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Department store Food Halls?

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I have been to the Mitsukoshi Food Hall (bottom level) in past trips to Tokyo. It is like dying and going to heaven, and I have returned each time with bags and bags of goodies to bring home.

Is there another department store food hall that is as good?

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  1. - Isetan in Shinjuku
    - Seibu Ikebukuro
    - Takashimaya in Shinjuku
    - Tokyu Foodshow in Shibuya (which now extends under Mark City)
    - Tokyu Foodshow in Futago-Tamagawa
    - Food Marche in Tokyo Solamachi, Oshiage
    - Daimaru in Yaesu
    - Takashimaya in Nihonbashi

    are a few of my favorites....

    2 Replies
    1. re: Robb S

      Wow Robb! If you had to pick one or two which would it be? Do the same vendors turn up at most of themor no?

      1. re: pauliface

        Probably the first two - Isetan is the poshest, and Seibu Ikebukuro is just so impressively vast.

        On the other hand, inside Solamachi Food Marche you'll find a shop that carries 400 different kinds of curry (in ready-to-eat pouches) from all over Japan, so there is that....

    2. Sometimes, the upper floors of department stores will hold prefecture (Japan's rough equivalent of a state)-specific food fairs.

      Look for 県 "ken" meaning prefecture, 食べ物 "tabemono" food and 食事 "shokuji" for meal. Seeing 食 and 県 in the same sign combined with 8 or 9 (for example) 階 "kai" for the 8th or 9th floor could spell a good chance.

      10 Replies
      1. re: BuildingMyBento

        There are actual standalone prefectural specialty stores called "antenna shops" that are a much better destination for prefecture specific goods. There are some good internet sources on them these days. Most in Tokyo are gathered in Ginza/ Yurakucho area- some in the same building.....Also, using "tabemono" or "shokuji" in this case would sound awkward and would not be noted as such on signs. They usually emphasize carrying 食品 (foodstuffs/products) and 名産品/ 特産品 (local/ specialty products).

        1. re: Silverjay

          I've just been putting together one of those internet sources myself...

          Not quite done yet, but here's the list so far:
          http://bento.com/r-antenna.html

          And I agree, in general the prefectural shops are a better bet for finding exotic foods and for exploring, although some are better than others.

          1. re: Robb S

            Awesome. Should have known you're on the case. Hey, I want to save that to My Google Maps. How can I do that?

            1. re: Silverjay

              Thanks.

              Do you want to add all the listings to one of your own Google Maps? I'm not sure how you would do that, other than hitting all the map links one by one and adding them manually. Or you could grab the XML file with the geocoding and play with that. The main map is at http://bento.com/gmaps/antenna.html

              1. re: Robb S

                I want your map- the KML file or the google map link itself, not the one embedded on your page- which I can then save under My Maps.

                1. re: Silverjay

                  ...By doing this, I can use Google Maps to navigate around town on my phone and not a browser- which does the map and GPS function, but is a bit awkward.

                  Actually Google Maps updated and eliminated the My Maps feature temporarily. So I now just revert my device to original version. But they are planning to re-implement the My Maps feature and being able to create your own or save ones that you find is a valuable travel tool.

                  1. re: Silverjay

                    Yes, I noticed that - Google Maps v7 doesn't read KML files anymore either, which is kind of annoying. I also reverted.

                    Try plugging http://bento.com/gmaps/mantenna.kml into the search box of Google Maps on the desktop, or from the mobile app. (It's the mobile version of the KML file.)

                    1. re: Robb S

                      Ok thanks. I will play around with trying to save it...Great job putting it all together.

            2. re: Robb S

              Wow! Thanks everyone for the info on the upper floor events and for posting this great info about antenna stores -- I did not even know they existed!

              1. re: Robb S

                http://www.chopsticksny.com/features/... That list is for Tokyo, in English.

                Also, I brought up the topic of prefectural shops on a travel forum last year: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/japan/... . Some exist in Osaka too, but not quite as many as in Tokyo.