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.
- Location: World Showcase (between Morocco and The American Adventure)
- Restaurants: 3 Quick Service (Kabuki Cafe, Katsura Grill, The Garden House); 3 Table Service (Takumi-Tei, Teppan Edo, Tokyo 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
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
The Garden House serves alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, including soft drinks, green tea, bottled water, specialty cocktails, beer, wine.
You can also order one of the most popular Japan pavilion drinks here — the Violet Sake.
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).
The most popular items here are the Kakigōri (Japanese shaved ice) with and without sweet milk topping.
This is also where you can order Kirin Frozen, which is beer served with a frozen beer foam on top.
Katsura Grill has a lunch and dinner menu featuring sushi, noodles, salad, teriyaki, and more.
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)
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.
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 is located on the bottom level of the pavilion’s main building.
Teppan Edo & Tokyo Dining
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Japan pavilion has one of the best shops in the entire World Showcase.
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.
You can purchase a range of lucky cats for good fortune and happiness!
You may even want a Buddha Board, in which you paint with water and a bamboo brush.
This doesn’t even scratch surface of items you can purchase!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
The Bijutsu-kan Gallery features different exhibits dedicated to Japanese art.
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.”
You can also tour a replica Tokyo apartment of a kawaii superfan.
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.
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.
Be sure to also ask if they have any fun “Magic Shots”!
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.
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
What to look out for:
- This is a popular pavilion for viewing, and the best spots can go fast.
Here’s what Harmonious’ view looks like from Japan:
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
Like every other country in the World Showcase, different festival exclusives can be found in the Japan pavilion.
These include (to name a few):
- Festival food booths, like Hanami at Flower and Garden
- The dragon Flower and Garden topiary
- The bonsai gardens at Flower and Garden
- Art booths throughout Festival of the Arts
- The Daruma Storyteller, who shares the story of the Daruma doll and the Japanese customs of the New Year, during Festival of the Holidays
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.
VIDEO: Explore the Japan Pavilion
Japan Pavilion Checklist
Here are just a few items that we think you should try to check off as you explore the Japan pavilion.
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:
We also have deep dives into each Neighborhood and their respective pavilions at Epcot:
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