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Eating at depachika 2018/10/19 15:04
Hi everyone, I like to know if it is ok to walk & eat the food that you bought from one of the counters since I understand there are very few places to sit down at a depachika. Also, I wonder why is there a No Eating/Drinking sign near resting places?
by elsa (guest)  

Re: Eating at depachika 2018/10/19 18:26
If you buy at the stands in a department store you would take that food out and eat it somewhere else. Not inside the department store. It would be like eating while in a supermarket, why would you do that?
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Eating at depachika 2018/10/20 20:47
Depachika are usually too crowded to be walking around eating. If there are no places designed to eat at that floor, you can usually go to the roof of the building to sit, relax and eat/drink although it may be uncomfortable in harsh weather. Nowadays, we see more depachika with areas to eat/drink though.

I'm not sure what you mean by the "No Eating/Drinking sign near resting places". I would assume that those are places that some people would want to eat/drink at but for some reason it is not appreciated to do so. Otherwise there would be no need for a sign.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Eating at depachika 2018/10/21 15:41
Lately I have observed a few apparently foreign visitors to Tokyo eating food they just bought at "depa-chika" counter, while walking through the shop, taking it out of apparently "packed to take away/home" package ... I find it annoying doing that in crowded areas, as you could easily bump into other shoppers, soiling their clothes, or you might end up dropping it.

In "depa-chika," there are (1) small eat-in restaurants (such as noodles, seafood topped rice bowls, etc.) where you sit down to order and eat as in regular restaurants, and (2) other small eat/drink-and-go type of areas, for example right in front of fresh fruit juice stands or "tai-yaki" (sea bream shaped cake filled with sweet bean curd) which everyone is expected to just consume right on the spot and get going in a matter of a few minutes.

But other than those, the food you buy in food section of department stores is intended to be taken home/office/out to be enjoyed, not eaten while on premises.

There may be some other areas within the department store building with chairs for resting, but these tend to be only for resting, sorting out your shopping bags, waiting for your companions, etc., and not for eating/drinking. I would not eat/drink on other floors selling merchandise (like clothing or other goods). There are some "please do not eat/drink" signs in some areas of department stores that are right now on my mind. If the department stores you go to have open roof areas with benches (and not tied to any food counter/service there) then that would be fine.
by ... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Eating at depachika 2018/10/21 17:40
Hi like bike,

Perhaps people do not eat inside a supermarket as they know they have to pay for their items first.
After they have finished paying, their hands are too full of plastic bags. Besides the cashier is located near the exit, so after paying, they go straight to their hotel/home to consume the food.

Whereas for a depachika, you just buy bite sized food without buying groceries, so it is easier to eat while browsing through other stalls. This is what I thought I can do in Japan when I travel there next month. But apparently it is not acceptable.

At least this is what the people in my country do. Different countries have different ways of thinking.
by Elsa (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Eating at depachika 2018/10/21 17:46
Elsa,

(I understand your comment was not specifically directed at me but)

You are right in arriving at the conclusion that it is not acceptable. (The same "...(guest)" as above, a Japanese living in Tokyo.)

Please take note that it is not "stalls" as in outdoor market/festival sites where walking leisurely & eating can be fine, but inside a department store building. It is basically shops/different brands selling prepared food to take home/to office to be consumed elsewhere.
by ... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Eating at depachika 2018/10/21 17:59
You said to consume items like fresh fruit juice or taiyaki on the spot. What if people do not have that time of time to stand there and eat when they could easily eat them while on the go?

If my family and I would like to share a table with other people, what is the appropriate thing to say? Is it "chotto ii desu ka".

And where do people go to eat if it is raining?

If I am in the middle of a crowded lift, how do I ask someone to help me press the button for the rooftop? Is it "okujo onegaishimasu?"
by Elsa (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Eating at depachika 2018/10/21 18:00
Where do people go eat? Well there are a lot of very economic places to have lunch. People simply go to small restaurants and have some ramen or teishoku or something like that. You can get that at 1000 Yen and less.
The places at depachika arenft specially economic as it is more elaborate meals or cakes...
There are also some conbinis that have areas with a few chairs where you can eat a quick lunch.

Sitting with other people at the same table isnft something normally done.

And as PP said normally you would buy some bento and bring it back to your office. And eat it at your desk. Obviously thatfs not for tourists. As tourists you can either bring it back to your hotel or look for a park bench somewhere close by.

I think that in many instances you are better off with a low cost restaurant for a quick lunch. Except in the most touristic areas there is really and abundance of them.
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Eating at depachika 2018/10/21 18:03
In my country, there are many people who "work part-time as reporters". What do I mean? Well, these people will take photos of people whose action they do not agree with and pose them on social media. Do the Japanese have this habit too? If the offending people were to eat and drink on the go or eat/drink at resting areas, will Japanese take photos?

Lastly, if the offender is a little kid, will the Japanese cut some slack?
by Elsa (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Eating at depachika 2018/10/21 18:29
Elsa,

Well, rooftops of department stores often have chairs & tables where people can just sit and lounge. But you can't do anything about it if all are taken up.

