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added on : October 23, 2023
Underground food shopping areas in Tokyo’s Shinjuku and Marunouchi districts are some of the latest to benefit from redevelopment and renovation. Located near Tokyo Station, Marunouchi Building’s underground food zone Maruchika has been fully renovated to celebrate the building’s 20th Anniversary. Then at busy Shinjuku Station, department stores Keio and Odakyu have also opened new basement food markets full of exciting options for shopping and dining.
With space in crowded Tokyo at a premium and occasional limitations on building height, it only made sense for developers to utilize underground space too. That’s why you’ll find underground shopping areas in many of Tokyo’s major commercial buildings, particularly those located around train stations. The most well-known of these underground shopping delights are the “depachika” - a portmanteau of "depato" (department store) and "chika" (basement) - which refers to the basement food markets found in many Japanese department stores. Depachika are especially popular for their large range of gourmet foods, typically from Japan’s most well-known restaurants, bakeries and confectionary makers.
Just steps away from Tokyo Station, Marunouchi Building or “Maru-Biru” as it is abbreviated in Japanese, is a well-known high-rise building with an upper scale basement food zone called Maruchika. In honor of the building’s 20th anniversary, the shopping area was completely renovated in April 2023 and features 20 new stores in the subterranean complex.
As one would expect of the Marunouchi area, one of Japan’s leading business districts and sightseeing areas, the lineup is rich in variety. Stores here offer excellent products made from carefully selected ingredients and production methods, as well as new types of sweets. Moreover, Maruchika is not just for the workday crowd as it is open during evenings and on weekends and holidays as well. The place for selling boxed lunches during weekdays also converts to free space equipped with power outlets on weekdays after 15:00 and on weekends.
Over in Shinjuku Station, Keio Department Store Shinjuku’s underground food area spanning its B1 and MB floors is a true depachika. With the recent renewal 14 new stores have opened, comprising eight confectionery stores (including one bakery) tempting shoppers with delicious Japanese and Western-style sweets that are convenient for both home shopping and gift-giving, and six delicatessen-type stores offering prepared foods and boxed lunches for same-day consumption.
Also near Shinjuku Station but located in the basement of the Odakyu Ace North Building is the Shinjuku Delish Park. Construction of this new depachika finished in December 2022 and the food market consists of six zones or “parks.”
Fortunately for early visitors, Park 1 opens ahead of the other zones at 8:00 a.m. on weekdays, and sells readily consumable items such as special boxed lunches, prepared foods, breads, and freshly squeezed juices. Park 2 offers Western-style confections and soups, Park 3 offers stylish Japanese and Western-style confections perfect for gifts, while Park 4 and Park 5 are specialty stores offering a wide variety of foodstuffs. Ramen fans will want to head over to Park 6, where pop-up restaurants serve up popular ramen dishes from all over Japan in a casual setting.
|Address||Marunouchi Building B1F, 2-4-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda City, Tokyo|
|Address||1-1-4 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo|
|URL||Keio Department Store Shinjuku|
|Address||West Exit Underground Shopping Arcade No. 1, 1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo|
|URL||Shinjuku Delish Park (JPN)|
For up-to-date information on opening hours and further details please check the official websites.