Japan's ritzy depato (department stores) don’t just give you the chance to obliterate your entire shopping list in one fell swoop, they also contain culinary delights. The in-house food halls – or depachika – are known for their comprehensive array of gorgeous sweets and confectionery, immaculately packaged food, ready-to-eat dishes and picture-perfect bento. These food-filled basements, which are often attached to train stations, allow you to cover the breadth and depth of Japanese cuisine and beyond in a few steps.
To walk into a depachika is to submit yourself to temptation – so take your time and keep your eye out for free food samples to taste before shelling out on an actual portion. Some depachika even have eat-in counters and sections dedicated to alcohol where you can indulge in sake and wine tastings. So really, a good depachika is more than a food court or grocery store; it is all your foodie dreams come true.
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