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A Walking Tour of Epcot's Japan Pavilion

I hope you have your walking shoes on today because we are going to take a rather long and leisurely walk together through the beautiful Japan pavilion. If you've never been or never taken the time to explore the pavilion then you are in for a treat.

This is a place to get out of the sun, relax and escape to a beautiful far off land. The Japan pavilion has a beautiful hillside garden with walkways and ponds. The shops are full of items sure to temp you, the breathtaking architecture of the buildings, the outstanding dining options and the very popular entertainment are not to be missed.

So, with that said, I think it's time to start our walk. Come along and let's enjoy the Japan pavilion together.

We start as we walk into the pavilion from Morocco. One of the first things you see from a distance is the Goju-no-to pagoda. It has just been refurbished and looks just beautiful!

Walking into the pavilion from Morocco

The Torii Gate, birdhouses and garden let you know you've entered a special place.

The Torii Gate

The big building on the right in the next two pictures is a Shishinden. It's a replica of the principle building in the Imperial Palace in Japan.

Looking into the pavilion from main sidewalk

Walking into the pavilion from the American pavilion

Here is a look back out towards the Torii Gate and the World Showcase Lagoon.

Looking towards the Torii Gate and World Showcase Lagoon

A close up look at the Goju-no-to pagoda. This is surely something you would expect to see if you visited Japan.

The Goju-no-to pagoda

We have climbed the stair of the Shishinden to look down at the pavilion. Here you see the fish pond straight ahead.

Looking down towards the fish pond

What you see in this pictures is the Shirasagigi Castle. It's name Shirasagigi means White Egret Castle.

The Shirasagigi Castle

This sign tells us about the building we are about to see and the beautiful grounds that lead up to it.

Katsura Sign

This pond and the fish in it do attract a lot of attention.

The beautiful pond

The pond is full of Koi fish just looking to be fed.

Koi fish in the pond

Isn't this a beautiful picture?

Pond, bridge and waterfalls

Part of the hillside gardens.

The hillside gardens

There is a small pond at the top near the Yakitori House.

Small pond in gardens

The Yakitori House is the counter service restaurant in Japan.

Yakitori House sign

The Yakitori House is a beautiful building and in such a beautiful location.

Yakitori House restaurant

The next couple of pictures are of the area where you place your order and of the indoor and outdoor seating.

Where you place your order

Inside seating

Outside seating

Right next to the Koi fish pond is the Mitsukoshi kiosk. Here you can find something to drink, some Japanese snack and a few souvenirs.

Mitsukoshi kiosk

Here's look at some of the merchandise for sale inside of the Mitsukoshi kiosk.

Inside the kiosk

The entrance to the Shirasagigi castle is called the Nijo. It's the wood and stone archway you pass under to enter the castle.

Looking towards the Nijo entrance

Here I've passed under the Nijo and am now looking back out towards the Torii Gate.

Looking back towards the front of the pavilion

The Shirasagigi castle has an impressive stone wall and is surrounded by a moat.

The castle wall and moat

The is a life size bronze stature of a mounted Samurai warrior protecting the castle.

Samurai Warrior

Back out in front of the pavilion, in the Shishiden, is the main entrance to the Mitsukoshi main store. Also, right next to this entrance is an elevator to take those needing assistance up to the restaurants on the second floor.

Mitsukoshi Shop main entrance

Don't you just love browsing in this store? It is filled with such beautiful items. Each time I go in I find something new to marvel at. Just a fantastic store to both browse and shop.

Inside the shop

Inside the shop

Inside the shop

Inside the shop

Inside the shop

There is always a crowd looking to find that big pearl and make it into a fine piece of jewelry.

Finding a pearl

At the back of this shop you will find the Kidcot location.

Kidcot location

These stairs lead to two outstanding restaurants. As I said previously, the handicap entrance is located next to the main entrance to the main store.

Steps leading to Mitsukoshi restaurants

There are two restaurants up here. Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining. Be sure to click on the links to check out their menus.

Signs for the Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining restaurants

This is what it looks like inside the Tokyo Dining restaurant.

