Around Japan, the most popular and profitable section in department stores is the B1 floor (1st floor basement) – some department stores are moving it to the first floor since its so popular in contrast to their plummeting sales in other areas. depachika (デパチカ), B1, is the food section – Japanese like to shorten and combine their words – depachika is short for department store (depaato) and basement (chika).
B1 is typically subdivided into a sweets section (high-end chocolates, cakes, wagashi 和菓子 – traditional Japanese desserts), prepared foods section (dim sum, sushi, salads, pasta, yakitori, tempura, tonkatsu, bentos, baked goods, …), and groceries (fruits, vegetables). Its like the cosmetics department at Macy’s or Bloomingdales – where each section is subdivided into stores representing a specific brand, like Godiva Chocolates. You can go to B1 and buy a bunch of items for dinner, bentos for a long train trip, gifts for visiting relatives, or just sample freebies. Here’s a chowhound thread about the best depachikas.
Sometimes there’s too much packaging….