DIS/Dreams Event - Disneyland Resort in California
08/04/23 - Private Party at Pixar Gardens and Pixar Pier
08/05/23 - Live Podcast at Grand Californian Resort

Akoya Pearls Finally Reopens in Japan Pavilion at EPCOT

If you’re looking for a really cool and unique experience to have during your EPCOT day, a visit to Akoya Pearls might be just the thing. The small shop is located inside Mitsukoshi – the huge store in the Japan pavilion in World Showcase. This experience has been closed for nearly three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and cast members are nothing shy of thrilled to be back.

When you walk into Akoya Pearls, the tank of live oysters is the first thing you’ll see. In real life, not every oyster has a pearl inside; in fact, it’s nearly one in about ten thousand.

At this location, every oyster contains a pearl. Most pearls are the typical whiteish color, but I’ve heard of guests getting a pink one in rare instances. You can purchase a pearl ticket currently for $18.78 (plus tax).

The unique history of pearl diving has close connections with the Ama, the free-diving “sea women” of Japan. Thought to be descendants of ancient seafarers, the Ama have free-dived for seafood, seaweed, and pearls for more than 3,000 years!

During the pearling season, Ama divers live in seasonal, semi-nomadic villages and spend many hours diving beneath the water in search of the day’s fresh catch. For each dive, the Ama tethers herself to a rope that she connects to a special floating basket, then quickly descends to the seabed as far as 60 feet without a breathing apparatus. Here, she gathers and cuts open shells in search of pearls before she returns to the surface and places her catch in her basket, which also serves as a buoy and a place to rest between dives.

Today in Japan, you can still visit places where Ama girls free-dive for saltwater pearls. At these special pearling locations, visitors will watch Amas dressed in traditional white diving attire, who dive beneath the water and resurface with the fresh oysters that produce natural and cultured pearls.

History sign inside Akoya Pearls

The cast members make the experience exciting by making music with special instruments.

Once you’ve selected your oyster, a cast member will work on opening it and getting the pearl out. They have a whole setup for cleaning the pearl, and you’ll be able to watch the entire process.

While getting a pearl by itself isn’t terribly pricey, there are jewelry options available for an additional price. The jewelry is specially crafted to hold your pearl, and some of the options have a little touch of Disney.

I am a big fan of the Cinderella Carriage pendant!

There is a pick-a-pearl kiosk located at Disney Springs as well, but it isn’t the same experience that you can have in the Japan pavilion at EPCOT.

Have you ever participated in this fun activity?

Senior Editor for the DIS and DCL Fan | Disney Vacation Club Member | Thrilled to have been a '13/'14 Disney Parks Moms Panelist (now planDisney) | Lover of all things Disney; the Magic of Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Disney Cruise Line | ºoº


Our agents will assist you in booking the perfect Disney getaway, all at no extra cost to you. Get the most out of your dream vacation by letting us assist you with dining and park reservations, provide expert advice, answer any questions, and continuously search for discounts to ensure you get the best deal possible.