Inside Tokyo Dining restaurant

Inside Tokyo Dining restaurant

The Teppan Edo restaurant is one where the chef cooks the food right at your table. I do love this restaurant!

Teppan Edo restaurant

Inside Teppan Edo restaurant

On different days you can find three different entertainers in Japan. The Matsuriza Taiko drummers, Miyuki, the Japanese Candy Art Lady and Honobono Minwa, the Japanese Storyteller. Make sure you pick up a Times Guide to find out which of these will be performing that day. All of them are great entertainment for the whole family.

Entertainment schedule

If you've read my earlier blogs you already know how much I love the Matsuriza Taiko drummers. They are not to be missed!

The Matsuriza drummers

Everyone just marvels at what this lady can do. She's pretty special! However, I wonder how many of the art she makes and gives to the children make it back home in one piece?

Miyuki - the candy lady

Miyuki - the candy lady

This is one great storyteller. Stop and listen and you just may find yourself in the story.

Honobono Minwa - Japanese Storyteller

Honobono Minwa - Japanese Storyteller

Whew, that was quite a walk. I sure hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I sure had lots of fun!

Please leave me a comment and tell me what you like about the Japan pavilion or what your memories of previous visits are. I love to get comments.

Finally, be one of the first people to hear when my newest blogs go live on AllEars.net by joining "DisneyMike's World" Facebook group.

Well, that’s all for now. As my good friend says “see ya real soon”….DizneyMike

The previous post in this blog was Snow White's Wishing Well.

The next post in this blog is A Walking Tour of Epcot's Morocco Pavilion.

Comments (52)

Debbie:

Hi Mike,

I love the Japan Showcase, and agree that the shopping is ace. I've purchase 4 pearls over several trips, all have been oversized and 3 of them are blue.

My nephew was lucky enough to get a dinosaur made from the Candy Art Lady. I can tell you he was eating it by the time we got on the boat from in front of Japan to the beginning of Future World.

Always enjoy your World Showcase Blogs.

Debbie - UK

Twila:

Mike, I love your "Walking Tours", they are so full of exciting information I never noticed before while on vacation. I am heading back there next week and plan to take more time to notice all the beauty that is World Showcase.
Thanks for all the great info!

sandra shaw:

Mike, thank you so much for the lovely walk through Japan .My family is leaving in 28 days for our annual trip and your blogs just get me excited to get going. I didn't realize there was so much to see in each country as we are usually running by but I will take more time to explore this trip. thanks sandra

Carrie:

Thanks for the great walk. We've been to Epcot many times but often zip past great experiences like these. Thanks for showing me what to check out on the next trip!

Marianela:

Wow!! I thought that I was the only one who just passed for this pavillions...in my last trip was the first time I actually entered to this pavillion because I bought a passport for the world and needed the stamp from Japan (you ask for the stamp in the Kidcot stop)....but I didn't know where were the restaurants or the castle or the garden or that I can climb the "Shishinden".
In my next trip I definitelly will take more time to explore all the pavillions!!!
Marianela (Chile)

Jill Fogg:

Hello, Mike! I've been waiting for your blog on this, my favorite, pavillion! I was a Navy Brat, and lived in Japan for 2 years while growing up. I look forward to getting my fix every year when we visit Epcot, as Disney truly has captured not only the look of a Japanese village, but also the spirit that surrounds it. We literally have to drag ourselves out every year to visit the other countries in Epcot!

Thanks again, you made my morning...I will walk around for the rest of the day with visions of whistle candy, hibachi dining, and tori gates in my head!

:) Jill Fogg

Sarah:

Thank you for another fantastic walking tour! Japan is my favorite pavilion, and it is always a “must stop” for me. The architecture is stunning, the music is beautiful, and I love hearing Matsuriza perform. I could spend hours shopping in Mitsukoshi, and Tokyo Dining has some of the best sushi I’ve ever eaten. Also, don’t forget the Kaki Gori stand! My boyfriend swears that they serve THE coldest beer in the World, so we always stop for a Kirin. Maybe someday I’ll actually buy Kaki Gori at the stand, but the beer goes so well with all the snacks I buy there!

