Japanese department stores are well-known for their incredible service: Where else in the world do you have white-gloved attendants greeting shoppers at the entrance and young ladies in uniform announcing each floor’s departments to passengers on the elevator?
Another defining characteristic of Japanese department stores is the ubiquitous underground food emporiums known as depachika, which sell every conceivable type of cuisine and ingredient, all exquisitely presented. The foodstuffs tendered in these basement bazaars are substantially more expensive than run-of-the-mill supermarkets but you get what you pay for—quality is top-notch, and you’re not shopping here if you’re clipping coupons. Despite the sticker shock, it is possible to enjoy a taste of the goodies by helping yourself to the many free samples offered by smiling sales staff. They’re great places to drop by if you fancy a little snack but don’t feel like dropping coin to do so.