A depachika is a Japanese term combining the two words ‘depato’ meaning department store, and ‘chika’ which means basement. True to its name, it is the basement floor of a department store allocated as a market hall for foods. This market hall is usually huge, filled with delicatessens selling salads and hot dumplings to cake shops and bakeries. As overwhelming as it can be, it’s great fun to just go and see all the variety of foods even without buying anything. Here’s your guide to just a small selection of what’s in store.
The bento boxes at depachika are beautiful to look at, with so many different box sizes and shapes packed with a hearty helping of rice and delicious sides and colorful veggies. These are perfect for a fancy lunch or dinner to treat someone.
The dishes piled with different delicatessen foods are carefully prepared to remind you of the taste of your favorite home-cooked meals. There’s everything from salads and pastas, to traditional Japanese side dishes like dashimaki, a Japanese style omelet, fish, and steamed vegetables.
The huge selection of fried foods is just the start to satisfying your stomach with some comfort food. There’s kushikatsu which are deep fried skewered meat and vegetables, tonkatsu which is deep fried pork cutlet, ebifurai which is deep fried prawn, and so much more. You’re going to want to pick up some for yourself for dinner tonight.
The showcases full of delicious looking rice balls will surely brighten your day as an option for lunch. There are so many to choose from, from the classic rice balls with umeboshi pickled plum to the unconventional ones topped with shrimp tempura.
Sandwiches are taken very seriously in Japan, and you can tell by how the two slices of bread are carefully stuffed to the point they are barely holding together the delectable fillings. You’re going to need to take a huge bite to enjoy the sandwiches stuffed with egg, ham, and fresh veggies, and those with crispy croquettes. You can even satisfy your sweet tooth with sandwiches filled with fresh cream and strawberries.
The selection of snacks is overwhelming, from delicately packaged chocolates and cookies, to traditional Japanese mochi. You may want these all for yourself, but these make the perfect gift to your friends or family because you are going to win them over through their stomach.
Cakes and Desserts
Finally, the icing on the cake, literally, are the beautiful cakes and desserts. There’s everything from whole cakes, to delicate individual puddings, and huge slices of tarts. These are sure to make a special occasion a success as there’s something for everyone. They may look too pretty to eat, but once you dig in you won’t be able to stop.
I haven’t even finished explaining all of the available items in a depachika so I guess that means you’ll have to go there yourself to discover the rest of the mystery. One more reason to go: If you are lucky, some days they are very generous with giving out samples!