Often referred to as food theme parks, Japan’s depachikas, located in the basements of most department stores, are stately, appetite inducing locales. Over a century old, the Shinjuku Isetan depachika is one of the largest in Tokyo.
This gourmet site serves fresh baked French croissants and pastries, and bento, or prepared Japanese dishes, daily. A wine selection is curated by the store sommeliers, offering frequent wine and sake tastings. You can also find an impressive collection of both intricate and simple wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets) from famous Japanese bakeries, including the 400-year-old confectionery Toraya. Isetan also carries kasutera (sponge cake) from Fukusaya, jellied chestnut dessert from Obusedo, and Ameya Eitaro’s colorful candy wafers. Throughout the depachika there is an abundance of European sweets like the Pierre Herme raspberry macaron tower, the Jean-Paul Hevin Chocolatier shop, and the Bar a Chocolat café.
Isetan’s matcha (powder green tea) and dorayaki (mini pancakes filled with sweet red bean paste) make delectable gifts for friends and family, and ornate bento boxes and nigiri sushi are perfect for a picnic lunch at the nearby Shinjuku Gyoen Garden.
Photo: Chie Shimodaira, https://flic.kr/p/4iRssR
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3 Chome-14-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyō-to 160-0022, Japan