We’re just a few weeks away from opening our new flagship store. Japan Centre Panton Street will be the UK’s very first Japanese depachika, allowing you to experience what it’s like to shop in a real depachika.
So, what is a depachika?
In most Japanese department stores, the basement or underground floor is where all the food is sold. This is called a depachika – combining the word “depato,” meaning department store, and “chika,” meaning basement. The term was first coined in the early 2000’s as more Japanese people started to visit department store groceries for their weekly shopping.
Some famous depachika include Matsuya Ginza – known for its colourful and delicious freshly prepared sushi bento, Daimaru Tokyo – a go to stop for many shinkansen (Japanese bullet train) users looking for bento boxes and sweets for their journeys. Another famous depachika is Isetan Shinjuku Store – one of the most globally renowned and popular depachika in Tokyo. It houses the shop of famous chocolatier Jean-Paul Hevin as well as many high-quality perishables, sweets and alcoholic beverages.
Our Panton Street flagship store will have all the main areas a food hall requires: meat and fish counters, delicatessen, dry food, fruits, vegetables and frozen food.
In true Japan Centre fashion, the variety of products that will be available to purchase in-store will amaze you. Our speciality rooms will also offer you samples so you can try before you buy. There will also be more eat-in areas so you can enjoy your freshly prepared food comfortably.
There’ll be lots to try
Join us at our new store from mid-September for an exciting range of in-store samplings. We’ve partnered up with some of Japan’s most beloved brands to bring you weekly samplings to celebrate the opening of our depachika.
The three most iconic Japanese ingredients are tea, miso and sake. That’s why we’ve created speciality rooms to help you appreciate and get to know more about these treasures from the land of the rising sun. Visit each of our three specialist rooms for a unique sampling experience:
As you know, we have a large variety of Japanese teas available in-store and online. To help us demonstrate the delicacy and wonder of Japanese tea, we’ll be joined by Clearspring. Clearspring are organic and premium providers of Japanese and European food. Clearspring products have been labelled “born free,” which means their tea is vegan, GM-Free, organic, wheat, gluten and nut free. Their conscious attitude and innovative approach is exactly why we’ve partnered up with them for our tea tastings. Have your tea weighed for you and order it by the gram. You’ll be able to sample the different varieties of green tea as well as other more unique and aromatic blends. This way, with the help of our experts, you’ll be able to find out what you truly like before you purchase.
There’s no better way to sample miso than with Marukome, a brand with over 100 years experience making miso and other miso related products. You’ll be able to sample celebrated classics like the premium white miso and their more unique options which feature a combination of fresh ingredients, like Chinese chilli sauce and Korean chilli paste for an extra kick. Most miso can be separated into three categories: white miso, red miso, and a mixture of both called awase miso. Join us at our samplings with Marukome to find out which miso best suits your palate.
Are you a sake connoisseur? Or maybe you’re a complete novice who is looking to explore more about this exciting Japanese drink? Maybe you’re just somewhere in between and are looking to expand on your current sake collection? Whatever your level, our in-store sake sommelier and sake experts are happy to help you find which types of sake are right for you. Join us this September for our in-store sake samplings with renowned sake brewer Takara. Takara have experience in producing shochu, mirin and sake for over one-and-a-half centuries. As self-proclaimed “Harmonists,” Takara engage in activities aimed at educating people about the importance of sustainable coexistence with nature. Their dedication to sustainability and their ethos are why we’ve chosen them as our sake partner. Explore their unique range of sake and as well as their latest offerings.
We have a host of brands joining us for our Panton Street samplings, so no matter what your interests are, you’ll be able to find something for you. Sign up to our newsletter at japancentre.com and visit our Panton Street page for all the latest updates.