If some seats are open (and the table looks big enough to share), I would ask "isu wa aite imasu ka?" (Is this/are these chairs available?) or "isu, yoroshii desu ka?" (This chair, OK?)

As LikeBike said, while "depa-chika" food might look nice and handy, they tend to be expensive, so I would not go get things at "depa-chika." Go to restaurants. Basically, "depa-chika" food is take-home food for people who would pick up some nice ready-to-eat dishes to eat at home (instead of cooking themselves).

Yes, you can say "okujou, onegai shimasu" to have the elevator button for the rootfop pressed for you.


About "reporters": not really. If someone is dressed extremely interestingly or fancy, people might take photos (some may/may not ask). For not-so-nice actions, I don't think people do that. Some immature people might do that (meaning taking photos and posting without permission), but that's about it.

I seem to have started you worrying, but please don't; once you come to Japan, you'll find that there are many inexpesive places to eat at. No need to get hung up on "depa-chika" food at all.
by ... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Eating at depachika 2018/10/21 21:06
There may be some other areas within the department store building with chairs for resting, but these tend to be only for resting, sorting out your shopping bags, waiting for your companions, etc., and not for eating/drinking.

Just to clarify, there are indeed sections like that that are designed to just rest instead of eating/drinking. But for example, at Tokyu Department Store Toyoko Branch B1 Food Show floor, there is an eat-in corner called Shibuya Stand. There you can stand along the counter to eat/drink things you just bought at the floor. I've noticed a lot of foreign tourists exchanging greetings and information there too.

Similarly, at Shibuya Hikarie B3 floor, there are little tables and chairs along the other side of the escalator. There you can sit down at these individual tables to eat/drink things you just bought at the floor. This area seems to be more popular among local women.

Again, I do feel that these eat-in ideas are relatively new. But they do exist, and if you're not sure if you could eat/drink there, just ask at the Information desk. (I once asked a shop clerk, instead of the Information desk, whether there are any eat-ins or not, and a pair of them said they don't know, but when I walked around I immediately found one.)

Otherwise, you can always go to the restaurant floors if you want to sit and eat at a department store. Hope it helps.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Eating at depachika 2018/10/21 23:19
A lot of websites I saw were raving about depachika, that's why I am so keen on going there. Tentatively, I like to go to Shinjuku Isetan and Takashimaya, Ikebukuro Seibu and Tobu, Mitsukoshi Ginza simply because my country does not have such gorgeous variety of samples for people to choose from. My country tends to be protective of their food samples. In other words, they are cautious about giving away food samples. Can you believe it?


People are always praising the Japanese for their generous samples and the gorgeously decorated food on display. Japanese may not think much about it because they're so used to it. But for a foreigner it is different. So I'm going to depachika for the experience.

Some of you said to eat at a low cost restaurant. Would the areas I'm going to have low cost restaurants?
by Elsa (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Eating at depachika 2018/10/22 08:20
Again this could be a difference - about samples.

Yes those food samples are offered to passing shoppers to get their attention or to give the last "push" to induce shoppers who are still undecided (but leaning toward buying) to buy. It is more the latter in many cases (at least in my mind). I always buy if I take a sample (or to put it the other way around, unless I am already interested but just want to taste it to make sure, I don't react to samples being offered). So I would not go from one counter to another just sampling. If many people just take samples without buying, that gets factored into their prices eventually.

Around Ikebukuro at least, yes, definitely there are many relatively inexpensive places to eat. Maybe not immediately around Shinjuku Isetan or Ginza, but you will find some if you look around.
by ... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Eating at depachika 2018/10/22 15:34
Ok, so if a table looks big enough to share & there are x number of empty seats, I can ask if I could sit there. But what if I need 1 more seat? Is it socially appropriate to borrow 1 seat from another table nearby & then return it after I am done? Or do Japanese frown upon such borrowing behaviour? The people in my country do that all the time so I just want to make sure whether it is acceptable or not in Japan.

Do Japanese parents let their kids eat while walking in a depachika as little children do not really understand the concept of time? For example, a parent may say "Let's walk around here for 15 minutes first before we go to the rooftop & eat". Of course, a kid may not understand what is 15 minutes, even 5 minutes seem like an eternity, especially if the parent bought something delicious. In this case, is it ok to let the kid eat while walking as long as the parent do not eat & they wipe up whatever drops on the floor?
by elsa (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Eating at depachika 2018/10/22 17:10
Why don't you look at some photos of depachika stores? I find you line of questioning going around and around in circles. And I think it is because you don't actually have any idea what the depachika stores are or look like.

You are not gonna find seating inside the depachika stores area. Most are in basements and have no seating available. So really your very first question is moot.

If you buy from the depachika stores, go elsewhere to eat it. But don't just go one floor up to the hallways of the department store where there are resting seat and start eating there. Go to a park or outdoor area with seating.
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Eating at depachika 2018/10/22 18:54
Would the areas I'm going to have low cost restaurants?

Rikkyo University is near Ikebukuro Tobu. There are restaurants affordable for students in the area. Note that the Seibu side and Tobu side are very far apart from each other.

