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A deep dive into the Japan pavilion at Epcot (dining, shops, best Harmonious views)

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A deep dive into the Japan pavilion at Epcot (dining, shops, best Harmonious views)

One of the most unique and best parts of Epcot is the World Showcase, which houses 11 countries.

While many guests are consumed with riding all of the attractions or drinking around the world, more people should take the time to explore the ins and outs of each country pavilion.

There’s so much to see, learn, eat, drink, buy, and explore. Not to mention, depending on the country, there’s exclusive entertainment and sometimes even characters.

If you want to know more about the Japan pavilion at Epcot, go no further. Here we take a deep dive into the country that is a favorite for many.

Overview

japan pavilion in epcot - panorama view
  • Location: World Showcase (between Morocco and The American Adventure)
  • Restaurants: 3 Quick Service (Kabuki CafeKatsura Grill, The Garden House); 3 Table Service (Takumi-TeiTeppan EdoTokyo Dining)
  • Shops: Mitsukoshi Department Store
  • Entertainment: Matsuriza
  • Attractions: None
  • Characters: None
  • Popular snacks and drinks: Violet Sake (The Garden House), Kakigōri with or without sweet milk topping (Kabuki Cafe)
  • Not-to-miss: Matsuriza drummers, shopping at Mitsukoshi, walking through the entire pavilion for the gardens and views

Japan Pavilion Map

japan pavilion at epcot - map location

Dining

There are 3 Quick Service spots and 3 Table Service restaurants in the Japan pavilion. Each dining location serves Japanese-inspired cuisine and beverages.

Quick Service Restaurants

The Garden House

garden house - japan - epcot

The Garden House serves alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, including soft drinks, green tea, bottled water, specialty cocktails, beer, wine.

violet sake - garden house - epcot japan pavilion

You can also order one of the most popular Japan pavilion drinks here — the Violet Sake.

Kabuki Cafe

kabuki cafe - japan - epcot

Kabuki Cafe is a stand that you can find immediately on your left as you enter from the American Adventure. Here, you can find sushi and assorted beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic).

shaved ice in japan pavilion at epcot

The most popular items here are the Kakigōri (Japanese shaved ice) with and without sweet milk topping.

kirin frozen beer in japan pavilion at epcot

This is also where you can order Kirin Frozen, which is beer served with a frozen beer foam on top.

Katsura Grill

katsura grill - japan - epcot

Katsura Grill has a lunch and dinner menu featuring sushi, noodles, salad, teriyaki, and more.

sushi from japan pavilion at epcot

There’s also dessert, a kids’ menu, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. You can browse the menu online.

Table Service Restaurants

Takumi-Tei (temporarily unavailable)

takumi tei - japan pavilion - epcot

If you want a signature dining Japanese experience while at Disney World, Takumi-Tei is the restaurant to book.

Keep in mind that this is one of the more expensive dinner options you can reserve at Epcot.

takumi tei - japan pavilion - epcot

The restaurant has 5 rooms, each inspired by a natural element —water, wood, earth, stone, or washi paper.

You can choose from a la carte or multi-course tasting menus, which include a range of Japanese-inspired dishes and beverages, including wagyu beef, roasted duck, maki sushi, yuzu cheese, premium sake, and more.

takumi tei - japan pavilion - epcot

Takumi-Tei is located on the bottom level of the pavilion’s main building.

Teppan Edo & Tokyo Dining

teppan edo and tokyo dining japan pavilion epcot

Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining are located on the upper level of the pavilion’s main building — above Takumi-Tei.

Teppan Edo is a sit-down restaurant serving authentic Japanese cuisine for lunch and dinner.

Here, you’ll discover that Teppan Edo offers an experience that is part meal, part show.

Chefs chop and stir-fry dishes on grills at your table, in the communal ritual of Teppan-yaki-style cooking.

Teppan Edo - Epcot - japan pavilion

The menu includes a range of choices, like choice steak, chicken, seafood, and vegetable entrées. Plus, there are other favorites including edamame and assorted sushi rolls.

As for Tokyo Dining, it has both a lunch and dinner menu featuring sushi rolls, nigiri, and sashimi. You can also order premium sake, imported Japanese beer, a sake cocktail, and more beverage-wise.

Seating Areas

Next to Katsura Grill is a beautiful seating area that also offers coverage from the sun thanks to the trees and select tables with umbrellas.

seating area in japan at epcot

This is great whether you’re eating food from the Quick Service spot (or any others in the pavilion), need to rest, or just want to take in the beauty of the pavilion.

seating area in japan at epcot

Shops

The Japan pavilion has one of the best shops in the entire World Showcase.

Mitsukoshi - japan pavilion - epcot

Not only is the Mitsukoshi Department Store huge (it pretty much covers the entire lower level of the main building in the pavilion), but you can find all kinds of authentic and unique souvenirs here.

Here are just a few examples:

There are a variety of gorgeous sake sets.

Mitsukoshi - japan pavilion - epcot

You can purchase a range of lucky cats for good fortune and happiness!

Mitsukoshi - japan pavilion - epcot

You may even want a Buddha Board, in which you paint with water and a bamboo brush.

Mitsukoshi - japan pavilion - epcot

This doesn’t even scratch surface of items you can purchase!