On a trip a few months back, I was very happy when my Kim Possible Kimmunicator instructed us to go to Japan! The Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure is a fun way to get you exploring the pavilions and noticing all the details that were put in to each pavilion. I highly recommend it to anyone that hasn’t tried it yet - it’s really fun for all ages. In fact, I think I’ve seen more adults playing than kids!

Looking forward to the next walk – Thanks again!

Phil Hatton:

Thanks for the tour Mike. We seem to have a problem getting past the Mitsukoshi Dept. store. I have two granddaughters and a daughter-in-law that just have to have a pearl when we go there. I will have to make a special effort to got on to the back while they shop.

Mary:

Mike, Thank you for taking the wonderful walks. You are getting me excited for my upcoming trip. In previous trips we just walked by the pavillions looking for characters, but this time I really want to explore because of what you have showed us. Thank you!!!!!!

amy:

Mike,
I love your walking tours!! I learn so much about each pavilion, it's great!! I have been to Epcot multiple times, but everytime I read one of your blogs, I find something new that I have to try or see. Thank you so much!!

Dee:

Hi Mike,

I love this blog! I have been in the Japan pavilion a few times but never been to the back and had no idea where the restaurants were. Thanks for this thorough tour! I can't wait to explore all these nooks for myself.

Mike Venere:

Just came back on Monday.....and have 2 dislikes for the new (well new since I was there last year) restaurant set-up.

There is no longer a place to walk up and get sushi....like a sushi bar, not a sit down table service which is what Tokyo Dining has become. The Yakitori House only offers a california roll or a spicy tuna roll

Second, I was shocked while dining at Teppan Edo that besides those same rolls mentioned above, I could not order any other type of sushi from the connecting Tokyo Dining restaurant. I was told just what is on the Teppan Edo menu...

Bummer!!!

DizneyMike replies: Mike, since I'm not a sushi lover I never paid attention to what sushi they serve or don't serve. However, I do know that Disney listens to their guests. I suggest you send Walt Disney World Guest Relations an email and give them some feedback as to the items you would like to see on the menu. They will pass your comments on the the manager of those restaurants. Hope this helps....Mike

cathy mullen:

Hi Mike,
When we go back to DW we will have to check out Japan more closely. We missed a lot and we have been to the world many times! I'm really appreciating these walking tours!

Lori:

Mike,
I just wanted to say that I absolutely love your walking tours! We are heading to DW in a few months for the first time in 7 years. The last time was for our honeymoon and this time around we'll have 2 little ones with us. We enjoyed many evenings just strolling around the World Showcase during our honeymoon. Your tours remind me of that happy, relaxing time in an otherwise hectic and busy vacation. I'm sure with two toddlers, we won't have time to stop and admire the architecture much this time around but I at least hope to catch some of the things you pointed out. Can you feed the Koi? My daughter would love that!

DizneyMike replies: Lori, unfortunately you should not feed the fish. However, I'm sure your children will enjoy seeing them swim so close to them. I hop you and your family really enjoy your upcoming trip...Mike

Melissa:

You didn't mention the small museum area. Is that not open anymore? We have seen several exhibits here, including Baseball in Japan and Tin Toys.

DizneyMike replies: You are right, I did not include pictures of the Bijutsu-kan Gallery: "The Kitahara Collection of Tin-Toys," I also didn't include pictures of the small kiosk that sells shaved ice that's out in front. Thanks for reminding me. I will go back and update the blog....Mike

Hi, Mike, thanks for the tour! It's funny, I've walked through this pavilion so many times, and I've still missed so many details. I need to remind myself to slow down and take it all in next time.

Buzzing through the Japan pavilion was also one of my favorite parts of the World Showcase Segway tour, which is an absolute must for fans of the park. I can't wait to do it again.

Robin:

Mike, as usual your walk around is wonderful. I love the drummers also but I must admit I have not taken the time to meander around the garden area except to take a picture of the fish, that my son is sure are just goldfish and I am so glad to see they are Koi, as I believed. Can't wait to come down in October and stroll around the countries some more. You always do a wonderful job.

