It seems as everyone in Tokyo is as food obsessed as me – now that is really saying something! 

Let’s start with some basics:

Depato = Department Store

Every department store has food/groceries.  I don’t know why all stores in the whole world don’t subscribe to this philosophy.  After all, a girl gets hungry when shopping.  And sometimes loses track of time.  It is so convenient to be able to eat a snack, buy a few ingredients for dinner or even the whole dinner right in the store.  There are two major Depato’s in my neighborhood. 

Mark City is owned by the Shibuya Mark City Company.  It is made up of two buildings and opened in 2000.  This Depato is conveniently located right at Shibuya Station.  You might have seen Scarlett Johansson in the Shibuya crossing in Lost in Translation.  Facebook reports Shibuya is the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world – so I guess there is need for food.  Tokyo Food Show also has a website, which I can’t read full of daily specials, hot topics etc.  Eventually I will conquer enough of this language to read websites!

Tokyo Food show includes lots of stalls selling so many things.  In fact it is basically three stories, top or main level including high-end products and some really excellent tuna.  B1 including a small International Grocery store, large vegetable section and stalls selling lots of stuff and lots of sweets. This was where I found Godiva Chocolate for Dean for Valentine’s Day.  The floor below is additional restuarants. 

Siebo is a Japanese department store which opened in 1949.  There are 16 stores in Japan.  Siebo also owns Muji.  So fall all I have to say about Siebo is that this is the first place I had an impulse food buy in Tokyo.  For about $12 I bought a bottle of unknown sauce just because I tasted it, on tofu.  It was delicious.  Lightly soy, thin in texture and a faint citrus scent/flavor.  So amazing, I did not let a little thing like having no idea what it was stop me from buying it.  Instead I brought it home with great pride and searched my dictionary for at least an hour before giving up about the $12 soy-ish sauce.  I now know it is Ponzu Sauce and I eat it with great regularity myself.  Generally on small pieces of tofu. 

Siebo also has a terrific bakery – as pretty much every depato does, with delicious bread for making grill cheese sandwiches or sending a sandwich to work with a busy husband.

Depato – this is a topic I will be revisiting.   There are more to explore throughout Tokyo and I suspect, in two years I can visit them all.  In fact there is even a website which is all about department store food halls.  Unfortunately it is in Japanese and I can’t read yet.


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