Entertainment

While the Japan pavilion doesn’t have any character meet and greets or attractions to ride, there is one not-to-miss entertainment act — Matsuriza!

If you’ve ever heard drumming in the World Showcase, it’s most likely coming from these amazing drummers.

Matsuriza drummers - japan pavilion - epcot

The group of traditional Japanese drummers perform an ancient form of Japanese drumming called “Taiko” on the balcony of the building at the front of the pavilion next to Kabuki Cafe.

You can find daily showtimes in the My Disney Experience app.

Activities

There are several different activities in the Japan pavilion outside of shopping, eating and drinking, and watching Matsuriza.

Coin Press Machine

For $1.00, you can use this coin press machine to create Japanese and Disney-themed pressed pennies.

coin press - japan pavilion - epcot

Yes, this costs $1.00, but it makes for not only a cheap souvenir, but fun one, especially for kids.

Kidcot Fun Stop

There are 11 total Kidcot Fun Stops in the World Showcase, with one in each country.

kidcot fun stop - japan - epcot

The stops are a great family-friendly activity that keep little ones interested as you walk around to each country, not to mention the activity is also educational.

Plus — it’s free!

kidcot - japan pavilion - epcot

All you have to do is visit each station and collect an activity card detailing facts and activities featuring the culture and traditions of each country.

These also make for a great (and affordable) souvenir!

kidcot fun stop - japan pavilion - epcot

You can find Japan’s Kidcot Fun Stop in the back of the pavilion.

You’ll walk over the bridge until you come upon a set of doors (above) that not only lead you to the kid-friendly activity, but also Mitsukoshi and the Bijutsu-kan Gallery.

Save this checklist and have your little one check off each Kidcot Fun Stop as you make your way through each country!

kidcot fun stop checklist - epcot

Bijutsu-kan Gallery

The Bijutsu-kan Gallery features different exhibits dedicated to Japanese art.

Bijutsu-kan Gallery - japan pavilion - epcot

The current one is “Kawaii: Japan’s Cute Culture,” which is a “pop-culture phenomenon that’s swept the globe,” per Disney.

As Disney also describes online, “Kawaii means cute or loveable — and represents an obsession with all things darling, like Hello Kitty, which is included in the exhibit. You’ll discover how kawaii is rooted deep in Japan’s Shinto past and how it’s become a core aspect of Japanese culture — and a new form of self-expression.”

Bijutsu-kan Gallery - japan pavilion - epcot

You can also tour a replica Tokyo apartment of a kawaii superfan.

Bijutsu-kan Gallery - japan pavilion - epcot

The gallery is open throughout the entire day, so be sure to make a stop.

Disney PhotoPass Photographer

If you want to take a nice photo in the Japan pavilion, look for the Disney PhotoPass photographer near the green umbrella.

They’re usually in the middle open space at the front of the pavilion. You can’t miss them.

japan pavilion epcot photopass photographer

Remember: unless you have Memory Maker, Memory Maker Day One, or a PhotoPass entitlement with your Annual Pass, you will have to pay to download or print these photos.

Below are just two photo examples that you may have taken in the pavilion.

epcot japan pavilion photopass

Be sure to also ask if they have any fun “Magic Shots”!

epcot japan pavilion photopass

Best Harmonious Views

If you want to watch Harmonious in Japan, the best spot is at the top of the main building outside of Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining.

There’s a balcony that offers amazing views! It’s usually fine to stand here for the show, but be sure to ask a Cast Member just in case.

japan pavilion - harmonious firework viewing

If you’re not allowed, standing along the water in the pavilion works just as well.

Other reasons Japan makes a great spot to watch Harmonious:

  • The pavilion is close to America, which has restrooms and more food and drink options (especially for little ones)
  • Activities to keep kids occupied, like the Kidcot Fun Stop, the koi pond, and the coin press machine
  • Has a massive store and art gallery to walk through for anyone who needs a break from waiting for the show to start
  • Hear performances from The American Gardens Theater, which is always fun

Here’s what Harmonious’ view looks like from Japan:

Stay tuned for a photo of the nighttime spectacular from this pavilion!

Be sure to grab your viewing spot no less than 60 minutes before showtime. You can find that night’s Harmonious showtime in the My Disney Experience app.

Harmonious Viewing Map

best harmonious views map — Epcot

Festival Exclusives

Like every other country in the World Showcase, different festival exclusives can be found in the Japan pavilion.

This is for all 4 Epcot festivals: Food and Wine, Festival of the Holidays, Festival of the Arts, and Flower and Garden.

hanami booth - japan pavilion - epcot flower and garden

These include (to name a few):

dragon topiary - japan pavilion - epcot flower and garden

Don’t simply walk past this pavilion on your way around the world. The Japan pavilion has so much to offer and deserves to be explored.

Japan Pavilion Checklist

Here are just a few items that we think you should try to check off as you explore the Japan pavilion.

japan pavilion - epcot - checklist

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What’s your favorite thing about the Japan pavilion at Epcot? Tell us in the comments!

Check out our deep dives into each country pavilion at Epcot!

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Allyson Koerner

Laurel C.

Monday 18th of April 2022

I hope you come out with more of these soon for the remaining areas of Epcot! Loved it! Going to Disney for the first time in May and I am really looking forward to exploring the World Showcase.