Pat:

Mike, THANKS!!!!!! Was looking forward to your next walking tour. Glad it was here this week. We are heading to the World this Saturday. Reading this blog wished I was there today. Thanks so much. Do you know if the shop had any items from the new PONYO movie? Thanks again

DizneyMike replies: Pat, at the time I took these pictures I did not see any PONYO items. However, by the time you're here that may change. It's a great excuse to go in and do some shopping...Mike

Audress D. Johnson:

Hello Mike,

Thanks for yet another excellent blog!

It's impossible for me to say I have a "favorite" pavilion at World Showcase, but I have many fond memories of Japan. One of my favorites is when I was 18 years old. I dragged (and I mean DRAGGED) my skeptical, meat & taters loving parents to what was then the Teppenyaki dining room. And they LOVED the place! On our next trip, I had visions of eating some other exotic cuisine - but no, they dragged *me* back to Teppenyaki!

Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane - can't wait to see what you do next!

Audress D. Johnson
Littleton, CO

DizneyMike replies: Audress, I know what you mean about that restaurant. It's a favorite of mine also. My birthday is coming up and guess where I have reservations? Yup, Teppan Edo (formerly the Teppenyaki Grill). Can't wait...Mike

Fred Becker:

Good job Mike. I think you covered it well. The resturants in this pavilion are among the best in Disney and I as you enjoy seeing them prepare it right in front of me.

DizneyMike replies: Thanks Fred, I really appreciate you reading the blog and posting the comment...Mike

Chi Tran:

Hi Mike,

Thank you for the walking tour. As always, your blog is great. We will head to the World next week for the 4th times in 3 years. We love the Japan pavilion. As we are counting down the days to go to DW, your blog makes the waiting easier.
Thanks and can't wait to read your next blog.

Chi

Marianela:

Mike!
I couldn't find your group on facebook!!!
If you can, please send the link!
Thanks!

DizneyMike replies: Marianela, try this link:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=119337451840

If that doesn't work, search for "DizneyMike's World" Good luck...Mike

Sabrina:

Mike, I love these tours! It's like I'm really there right now! Japan is my favorite pavilion to shop in because its items are the most interesting. I have to say that the Japanese sodas in the glass bottles are better (and more fun to get open) than American soda. I always try to collect something from there everytime I go. :)

Suzie:

I never knew that there was a counter restaurant in Japan! It'll be a must do next time we go.

Angie Saulsberry:

This past summer our kids got picked for the candy lady. They (my son) had her make a Tiger (school mascot) While it did make it home in one piece it melted in the car while at another park. So if you have a candy item be sure and put it in your cooler for safe keeping. Our tiger was very cool before he melted kind of sad after. Must look around more in Japan next time. Young kids don't want to look at boring stuff! Thanks for the post

Monica:

Thanks for another great tour ! We just returned from our annual trip. The Tin Toy display is gone. They are getting ready for another display, but there was no mention of what is next that I could see. Also Ponyo items were on display in the store.

DizneyMike replies: Monica, thanks for the update. That's great information....Mike

Drew:

Great blog Mike. This is quite an imaginative pavillion, and the architecture is certainly authentic. The CMs are some of the best in all of WDW.

A couple of my favorite things about the Japan Pavillion that you may or may not have mentioned:

- The Hidden Mickey inside the Koi Pond just below Yakitori House.

- The fact that Tokyo Dining is a great spot to watch Illuminations from; and since it's not a real popular dining choice for many, it's usually pretty easy to make an ADR.

-The Kaki Gori cart!

DizneyMike replies: Drew, thanks for the tips. I was not aware of the hidden Mickey in the Koi Pond. I will definitely look for it on my next visit....Mike

Lily-Pierre:

Hi Mike,

I don't know why I keep on reading your walking tour blogs... My husband and I are leaving for the World in 2 weeks (first-timers :D) and I think that if I keep on checking your blogs, I'm gonna explode with excitement!!! You're doing such a great job, you make me feel like I'm already there :D Thanks for your amazing job!!!

