Depachika (underground food avenues)
Literally an abbreviated version of the phrase “department store basement”, depachika refers to food markets located on the bottom floor of department stores.
Increasingly spotlighted on television and in magazines starting in around the year 2000, this was the era of the so-called “depachika boom.”
The Umeda district in Osaka is said to have so many department stores that it is Japan’s number one competitive battleground for depachika.
While the Shinjuku district of Tokyo has the top slot in terms of total sales earnings, Umeda—which is just behind, at number two—comes in first place in terms of total depachika floor size.
The basement-level markets feature numerous attractions: the convenience of Japan’s top stores being sold in one collective space together with overseas brands, one-of-a-kind products featuring corporate collaborations, limited- edition goods, and more. Depachika shopping is quite intimate, and customers can easily ask questions of the staff, or nibble on the many available food samples before making purchases.
Each depachika features its own particular specialties—such as wagashi (traditional Japanese confectionery), fresh produce, fish, sweets, onsite eating areas, etc. —and Osakans are masterful at targeting specific depachika depending upon their particular needs at any given time.
（Photo provided by Hankyu Hanshin Department Stores,Inc）
Yakiniku and horumon (grilled meat and innards) / Tsuruhashi district,
Yakiniku (grilled meat), nowadays a firm favorite cuisine in Osaka, has also become much-loved among the city’s foreign visitors.
A plethora of well-loved ramen restaurants are to be found in Osaka, including longstanding shops in the Minami district that sees never-ending queues of customers, and additional popular establishments to which ramen lovers travel from all corners of the country.
Nearly unrecognizable to people from India, who are often surprised due to its completely different taste, Japanese curry is its own unique and beloved dish that may truly be described as a national food.
Rooftop beer gardens
Japan’s first beer garden opened in Yokohama in 1875, targeting foreign residents and sailors on foreign ships—but the country’s first rooftop beer garden was in nowhere other than Osaka.