The perfect place to buy souvenirs! 5 Recommended Depachika in Osaka
In Japan, the foodstuffs section located at the basement of a department store is called a “depachika”. It is a wonderland of products that would also be perfect as souvenirs, including bento (Japanese box lunch), alcohol, and sweets. Here are five recommended department stores in Osaka that have their own depachika.
1. Abeno Harukas Kintetsu Main Branch
The main branch of the Kintetsu department store is located in Abeno Harukas, a complex commercial facility standing at 300m that is the highest skyscraper in Japan. The main attraction at the depachika is Club Harie B-studio, a bakery famous for their fluffy baumkuchen that has a moist texture and deep taste. The dough of this delicacy that is light on the sweetness is coated with sugar. You surely won’t get enough of its crunchy texture! The standard baumkuchen is the Hole-Type (price starts at 1,080 JPY (incl. tax)), but even the Mini-Type (price starts at 411 JPY (incl. tax)) is perfect for souvenirs.
2. Osaka Takashimaya
Osaka Takashimaya, a well-established department store that best represents Osaka’s Minami area, comes with interpretation services for tourists! Here, customers can use the Telephone Interpretation Service in which the sales assistant at the section where the customer is shopping will call the Interpretation Center, or the Interpreter Attendant Service (English and Chinese) in which an interpreter will accompany the customer while shopping in the store. When you head down to the depachika, how about trying the Eemon (918 JPY (incl. tax) for a box with five pieces inside) from Gokan? Eemons are a version of madeleines made from domestically sourced rice flour, black soybeans, and rice syrup. They have a moist texture and robust taste. The Matcha Eemon – 5 Pieces is also recommended (1,026 JPY (incl. tax)).
3. Hankyu Umeda Main Branch
Hankyu Umeda is the department store that feels like the classiest out of all the department stores in Osaka’s Umeda area. Designed under the theme of “theatrical department store” that creates surprises, excitement and inspiration, this department store carries various products that boast of high quality. At the food area in the basement floor, the Grand Calbee (540 JPY (incl. tax)) from Calbee, a leader in the world of snacks, is recommended. These gourmet potato chips that are made from the finest ingredients come in six different flavors, from the standard salt flavor, up to such original flavors as bouillabaisse and almond chocolate. You won’t be able to find Grand Calbee anywhere else in Japan but here, so you have to check it out!
4. Daimaru Umeda Branch
Daimaru Umeda Store is a department store that is located inside Osaka Station City, an iconic landmark in the Umeda area of Osaka. Here, you will find the exclusive KIT-KAT Chocolatory that sells all kinds of Kit-Kat, a chocolate that is loved all over the world. Its famous pastry chef oversees the entire process of making chocolates, so the appeal of this shop is the rich taste of its chocolates that you won’t find in convenience stores and supermarkets. The Special Assortment Osaka Design (1,458 JPY (incl. tax)), a set that contains three pieces each of four flavors of Kit-Kat, including matcha and kinako (roasted soybean flour), and butter, is a limited set that is only available here.
5. Hanshin Department Store Umeda Main Building
It is undergoing major renovation as of December 2016, so it's currently operating at a reduced scale (grand reopening is scheduled for 2022). Here, you will find the perfect souvenir: Kakitane from Kakitane Kitchen. Kakitane is a modern take on kakinotane, a traditional snack shaped like persimmon seeds and made of arare, a type of roasted mochi. It comes in various Japanese and Western flavors, including Kaisenfu Shiodare (Seafood Salt), Wasabi to Shoyu (Wasabi and Soy Sauce), and Cheese. The Cube (378 JPY (incl. tax) for one box), which has the Kakitane packed in a small box, is also a great idea for a souvenir. You will definitely love its fancy packaging.
Choosing souvenirs that you will take home with you is definitely easier if you go to the depachika where you will find many shops selling all kinds of souvenirs. Try to pick a souvenir that matches the person you will give it to!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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