Antenna Shops in Ginza

updated 25 September 2017

If you are looking for jizake or shochu from a small producer or an artisanal miso the first place to check out are the antenna shops. Markets that specialize in regional products, usually from a specific prefecture. The Okinawa antenna shop in Ginza has a huge selection of awamori and the Miyazaki antenna shop in Shinjuku brings in a limited amount of premium shochu on the first of each month. Seafood, meat, and fresh produce as well are often sold. Some of the shops will have a restaurant or an eat-in corner. The Yamagata antenna shop has a branch of it’s famous Italian restaurant using Yamagata products.

Here is a list of antenna shops in Ginza, the area with the most number of shops. Here is a list of antenna shops in Nihonbashi.

Osaka Hyakkaten

Over 600 items and an eat-in corner with takoyaki and butaman.

Chiyoda-ku, Yurakucho 2-10-1, Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan 1F

03-5220-1333

10:00 – 22:00

Tokushima and Kagawa Tomoni Ichiba

Sanuki udon, somen, Tokushima ramen, sudachi, jizake, and more.

Chiyoda-ku, Yurakucho 2-10-1, Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan 1F

03-6269-9688

10:30 – 19:30

Hyogo Waku Waku Kan

Tako no kamaage, oden packs, Higashimaru udon, vegetables, and more.

Chiyoda-ku, Yurakucho 2-10-1, Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan B1

03-6273-4133

10:00 – 19:00

Iki Iki Toyama Kan

Over 800 items including masu sushi.

Chiyoda-ku, Yurakucho 2-10-1, Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan B1

03-3231-5032

10:00 – 19:00

Wakayama Kishukan

Over 50 types of umeboshi, jizake, and fruit.

Chiyoda-ku, Yurakucho 2-10-1, Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan B1

03-3216-1615

10:00 – 19:00

Iwate Ginka Plaza

Over 1,500 items, including a Koiwa soft cream corner.

Chuo-ku, Ginza 5-15-1, Nankai Tokyo Bldg. 1F

03-3254-8282

10:30 – 19:00

Gunma-chan Chi

Produce, sweets, and jizake with an event space on the 2nd floor.

Chuo-ku, Ginza 5-13-19, Duplex Ginza Tower 5/13

03-3546-8511

10:00 – 19:00

Oishii Yamagata Plaza

Jizake, fruits, vegetables, and an Italian restaurant incorporating Yamagata’s produce by star chef Masayuki Okuda at San Dan Delo.

Chuo-ku, Ginza 1-5-10, Ginza First Five Bldg.

03-5250-1752

10:00 – 20:00

Hiroshima Setouchi Tau

Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki sauce, popular momiji maple leaf sweet buns, oysters (frozen or in oil), Yukari red shiso furikake and two eat-in restaurants. 2nd floor for Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki and 1st floor for shiru-nashi ramen, a style popular in Hiroshima and harder to find in Tokyo.

Chuo-ku, Ginza 1-6-10

03-5579-9952

Kagoshima Yurakukan

A large selection of shochu, restaurant, and much more.

Chiyoda-ku, Yurakucho 1-6-4, Chiyoda Bldg. 1-3F

03-3580-8821

hours vary

Tottori Plaza

Rakkyo, nagaimo, seafood, Italian restaurant featuring Tottori products, and more than 1,500 items.

Minato-ku, Shinbashi 2-19-4 SNT Bldg.

03-5537-0575

10:00 – 21:00

Ginza Kumamoto Kan

Fruits and vegetable, seafood products, and more than 1,000 items. ASOBI Bar on the 2nd floor featuring Kumamoto shochu, basashi (horsemeat sashimi), and karashi renkon.

Chuo-ku, Ginza 5-3-16

03-3572-1261

11:00 – 20:00

ASOBI Bar 17:00 – 20:00

Marugoto Kochi

Sweets, jizake, and a restaurant on the 2nd floor.

Chuo-ku, Ginza 1-3-13, Ri-burekkusu Tower

03-3538-4351

hours vary

Okinawa Ginza Washita Shop

An impressive selection of awamori in the basement and fresh produce such as go-ya.

Chuo-ku, Ginza 1-3-9, Maruito Ginza Bldg.

03-3535-6991

10:30 – 20:00

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An Insider’s Guide to Depachika

Peko-chanThis is the first article I wrote for Metropolis magazine and it is one of my favorites to this day. It is based on my experience working at Takashimaya’s depachika in Nihonbashi.

http://archive.metropolis.co.jp/tokyo/535/dining.asp (text follows)

It goes without saying that Japan is a paradise for any foodie. This is the country where cows are indulged with beer and massages. Fruit is fondled and coddled like a newborn. Bread from Poilane is flown in weekly from France and handmade wagashi from Kyoto is whisked to Tokyo via shinkansen.

