Toyoko Noren Gai
You probably have never heard of the word “Depachika”, but it's a common phrase in Japan. Depa means department store, and Chika means basement. Department stores in Japan usually have a food section in the basement floor, so this is why they are called Depachika.
It is not a supermarket, but the types of shops range from delis, pastry, bento, and bakery. And the cuisines they offer range from Japanese, Chinese, Italian, and more. Noren Gai is now one of Depachika, and it was a part of the Tokyu department store. The department store itself ended 85 years of its history in March 2020, but Noren Gai did not. Noren Gai first opened with 15 shops in 1951, and some of them are still a part of it. At that time, it was on the ground level at the East side of the Shibuya station. But as the Shibuya station was developed and redeveloped, the location of Noren Gai has been changed over time. After the Tokyu department store was closed in March 2020, Noren Gai was reopened on the basement floor of Hikarie. It is connected to the subway station, so a lot of people stop by and get something for the host you are visiting, your client, or yourself. There is a custom in Japan that we give them some gift when we show our gratitude or apologies. It is usually sweets such as cookies, chocolate, or rice crackers. And it is always neatly wrapped. During rush hour in the evening is a busy time. People buy bento or delis for dinner before going home. Everything smells great, looks great, and of course, tastes great.
Some deli shops sell salad or side dishes by weight. So make sure you tell them how many grams you want them, we don’t use ounces or pounds. There are also eating areas available at Noren Gai, but when the weather is good, it would be great to get some food at Noren Gai and have a picnic at Yoyogi park, which is a 15-minute walk from Shibuya.
One day, a couple visited us, and they told me that Depachika is a food paradise, and I couldn’t agree more. They really loved it. I think everyone has felt the excitement of entering a cake shop and looking through the display. Walking into Depachika is like that, except it is not just one pastry shop. If you are indecisive and don’t know what to get, you would keep walking back and forth, looking at the food showcases.
This is one of the Japanese sweet shops in Noren Gai. They sell many types of Japanese sweets. These are called Ohagi in Japanese. It’s usually a sticky rice ball coated with sweetened red beans or with soybean flour. This shop sells many types of Ohagi and other kinds of Japanese sweets.
This is an Onigiri shop, and Onigiri in Japanese means rice ball. It’s always an option for breakfast, lunch, snack, or when you just want to have a light meal. You can eat the best Onigiri here.
This is Senbikiya, which was started as a fruit shop in 1834. They now also sell pastries with specially selected fruits.
Our information office is also in the subway station, and Noren Gai is not just one Depachika in Shibuya. It’s really nice to have more than one Depachika near my workplace. If you want to get more information, please visit us.
Hikarie B2F, B3F Opening hours: 11:00am-8:00pm (B3F-5F) Opening hours are shortened because of COVID-19.