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Are there any food courts in Tokyo?

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posts: 100
reviews: 70
Are there any food courts in Tokyo?

Some countries, and I'm thinking Singapore and Malaysia especially, have wonderful food courts/ hawker centres where you can find a whole host of different stalls offering a variety of local hot and cold dishes at great prices, with some seating provided too. Most of them seem to be in large shopping centres, although there are some stand alone food courts.

Are these popular in Japan too, and are there any in Tokyo that you'd recommend? I'm not talking about the basement food hall of Isetan, as whilst it is great, seems to be for take-away only. I'm looking for somewhere where you can both purchase the food and eat it.

Many thanks for any suggestions.

posts: 3,622
reviews: 7
1. Re: Are there any food courts in Tokyo?

The closest that I can think of would be the yakitori joints under the railroad tracks in Yurakucho -look halfway down this page: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3005.html I've never been.

Festivals at temples often have an assortment of food stands. At Sensoji in Asakusa, I recall little fish (probably AYU) grilled on sticks and old-fashioned soft drinks sealed with a marble in the bottle. I found these pictures from Meiji Shrine: flickr.com/photos/… I have no idea how to find out what's going on when.

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
posts: 36,781
reviews: 77
2. Re: Are there any food courts in Tokyo?

Agree with Roger above--the Yurakucho yakitori joints are probably the closest thing. Hawker-style food isn't really the Japanese way.

London, United...
posts: 91
reviews: 8
3. Re: Are there any food courts in Tokyo?

Oh, when I read blogs saying go to eat at depachikos I was thinking of actual seated dining too rather than packaged foods to take away. But its good job I read this post, so Ive still got time to plan in some restaurants.

posts: 289
reviews: 5
4. Re: Are there any food courts in Tokyo?

The seated dining at department stores are usually on another floor to the food 'depachika' floors. There will be a floor with restaurant concessions but rarely is there a shared food court area.

But this isn't comparing like with like.

There ARE food courts in the Tokyo area, but they are in shopping malls, not in individual department stores.

There's the Aeon shopping mall near Narita and Venus Fort in Odaiba.

Since neither shopping malls nor food courts are anywhere near the top of my list of "things I must experience in Japan" list I've never made a point of visiting.

However, I did once come across a food court area in a large service station when I travelled by bus between Nagoya and Osaka, but that is nowhere near Tokyo, so irrelevant here.

London, United...
posts: 5
reviews: 1
5. Re: Are there any food courts in Tokyo?

Few days back near Tokyo, the JP tower has been relaunched with a whole new concept.The commercial part is called KITTE.Its a 7 storied building with the latest facilities and benefits. The 5 th and 6 th floor of the building is food corner. You can find "Ginpe" (the fish restaurant) and of course a Sushi Bar named Nemuro Hanamaru at the 5 th floor.There is also an Italian restaurant (Da Bocciano) at the same floor.

I have collected the information from a very popular and informative blog from Japan (http://cherryful.com/en/)

Stockholm, Sweden
posts: 801
reviews: 75
6. Re: Are there any food courts in Tokyo?

pretzelwilliam: All your posts on TA has included a reference to this "very popular and informative blog from Japan". Just FYI, advertising/self promotion is not allowed on this forum.

posts: 289
reviews: 5
7. Re: Are there any food courts in Tokyo?

I don't understand why there is a reference to Kitte here.

There are a great number of buildings within Tokyo with numerous restaurants on the same floor/floors.

I have seen nothing at all to indicate that there is a food court of the kind benbenben has been enquiring about in the JP Tower.

Edited: 3:12 pm, April 10, 2013
Henderson, NV
posts: 198
reviews: 1
8. Re: Are there any food courts in Tokyo?

Perhaps not exactly what you're looking for, but I visit the Tsukiji Outer Market frequently just to enjoy the 'street food', small little four seat stalls serving various types of noodle dishes for about $5-6 USD. Inside, tucked away down the very small little walkways are various inexpensive sushi, chirashi and shashimi places. I've walked the streets there on Sunday mornings and found a few guys grilling oysters and clams....wonderful!!!!

While not a food court, try the restaurants floors of the department stores, not the basements (a cultural and gastronomical treasure) but usually two or three floors of restaurants serving every type of food imaginable. You or someone on this thread mentioned Isetan. Their location in Shinjuku has a marvelous little udon / soba place, great food, low prices. My favorite spot is heading over to Ikebukuro. The trains are located on the basement floors of not one, but two major department stores. Mind boggling. Had a great Korean meal last month when I arrived late and all my favorite places were packed. I'll be there again for sure.

Actually, when in doubt just walk out of your hotel and go straight, left or right. You'll find dozens of great places to eat. This doesn't work for the Western Style hotels in Shinjuku that are 15 mins from any form of life and another reason to stay at smaller Japanese owned hotels. There are a number in the Ginza that are real bargains and offer great amenities too.

Have fun..!!! Now I'm hungry.

Avoca, Australia
Destination Expert
for Rusutsu-mura
posts: 2,627
reviews: 9
9. Re: Are there any food courts in Tokyo?

Larger train stations have many cafe sized, small restaurants & very cheap, sometimes in a 'restaurant street' within the station area. Many have plastic displays in their windows showing the menu items.


Edited: 10:19 pm, April 10, 2013
Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
posts: 36,781
reviews: 77
10. Re: Are there any food courts in Tokyo?

I have been to food courts in Japan, mostly at some of the smaller fish markets scattered at the country side. There were also a couple of more normal food court style places that are similar to Western food courts in the odd shopping mall here and there. I don't rate their quality overall though. Having spent a lot of money and time to travel to Japan, it's best to go to places that offer the good stuff rather than get stuck on the food court concept.