A pavilion in World Showcase at Epcot that’s great for every member of your family is the Japan pavilion. Located in between the American pavilion and Morocco, it’s a pleasant combination of traditional and modern influences. From the food to the shops, there’s something everyone will love.
12 Things You’ll Love About the Japan Pavilion at Epcot
12. Kabuki Café
The Kabuki Café is a great spot for a quick snack. Besides ice cream and Kakigori (Japanese shaved ice) you can also get edamame, sushi, and a selection of alcoholic drinks. This Quick Service station also have a variety of Japanese sodas.
11. Mitsukoshi Department Store
One of the biggest draws for kids, and kids at heart alike, is the enormous gift shop in Japan. So many of the county’s iconic characters can be found here from Hello Kitty to Pokemon and so much more. Even those these characters and shows aren’t Disney brands, they can be found in abundance here along with Japanese clothing, fans, and other accessories.
10. Bijutsu-Kan Gallery
Fans of anime and manga will want to check out this part of the pavilion which delves deeper into the origins of Japanese animation. The gallery pays homage to the sprits and other cultural influences that helped to shape the famous contemporary characters we know today.
9. Katsura Grill
This Quick Service station is a great place to stop if you’re looking to get your feet wet with Japanese cuisine. Dishes include sushi, udon and teriayaki plates. They also serve a variety of alcoholic beverages including hot or cold sake, beer, and plum wine. For dessert, you can try the green tea cheese cake or green tea ice cream.
8. The Atmosphere
From the torii gate found along the water of the Japan pavilion to the pagoda along the entrance to the calming pools and gardens found towards the back, there’s a great sense of history and calm. The blue pagoda is actually a replica of a 7th Century temple and the plant life found here includes native bamboo, trees, and maples. The castle in the back is inspired by a 17th Century fortress. If you love taking pictures, there are many opportunities to get a great shot, especially of Spaceship Earth framed right inside the torii gate.
7. Pick a Pearl
Inside the Mitsukoshi Department Store is the Pick a Pearl station. Here, guests can choose an oyster and see what pearl they’ve selected. This goes beyond a shopping experience to become a form of entertainment. The Cast Members chant along with you as they pry open the shell and measure to pearl to see how big or small it is. If it’s larger than average, which is usually the case, everyone celebrates and the Cast Members beat a drum. You can then also purchase a ring, necklace, or earring set to hold the pearl.
Over by the pagoda, the group Matsuriza performs several times a day by playing a set of traditional Japanese drums. The Taiko drums create a thunderous sound and the rhythmic beats provide layers of sound that are intricate and interesting. They way in which the performers move while drumming can also be described as a kind of graceful dance.
5. Tokyo Dining
Besides its entertainment and traditions, Japan is also known for its food. Over at Tokyo Dining, families can enjoy a feast for the senses in a beautiful environment. The restaurant has a very modern feel to it while still having soft touch to it with a great view of the water. The sushi dishes take center stage here, but guests can also try one of the many entrees of chicken, salmon, and tempura dishes.
4. Teppan Eddo
If you’re looking for a show with your meal, you’ll want to try out Teppan Eddo which provides a hibachi style dining experience. Have a specially trained chef prepare your food right in front of you with a few special Disney surprises. See if you can spot Mickey when your chef is cooking! Smaller groups also have the opportunity to dine with other families at the same grill and share their vacation experiences.
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3. Sushi Everywhere
Love it or hate it, there’s sushi just about everywhere you turn. All the restaurants we’ve shared offer sushi whether as a snack, an appetizer or an entrée. There’s something for every taste from beginners to the more adventurous experts. If you’ve never had sushi before, this is a great place to sample a small portion and get your feet wet.
2. Illuminations View
Like with Italy, Japan is located near the center of World Showcase and offers some fantastic views of Illuminations. If you book a reservations at Tokyo Dining during the nighttime show, you can also view the firework from the restaurant.
1. The Cast Members
Hands down the best part of the Japan pavilion is the Cast Members. Friendly, courteous, and extremely helpful, they go beyond the standard Disney guest treatment. They are a wonderful example of their culture and are more than willing to talk to you about where they are from. They may even teach you a few phrases as well.
Japan is a great place to stop along your tour of World Showcase. There’s always something familiar and new here that makes you feel welcome every time you visit.
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