Setsubun Depachika: Shopping for Eho-maki and Sardines at Japanese Department Store Food Court

Depachika, the basement floor of department stores in Japan, is where some of the best food in the land can be had and at fairly reasonable prices. These food courts are difficult to beat as they are a mix of the best of the best shinise stores as well as very popular, up-and-coming stores and restaurants and some European chocolatier and patisserie.

After picking up my Hisagozushi demon sushi roll, I passed through Takashimaya Department Store to see the Setsubun foodie offerings and take a few photos for you. I found a demon roll wagashi at Sentaro and I was surprised to find that a vegetable and salad specialty chain shop had a very interesting ‘salad eho-maki’ and deep fried food specialty shop had deep fried sardines. No one wants to miss out of the Setsubun commerce!

See the previous KyotoFoodie article links below if you would like to know more about the Setsubun customs, they all seem to involve food! But first, here is what you need on your Setsubun shopping list:

Setsubun Shopping List Item #1: Sardines
The Japanese demon, ‘Oni’, who you want to drive away from your home on Setsubun doesn’t like the odor of sardines. So, grill up a lot, eat a lot, stink like sardines and even hang a grilled sardine head around your front door. Best to cook yours at home on Setsubun and stink up the house rather than buy them precooked in the stores.

Setsubun Depachika: Shopping for Eho-maki and Sardines at Japanese Department Store Food Court

Super-size Sardines for Grilling at Home

Setsubun Depachika: Shopping for Eho-maki and Sardines at Japanese Department Store Food Court

Grilled Sardines, for Cheater!

Setsubun Depachika: Shopping for Eho-maki and Sardines at Japanese Department Store Food Court

'Out with the Old, In With the New!' Sardines Deep Fried Tonkatsu Style

Setsubun Shopping List Item #2: Roast Soybeans
Throw roasted soy beans, called Fuku-mame 福豆, ‘good fortune/happiness beans’ out your door and say, demon out, good fortune in, or, out with the old, in with the new!

Setsubun Depachika: Shopping for Eho-maki and Sardines at Japanese Department Store Food Court

Fuku-mame Roasted Soybeans for Good Fortune

Setsubun Depachika: Shopping for Eho-maki and Sardines at Japanese Department Store Food Court

Fuku-mame Roasted Soybeans for Good Fortune

Setsubun Shopping List Item #3: Eho-Maki
Eho-maki 恵方巻 is the ‘direction of good fortune’ sushi roll. The Eho-maki has made a come back in the last few decades and is more popular in Kansai (Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe) than in Kanto (Tokyo area). This sushi roll contains 7 lucky ingredients and should be eaten without stopping or talking, facing the direction of good fortune for the year.

Setsubun Depachika: Shopping for Eho-maki and Sardines at Japanese Department Store Food Court

So many traditional eho-maki to choose from!

Setsubun Depachika: Shopping for Eho-maki and Sardines at Japanese Department Store Food Court

So many traditional eho-maki to choose from!

Setsubun Depachika: Shopping for Eho-maki and Sardines at Japanese Department Store Food Court

So many traditional eho-maki to choose from!

Setsubun Depachika: Shopping for Eho-maki and Sardines at Japanese Department Store Food Court

Queuing for Hisagozushi Eho-maki

Setsubun Depachika: Shopping for Eho-maki and Sardines at Japanese Department Store Food Court

'Out with the Old, In With the New!' Shrimp and Avocado Salad Eho-maki

Setsubun Depachika: Shopping for Eho-maki and Sardines at Japanese Department Store Food Court

'Out with the Old, In With the New!' Shrimp and Avocado Salad Eho-maki - detail

Previous KyotoFoodie Setsubun Articles
Setsubun Ehomaki, Mame-maki and Grilled Sardine
Setsubun Customs: Hiiragi Iwashi (Holly and Sardine Head)
Setsubun: The Day Before Spring, Demons, How to Eat Eho-Maki and Throw Your Beans

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One Response to “Setsubun Depachika: Shopping for Eho-maki and Sardines at Japanese Department Store Food Court”

  1. Arun says:

    We learnt about Setsubun last week in Japanese language class, during “Culture Time”. When our sensei told us about eho-maki, I thought of normal sized sushi rolls you get in restaurants, not the massive ones you’ve shown here! No way I could eat a whole one in silence. I’d laugh or choke!

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