The Japan Pavilion at EPCOT is one of the more picturesque of the countries in the World Showcase. It also is one of the best spots for shopping and food. Unlike others, the courtyard is one of the largest, making it feel so spacious. For many guests, this is their favorite pavilion, and I can see why, even though it isn’t mine. The other day I took a stroll through the area and mentally made a list of the best and worst parts of the pavilion; now I want to share that list with you.
The quick service location, Katsura Grill, which is nestled up on top of the hill, deserves to be on the best list for many reasons. The outdoor seating area and the surrounding parts are nice and quiet. It is a peaceful spot to relax and step away from the masses. Up here, you get a beautiful view of the pavilion and the nearby lush gardens.
The food in the restaurant is delicious, especially if you enjoy Japanese cuisine. I love ordering the Tokyo Sushi Combo or the Spicy Roll from here. If I’m not in the mood for sushi and it’s chilly outside, then I like to order the Yasai Udon noodle bowl. There are other food options here, but to me, this one is the best.
Mitsukoshi Department Store
Next on the list is the Mitsukoshi Department Store. Whenever I talk to anyone about the Japan Pavilion, the conversation always centers around the store. Here guests will be able to discover an array of authentic and traditional Japanese gifts. This is the only Mitsukoshi store that exists in North America. That’s a pretty big deal. My favorite section of the store is the section where you can get a pearl! I always think this is such a fun experience, and I love standing on the side watching guests participate.
The Koi Pond
One of the most incredible things at this pavilion is the Koi Pond near the towering blue-roofed pagoda. I love to stand there and watch them swim around while hearing the flowing streams. In this area, there are also a few bridges and walking areas that make you feel transported to somewhere far from Disney.
It’s hard to say that something is the worst here. While making my mental list, only one thing made it onto my list.
This made it onto my list not because of the museum’s content but because it smells so bad every time I go in here. I do think it’s time to update this experience to make it a bit more inviting. When I was passing by, there was no one in there. It felt like an abandoned space. I think this is not on par with the rest of the pavilion.
All in all, I love this pavilion so much; it has so much to offer. There’s a different type of peace that comes out of here. Morocco is peaceful, but not on this level. The lush gardens and flowing streams make it feel like a whole different world. Now that I’ve shared my list, I’d love to know your best and worst list for the Japan Pavilion. Tell us in the comments so we can compare.
Hi, I'm Erica, and I write about all things Disney. Before working for The DIS, I was a theme park performer at SeaWorld, but I also performed at Disney. I have such an immense love for theme parks to the point I studied them in college.