One of the most exciting places to visit in Walt Disney World is Epcot’s World Showcase! Where else can you find the opportunity to visit TEN different countries without leaving Disney World? Circling the World Showcase Lagoon, each country’s pavilion holds wonderful surprises, beautiful details, and educational opportunities for visitors of all ages.
You’ll find Japan nestled serenely between The American Adventure and the Moroccan Pavilion. A tidy cluster of buildings surrounding a central courtyard, the Japanese Pavilion offers visitors unique shopping, dining, and entertainment experiences.
If you haven’t yet taken advantage of all there is to see and do in Epcot’s Japan – here some TIPS for making the most of your visit:
TIP: The shopping in the Japan pavilion is beyond compare.
- Mitsukoshi Department Store – this place is awesome and HUGE! The building’s outside is a replica of sections of Japan’s Imperial Palace, but the inside is an incredible, modern store packed with a stunning array of Japanese items – toys, books, clothing, games, swords and knives, kitchen items (sushi-making supplies!), pick-a-pearl (you select the oyster and a Japanese Cast Member will open it and retrieve your treasure), and much more. Do take time to visit this place – it’s amazing! Pokémon and Hello Kitty fans are sure to be pleased.
TIP: The Food (and Beverage) choices are excellent. Three dining options, all delicious – chopsticks optional!
- Teppan Edo offers guests hibachi-cooked meals where your meal’s tableside preparation is as entertaining to watch as it is tasty to eat. Beef, chicken, seafood (alone or as part of a combination) are served with fresh vegitables and rice. Undercover Diva Dining Review here.
- Tokyo Dining – if you enjoy tempura or sushi, this is the place. Diners enjoy traditional Japanese fare in a classy, modern setting.
- Katsura Grill is a quick / counter service option offering a wide variety of Japanese dishes. Dine inside our enjoy the beautiful gardens in the outdoor seating area.
TIP: If you can’t decide whether or not to pay for the park-hopper option, consider this – some of the best dining on Disney property is in the World Showcase. Currently, many former park-hopping guests who used the option for obtaining multi-park fastpasses in a single day believe the new FastPass+ system’s 1-park-per-day-restriction on fastpasses negates the need for the park-hopper ticket option. I disagree. I may want to take advantage of morning Extra Magic Hours at one park – which is not the same park where I’ve make an Advance Dining Reservation (ADR) 6 months before my vacation (when I had no idea which park would be offering a morning Extra Magic Hour). I can still be at Magic Kingdom for rope-drop (and that extra hour) then hop over to Epcot for my lunch or dinner reservation later in the day. Then, if I want to, I can hop back over to the Magic Kingdom and end the day with the Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes.
TIP: The Japan Pavilion offers a unique learning experience (also a great place to slow down and cool off).
- The Japanese Art Display in the pavilion’s Bijutsu-kan Gallery – Learn how Japan’s cultural history gave rise to some of today’s most popular cartoon and video game characters.
TIP: Japan has unique Entertainment
- Matsuriza is an impressive show featuring taiko – a form of drumming. I’ve only seen (heard?) this one from a distance – it absolutely merits a closer look / listen.
TIP: The World Showcase has an awesome “scavenger hunt” type activity for the whole family!
- Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure. Pick up your “Interactive Evil Detection Device” called F.O.N.E. (Field Operative Notification Equipment) at one of three different Epcot locations and get busy on your mission. Join Agent P as you receive clues you must solve to foil the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz. Your mission will lead you through several different countries (7 possible) as you stamp out evil and save the world! Complete details here.
If you’ve overlooked the Japan Pavilion on a previous visit to Epcot or you’re headed to Disney World for the first time, be sure to reserve some time to appreciate all this incredible spot along the World Showcase has to offer.
Until next time…Darlin’ Diva