Ps- Pleeeeaaaase post the Morocco tour before I go!!!

°o° Lily °o° from Qc

DizneyMike replies: Lily-Pierre, thank you very much for the wonderful comments. I'm sure your first visit to WDW is going to be filled with wonder and magic. Enjoy....Mike

Laurie:

I love your "walking tours." We have been to WDW four times. Each time we enjoy late suppers in the World Showcase, but we never seem to be able to take all the "details" in. We always have at least one little onewith us so "taking in the details" never works for us. I enjoy your "walking tours" because it allows me to really "see" each country. One day (when all the kids are older), I hope to take my own leisurely stroll around World Showcase! I will actually get to sit quietly in all the beautiful gardens and browse through all the shops. Can't wait! Until then keep your "walking tours" coming! Thanks!

DizneyMike replies: Laurie, I must admit that my wife and I enjoy WDW more without the kids. We do get to see the parks in a completely different way. Thanks for the comments....Mike

Danielle Harmon:

Mike,

Love your walking tours!!! Japan is one of my favorite pavilions. My husband and I were stationed in Misawa, Japan 14 years ago. It is where we met and were married. This pavilion reminds me of the wonderful home it was for us, and how beautiful the country and people are. Thanks for helping to bring back wonderful memories! I can't wait till we go back to WDW as we won't get to be stationed in Japan again before we retire.

Danielle

Denise:

Mike,
Thanks for all your walking tours. I really enjoy reading them. This Dec. will the first time without any children or grandchild ( which she is very upset about). My husband and I can not wait. We are looking forward to strolling around the World and take everything in. I never really noticed the Japan pavillion before Thank you will look forward to strolling through, Just one question is it handicap accesible for my husband.
Thank you for all your tours and keeping the Magic alive.
Denise

DizneyMike Replies: Denise, yes, like all World Showcase pavilions, Japan is handicap accessible. There is an elevator that goes up to the second floor....Mike

lainee:

Mike
My husband and I will be at the world the end of September. I never knew you could dive for pearls. I can't wait to get there now to do this. You just stirred all our excitement up. thanks for all your great info. Lainee

Eric H:

My kids got a candy "dragon" from Yuki....they DID NOT want to eat it.
Pretty strong will-power for a 3 and 6 yr old!

But, you're right....by the time we had made it back to WV, the tail and tongue of that poor dragon were broken.
Personally, they look much better than they taste! : )

Cara Richards:

Japan is one of our favourite pavillions at Epcot - it's such a beautiful place to spend an hour or two and Teppan Edo is just wonderful!

Cindy Cabrera:

Thank you for the information. I have been to Disney only one time before and never new there was a China. I think I was overwhelmed with all of the excitement of the first trip. Going again in 2011. I definitely check out Japan. You made it look interesting. Thanks a lot for great info and pics.

karen:

Love the tour, Thank-you so much. I am going to the world for the first time with no children in November and We have reservations for Teppan Edo. I see there is alot more to see. Thanks for pointing out the highligts!

Karen B:

I love your walks. Last year was my daughter and my first trip and we only spent 1 day at epcot. What we missed! This year we are doing 2 and 1/2 days to really get to look and enjoy the wonderful lands there. My daughter is only 7 and was so excited to see other "countries". I know these will be memories she will have always and a love to "travel" as well. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

Rene':

We are leaving in 29 days and this is my 10 year old daughter's favorite spot in all the "WORLD". She has loved coming here first since she was 5. The sights, sounds, and tastes make you want to come back again and again on your trip!

We have been lucky that on every trip we get a pop from the candy lady. She is so very sweet and I think it is the coolest thing going!!

Thanks for taking us on the tour..it made my day!

Dianne:

Thank you so much for taking on your tour. If I can't be there, this is the next best thing!

Felicia:

This was a wonderful introduction to Epcot's Japan pavillion. We will be touring this holiday season and I want to have a more indepth look at each pavillion. I truely hope these "walking tours" continue of each land.