Ok, so if a table looks big enough to share & there are x number of empty seats, I can ask if I could sit there.

I wrote that you can go to the Information desk and ask if there is a place to eat the food you buy.

But what if I need 1 more seat?

That depends, and I agree with Hakata that your questions are going round and round just because you're not imagining things right.

Do Japanese parents let their kids eat while walking in a depachika as little children do not really understand the concept of time?

I clearly wrote that depachika are too crowded to be walking while eating. It's not a matter of manners. Again, you're not thinking it right. Maybe the questions are just a "fish".
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Eating at depachika 2018/10/22 21:01
I sometimes eat something right after buying it. Usually when Ifm in a hurry and the only alternative is eating on a crowded train or waiting until I get home (nope). I ate a nikuman in Tobu Ikebukuro maybe two weeks ago. Ifve observed Japanese people doing the same, including friends of mine. Itfs not considered the gdoneh thing, but you arenft going to get arrested, nobody is going to take your picture, nobody is going to care particularly as long as you arenft causing problems for anyone else. If you are so desperate to eat in the basement of a department store (why?) that you are trying to think of various situations where that might be acceptable then I think you should just use common sense and make the call when you are there. Again, itfs not a place for eating, but people do do it, tourists more frequently but locals probably more often than they would like to admit.

Above all else stop worrying. Enjoy yourself knowing that being from a different country you are going to do some things differently. Donft be too loud, donft act obnoxious, donft cut in line. Observe basic common sense and donft get stressed about small things like whether or not borrowing a chair from another table is considered faux pas.
by LIZ (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Eating at depachika 2018/10/22 22:52
LIZ sounds like the voice of reason to me (not to dismiss some of the other good commentary so far), and I enjoyed her "true confession" about the pork bun. I agree that this thread seems to be going around in circles while touching on some odd side tracks. (Children's concept of time? This may be a more serious matter if they need to go potty, but isn't learning to defer gratification an important part of their upbringing? I actually would be more worried about seeing an excited or exhausted child wandering around a depachika with food in their hands than I would about a grown-up. And if you want to invite disapproving stares from the natives, letting your kid to that is sure to do so!)

It is frustrating for a lot of foreign tourists that indeed, there is often no convenient place to consume the items purchased in a depachika. In particular, eating them while walking around the store, as if you were on the street and the items were intended to be eaten as street food, is just a bad idea. Yes, these places are often way too crowded for that. Even if the depachika is not crowded, it is just too easy to get distracted (there are a lot of distractions in these places!!) and let your guard down. Accidents happen, and if you get yakitori sauce in someone's hair or your child gets bean paste on somebody's 30,000-yen silk blouse, it is not going to be a happy situation.

One place I like to go for a depachika experience is the Shinjuku Takashimaya. There are places to sit right outside the door (in a covered area protected from rain as long as it isn't crazy windy), and some people also eat out on the terrace facing the tracks. I have seen many Japanese people eating lunch there and I feel comfortable doing so myself. Of course, it can be too cold in the winter. I find the Shinjuku Isetan to be more eye-popping, but there doesn't seem to be anyplace to eat there. There is certainly nothing wrong with Takashimaya, especially for a first-timer. Of course, that assumes you will be in Shinjuku. The Ikebukuro complex referenced above is another favorite of mine (but I never found a place to eat there). As for rooftops, I used to go to places with department stores that had them, but they seem to be less and less common these days. You definitely cannot count on every store having a rooftop area where you can eat. Some still do, many don't.

I have loved depachikas since the very first time I went to Japan, although after many years they have lost some of their appeal for me. But I still cannot resist them! On every trip to Japan I make "self-catered" dinners made up of take-out items (from depachika and other places) a part of my meal line-up. I sometimes spend an hour or more buying the perfect items (including beverages) and then consuming them in my hotel room. These feasts are something I look forward to and really enjoy. However, I will say that they are definitely not the cheapest dinners I eat over there. Depachika items can really add up, and it isn't unusual for me to spend 3000 or more on a meat or chicken dish, some side dishes, maybe some bread from one of the many outstanding bakeries, a nice beer or two, and a fancy dessert. (And this doesn't even include fruit and cheese, which I usually pass by on account of the price.) I tend to eat lunch in restaurants but take dinner either in an izakaya or in my room.

As for the samples, when I first started going to Japan many years ago, they were a lot more common, and they were more often placed out in the open for easy taking. I have definitely noticed that this practice has become less widespread, in particular in the major tourist cities. I have heard it said that foreign tourists were the reason for this, although that could possibly be an overstatement. At any rate, I believe that many Japanese people would feel shame if they went around just taking samples of various items and not buying anything. I know I would. At any rate, nowadays the vendors are more likely to personally offer you a sample of something (rather than putting it out for anyone to take), and then they wait expectantly for you to react. I always feel awkward when I don't purchase anything after that, so I typically don't try a sample unless I am fairly interested in buying. The bottom line is that depachika samples are not intended as an all-you-can-eat free smorgasbord. It's more like "try before you buy."
by Kim (guest) rate this post as useful

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