The Japan Pavilion in Epcot is located between The American Adventure and Morocco Pavilions. At the entrance to the pavilion, you will find a Japanese Pagoda, a replica of the Horyuji Temple that was built in the 7th century. Each of the 5 levels represent the elements from which Buddhists believe all things are created: earth, fire, water, wind and sky.
Turn around and look across the World Showcase Lagoon where you will see a torii gate. It is modeled after the one found off the coast of Itsukushima. If you look closely, you will even see barnacles located on the base of the torii gate, just like you would find on ones in Japan. In the ponds that line the pavilion, your kids might be excited to see the colorful koi fish. Be sure to look for Hidden Mickeys in the ponds too!
The White Heron Castle located above the pavilion is modeled after the fortress that still overlooks Himeji. The building that houses the Mitsukoshi Department Store is a replica of Japan’s Imperial Palace’s coronation and ceremonial halls. Throughout the pavilion you will find typical Japanese gardens, Japanese maples, bamboo and other native Japanese plants. What a unique touch to really make you feel like you are in Japan.
Eating in Japan:
- Tappan Edo – Table Service Restaurant where chefs prepare food right in front of the guests.
- Tokyo Dining – Table Service Restaurant offering traditional sushi cuisine.
- Katsura Grill – Counter Service Restaurant offering delicious traditional Japanese foods. The Katsura Grill is designed to resemble a tea house from Katsura Imperial Villa in Kyoto.
Eating Around The World Showcase: Kakigōri found at the Kabuki Cafe.
Fun in Japan:
- Kidcot is located near the exit area of the Misukoshi Department Store (in the rear of the pavilion)
- There is an Agent P adventure in Japan
- Bijutsu-kan exibitis “Spirited Beasts: From Ancient Stories to Anime Stars” which depicts Japanese mythology creatures being adapted into their pop culture.
- Take the kids in Mitsukoshi Department Store where they will find a huge variety of Japanese pop-culture items including Hello Kitty. This is a store that is found in actual Japan and is run by the headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.
- In Mitsukoshi Department Store, you can pick an oyster for about $20 and they will open it and give you the pearl inside.
- Matsuriza are traditional Taiko drummers and Japanese Storytellers. Check your Times Guide for showtimes during your visit.
- Look for the 2 Samurai Warriors on horses located above the bridge at the back of the pavilion.
- Originally the Japan Pavilion was going to have an attraction called “Meet the World” that would have resembled the Carousel of Progress in the Magic Kingdom.
- They also considered a roller coaster that would race through Mount Fuji like the Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland.
You might also enjoy checking out the Swiss Family Treehouse in Magic Kingdom.