Anonymous:

I enjoy your walking tours. My husband and I go to WDW almost every year and the World Showcase is a favorite of ours. It is nice to find out things we did not know. I had no idea of the snacks in the little kiosk outside of pavilion. I always head to back of big store where they have lots of other snacks as well as well as Japanese pottery and Bansai trees. Thank you!

Lindsey:

We have a dining reservation at Tokyo Dining..I'm so excited now...the countdown is on..31Days!! Thanks for the tour!

Darrell Shortt:

Thanks for your tours. We ate at Tokyo Dining July 4th weekend and had 12:10 reservations. They didn't open the doors until 12:00 so we were the first ones inside then a group of six arrived. We were told to sit on the couch until our beeper buzzed. Unexpectedly, the whole staff came out and stood in front of us. They did a short ceremony introducing both restaurants. It was very impressive. We have since eaten at Le Cellier at the Canadian Pavillion and they opened by singing O' Canada. It pays to be at opening.

Jenn:

Mike,
I loved this! My new husband and I just returned from our honeymoon and I spent a lot of time in this pavilion. I think the total was 4 Kaki-Gori's for the trip! I lost count on how many times I tucked into Mitsukoshi! I love the pavilion, food, and snacks - and we can't wait to go back!
~Jenn

Barbara:

The Japan walking tour whetted my appetite, we are going in 34 days!! Tell me: do they still greet the first guests of the day with the ritual performed by the geisha at the restaurant? I wish I could take all your walking blogs with us and read them as we go into each land. Thanks!! Barb

DizneyMike replies: Thank you for your comments regarding my blog! Yes, it is my understanding that they still greet the first guest of the day with the geisha ritual. So, if you're lucky enough to be there it's a really neat thing to see....Mike

Lynn:

Mike -

I LOVE your blog and your walking tours. I look forward to each new "trip" through these wonderful pavilions and can hardly wait for your next "tour"!

Monica MacLeod:

I've been going to EPCOT on an average several times each year since it has opened. However, I never even knew about the restaurant opening rituals until now. Your walking tour is great! Do you by chance know when the koi are fed? We're planning a trip two weeks from now and I would love to be there when they are fed. I have about eight Koi in my pond and always think about the ones at the Japan Pavilion when I feed them. Thanks for whatever help you can give me.

DizneyMike replies: Monica, I don't know when the Koi are fed. My suggestion would be for you to email WDW Guest Services and ask them about the feeding schedule. Here's their email address: wdw.guest.communications@disneyworld.com Or, check with Guest Services when you enter Epcot that day. Let me know if you find out what the schedule is. Have a great trip....Mike

Molly:

Mike,
Thanks so much for that tour! Its been a few years since I have been to Disney World and your walking tours make me yearn to go back!

Tracey :

Hey Mike
What a great blog, can't wait we will be there end of Dec/Jan, we will do the tour ourselves,thanks for giving us a taster! Where will you take us next Mike?
Thanks Tracey

DizneyMike replies: Tracey, thanks for the kind words! My next blog is going to be A Walking Tour of Morocco. I'm working on it now and it should be live soon....Mike

Connie:

I am saving this blog for when I visit WDW early December. I hope the candy maker will give me (a big kid)a candy. That is, if she is there the day I spend @World Showcase.
I love the architecture of Asia & Japan. When I was in Hawaii this Summer we visited the Byodo Temple & will probably find things at the pavilion quite similar to the Temple.
Cannot wait for my trip.

DizneyMike replies: Connie, good luck, I hope you get that candy! Enjoy the trip; December is a great time to visit...Mike

Jay:

Great photos. Japan is one of our favorite countries in Epcot. Everything from the gardens to the buildings is just beautiful. We'll be there after Thanksgiving and already have our reservations for Teppan Edo (yum).

Jen M.:

WOW! My daughter and I just walked past this one last time! Didn't know it was so extensive! Will take the time to actually tour next time around!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 18, 2009 5:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Snow White's Wishing Well.

The next post in this blog is A Walking Tour of Epcot's Morocco Pavilion.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.