Wednesday, July 04, 2012

The Main Event in Tokyo - Department Store Food Halls!

The main destination for all our trips to Japan - department stores.  I'm talking about the higher end department stores like Isetan, Mitsukoshi, Daimaru, and even Takashimaya, and so on.  And we don't go here to shop, not for clothes or accessories anyways.

We go for the food halls.  B1, B2, and lower.  They are our museums.  We didn't even go to any museums this trip.  It was all just about the food.  Japanese department store food halls are some of the best, if not the best, in the world.  There are sweets, savories, snacks, meals, a grocery.. it's all Japanese and Japanese-influenced/perfected European foods.

I was so fascinated with how the Japanese take a European product that's already tasty, and they make it tastier and perfect.  Take the macaron, for instance; I fell in love with Laduree and Pierre Herme macarons in Paris, and it's somehow even tastier in Japan - the same product and the same branding.  The same goes for all the other pastries like croissants, and even the breads.  I love Japanese-Italian pastas and pizzas, too, that are so distinctly Japanese influenced with a little sweetness in the pastas and a little tastier chewiness in the pizzas.

The only negative is that you can't take pictures.. for paranoia of copycats.  Gah!  My brother tried a few times and always got caught.  But, it's ok to take pictures of the food you purchase, just so long as the department store isn't in the background (as I got caught doing in Osaka).

Aside from food halls in department stores, the main train stations, like the Tokyo Station, also have an impressive spread of food sections with a high quality variety.  It's a great place to grab a bento box before taking a train trip, or for a lunch stop or snack.

These food halls clearly show that the Japanese love good quality food, they expect a high quality and have high standards, and they really know how to eat so well.

Place your cursor above "Notes" below to read the captions for each photo.
If you can't see the slide show here, check out my Flickr album: Tokyo Dept Store and Train Station Eats

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