foods is produced and refreshed every season and every month. Likewise, the presentation and packaging are artistic and gift-worthy.

These food halls are the place to have an introduction and true immersion into Tokyo’s local food culture.

This is food for the everyday citizen. In particular, it is also catered for commuters, as much of the packaging is assembled for take-away and not to eat on the premises. (It is actually  a cultural practice not to eat standing or walking around in public.

And, there is practically every food imaginable. Everything. Affordable to ridiculously expensive.

The best ones are Mitsukoshi Ginza, Daimaru Tokyo Station, Isetan Shinjuku, and Takashimaya Shinjuku; and, there are countless others to explore as well all over the city and country.

Aside from the basement floors, the top floors of the department stores consist of restaurants for proper sit-down meals with cuisines ranging from Japanese to European, Asian, and desserts, of course.

You’ll never go hungry in a depato.

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Hand-Cut Soba at Hakone Akatsuki-an in Mitsukoshi Ginza. Freshly rolled and cut soba noodles for the freshest slurping experience
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Japanese-Italian Pizza at Maestro Ks in Mitsukoshi Ginza. Japanese have perfected French and Italian cuisines. It’s even better in this country
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Salted Caramel Crepe at Breizh Café in Takashimaya Shinjuku. Salted caramel crepe that is light, airy, and crispy with a deeply salted caramel. It’s almost too good
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Supermarket Toro Sashimi
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Sushi, Sashimi, and Crab
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Chocolate Croissant
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Laduree Macarons. Laduree has spread everywhere. This particular shop in Mitsukoshi Ginza serves fresher, chewier macarons
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“Nama biiru kudasai”. “Draft beer, please.” My favorite phrase in Japanese.  Enjoying a break on the 9th floor of Mitsukoshi Ginza

And one more thing, many vendors give samples!

Mitsukoshi Ginza
4-6-16 Ginza

Daimaru Tokyo Station
1-9-1 Marunouchi

Isetan Shinjuku
3-14-1 Shinjuku

Takashimaya Shinjuku
5-24-2 Sendagaya

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