Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Depachika Depachika

Oh depachikas, how I love thee. The first time I went to a depachika in Japan, I looked like this for about an hour. So, what could get me so excited? No, it is not this. And it's not this either. A depachika is the basement floor of a Japanese department store! Wasn't expecting that, was you?
Pastry stall with funny pastry outfits. 

So yeah, the basement floor of department stores in Japan are most always reserved for food. Gourmet groceries, the famous expensive fruits and adorable treats, that's what you'll find. Maybe this sounds a little boring...there are some that remind me of a somewhat stuffier and not healthy Whole Foods but they're definitely worth checking out. My favorite in Tokyo is the Isetan depachika. It's one of the fanciest and busiest ones you'll find. The floor is divided up into prepared foods, groceries, traditional Japanese sweets (mochi and rice crackers) and Western sweets (cakes, chocolate and pastries).
An expensive heart shaped watermelon. About $250!

At some of the more popular stalls, you'll find super long lines stretching out the door. Right now, German baumkuchens are all the rage and the lines are pretty epic. I finally had some baumkuchen and now I know why people wait in line - they're pretty fucking delicious. Like a super dense and moist pound cake.

These are mini chocolate sandwiches. Mini baguettes stuffed with dark and white chocolate. Kind of weird, but it sounds good if you heated it up? And added marshmallows? And peanut butter maybe. Oh yeah, and replace the bread with graham crackers. 

Take out the white chocolate. Unnecessary. 

Depachika, by the way, has an interesting linguistical background. It comes from the word depaato...the Japanese word for department store...and chika, the word for basement) Don't say I never taught you anything!
This is found in the Western section but definitely something only Japanese people buy. They love these fruit gelees. Could be refreshing but I'd rather have a chocolate sandwich. 

This is what I ate during the Germany-Spain game. When I bought this at Isetan, they asked me when I was going to eat it and packed it with frozen ice packs to keep it cool.  Assorted kimchi, japchae and those pancake thingies. Now that I think back, the pancakes did have octopus in it...




  1. So, I found you through the "next blog" function a few months ago and I've been checking back because I actually really like reading what you write. I figured I should drop a line and let you know, but I'm afraid of being sketchy, but then I think, it's even sketchier for me to keep lurking and never say anything. And I do like what you write, even if I never have much comment on it. So, here's an attempt at saying something relevant: your depachikas remind me of my first experiences in Marshall Field's as a kid -- the most exciting part was the sugary bits in the basement....

  2. hey there MB (I have to admit, I'm just not sure what to call you) Thanks for stopping by! Hope you make it back again to read this comment and more random posts from Japan!