Floor B1

Floor B1

Sometimes you hear about this stuff, sometimes you don’t.   Many guidebooks suggest that you stop in a department store to explore the food offering there.   What they aren’t always clear about is HOW to explore and, interestingly enough, how standardized all the offerings are in Japan.

First of all, there are usually three main places to find food in the department stores – the first floor has lots of fancy gift food (all boxed up, very pretty and sometimes very expensive), the top floor usually has restaurants (sometimes the top two floors) and many of them are surprisingly good.   Then there’s B1 – or the first level basement.

That’s where you can get an amazing variety of food, from baked goods to produce to fresh fish to prepared dishes.  Each city has it’s own specialities, but there is usually a whole underground floor of Japanese food delights (including ice cream!).

If you’re traveling with a group, on a bus, you might not get a lot of opportunity to explore these food halls, but if you’re traveling on your own, on the trains and subways as the Japanese do, you won’t have any problem finding them.  Many department stores are connected directly to the train and subway stations and you can wander into some of them while waiting for your train connection (or rush in to get something really quickly while running for your connection!).

Perhaps something like this!

Fish eggs in Kanazawa - colorful!

Fish eggs in Kanazawa – colorful!

Entrance into B1 from Kanazawa Train Station

Entrance into B1 from Kanazawa Train Station

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