This outright obsession with food is perhaps nowhere more evident than in Tokyo’s department-store food floors, or depachika. Working as the sommelier at Takashimaya’s Nihonbashi depachika, I am surrounded by the familiar, such as background music from the Carpenters, and the not-so-familiar, like the endless variety of fish. My workplace is constantly evolving, and so massive that I feel I will never fully understand its intricacies. Nevertheless, the depachika is one of the greatest places for anyone who is passionate or slightly curious about food to get a taste of Japanese cuisine and culture-and to begin to unlock their many secrets.

Location, location, location
The first place you may want to check out is not the basement, but the top floor of the depaato. It’s often the site of weekly special events where you can find vendors from all over the country offering their regional specialties. Temporary eat-in restaurants are also set up and this may be your only chance to get a seat in a famous shop. Often the special events are not limited to food products, but you will find cooking-related items.

If you come at a time when there is not a special event going on upstairs, then head to the basement, where most depachika will have dedicated “event space” offering local products not always available in Tokyo. Depending on your language skills, you can get the real scoop on how the makers harvest and produce their goods. Consider it Slow Food on a local level. When purchasing a material I have not cooked with before, most producers will enthusiastically offer recipe suggestions.

Another favorite area of mine is the meibutsu (regional specialty) section, which displays popular items from around the country. Mitsukoshi in Ginza will rotate artisans who proudly create their food in front of customers. If you forgot omiyage from your trip to Kyoto, the meibutsu store is the place to go and pick up an extra box of yatsu-hashi (cinnamon-flavored sweets) for your neighbor. Another highlight is the tasting areas. Takashimaya in Nihonbashi, for example, brings in jizake producers weekly, offering a great opportunity to get your hands on hard-to-find sake.

Bargains can also be had in the depachika, especially if you time it right. Later in the afternoon, some, but not all, of the bakeries will offer a “morning set” grab-bag of breads, often at a discounted price. In the fresh market, discount stickers start to appear around 5pm. The truly savvy penny-pincher will come late in the day to visit the vendors who are ending their one-week stint, both on the top floor and in the basement.

Another place to be on the look out for is the “sale” stand in the dry goods or fresh produce area. These are often small tables pushed into an out-of-the-way corner. I myself am guilty of pushing and shoving like an obatarian to get my hands on slightly damaged but highly discounted produce.

Eye openers
If there’s one thing that’s unique to the whole depaato experience, it’s the opening of the store in the morning. In a country where the consumer is king, the respect shown at this morning ritual is a reminder of how wonderful it is to shop in Japan. Receiving bows in every aisle and riding with the sharply dressed elevator girls are more nods to this notion.

Once you arrive at the depachika, be sure to check the production schedules at the bakeries. Housewives use this information to line up at Fauchon for their fresh-baked bread. Peck also offers great ciabatta and foccacia while Maison Kayser has some of the best croissants in the world (so say the French). If you’re a fan of mentaiko, don’t miss the French-style baguette smeared with mentaiko and then baked.

If you must go to depachika on the weekends, I advise either early in the morning or late in the evening-it can be packed from 5 to about 7 pm. And as much as I love meandering through the food floor, I avoid it at all costs before Valentine’s Day and White Day.

As the holiday crowds can attest, the tradition of gift-giving is a key part of the depachika phenomena. Everything is offered at certain price points. Some gifts you may want to consider are kohaku wine sets, which are gift sets of a bottle each of white and red wine, and beer ken (vouchers for beer). For non-drinking friends, there are Haagen-Dazs ice cream ken that can be purchased in the sake uriba.

Now, what to do with all of your purchases? Have them shipped home. At Takashimaya, a case of wine can be delivered for as little as ¥300. In the summer, this jumps to ¥650 as the wine must be sent “cool,” in a refrigerated truck. If you plan on doing a lot of shopping, have your packages held for you. They will be sent to a holding area and you can collect them you leave.

Each day I learn something new about this mysterious underground world. Just the other day, my friend, a cashier, looked at me and said, “Yukari, it’s raining.” But how, in this windowless workplace, could she know that?

“Can you hear the music? This song is played whenever it starts to rain.” Yes, I could hear-it was “Singing in the Rain.”