This word, which always sounds a bit like a car crash to me ,does have a meaning : Depart(department store) Chika (basement). Department stores in Japan typically have a food section in their basement floors. Therefore Depachika is a synonym for the food section there. My favourite Depachika is in Hankyu Department store in Umeda,Osaka. In fact, I even regard it as my own personal pantry / refrigerator. Since I usually come home late and don’t particularly like cooking, I go there a few times a week to get some goodies. The deli foods available there range from Japanese to Chinese to Korean to Italian all the way to something that falls between Japanese and Western called Yoshoku. At the Japanese food counter, you can get grilled eels and other fish, stewed vegetables and meat, at a Chinese one, dim sum and noodles, just to name two. My personal favourites are the Korean counter ,Saikabo and the Yoshoku counter, RF1.
After a long day of work, sometimes I crave something substantial and spicy. Saikabo has a few types of rich in flavour Korean soups, which are not overly spicy. They also have chijimi (savoury Korean pancake) and japchae (stir fried sweet potato noodles and veg). If you want to eat a little bit of everything, they also have a small platter of chijimi, japchae, and gimbap(Korean sushi roll).
RF1 has a wide variety of salads ,some meat, fish, and vegetable dishes ,and spaghetti. I love their ‘green and yellow veg salad that makes your body less rusty’. Yes, it is a mouthful, so I just say, ‘This one’ or ‘The unrusty body’. Along with the salad, I get spaghetti and soup.
Hankyu Department Store has a 2nd basement floor as well, which has a bakery, a casual cafe/bar, and a fruit shop ,prices of which might make your eyes roll. I sometimes go to the Italian food counter to buy a Margherita, with spaghetti or risotto.
What makes me grin on the inside is that when I buy all those foods at Depachika, they ask me how many chopsticks I need. As if!
The best time to go to Depachika is 7 or 7:30pm. This is when the prices go down before the store closes. You can get most of the products at the deli there at 20-30% off. It is highly likely that what you want to eat has already gone but with any luck you can still find quite a lot of yummy treats.
Anyone who spends a lot of time on the road knows how much time he/she spends in restaurants. However, if your hotel room has a microwave oven, I am sure the Depachika dishes will make your day.