Located between the America Adventure and Morocco Pavilions, the bright red torii gate welcomes visitors to Epcot’s Japan Pavilion. The Japan Pavilion is made up of buildings surrounding a courtyard with the area filled with Japanese pools and gardens. At the end of the courtyard is the gate to a Japanese castle, including a moat, which leads into a display of Japanese culture.
Japanese maples, bamboo, water lilies, monkey puzzle trees and other native plantings provide a tranquil garden setting and you will even find a koi fish pond. Gardening is a precise art in Japan and it’s not taken lightly in this Disney Pavilion. Every object and in the garden has a special meaning.
The massive wood and stone Nijoentry castle with its huge sculptures of mounted samurai warriors welcomes guests through the courtyard, who will cross a wide bridge spanning a moat to the Shirasagigi, or White Egret Castle. Its style dates from the mid-1300s when great castles dominated the Japanese countryside allowing the inhabitants of the castle towns to find great refuge in their walls if needed. The Shirasagigi, overlooking the city of Himeji, is one of the best preserved castles of early Japan.
Guests will also enjoy the beauty of the blue-roofed, five-story Goju-no-to pagoda inspired by a shrine built at Nara in 700 A.D. The five 5 levels of the Goju-no-to pagoda, which is 85 feet tall, represent the elements from which Buddhists believe all things are created: earth, water, fire, wind, and sky. Above the Goju-no-topagoda is a bronze, nine-ringed sorin, or spire, with gold wind chimes and a water flame.
To the right of the courtyard, stands the Shishinden, inspired by the ceremonial and coronation hall found in the Imperial Palace grounds in Kyoto. The Shishindenwas built in 794. It is said to be one of the first true styles of Japanese architecture.
Dining in Japan
- Teppan Edo is a teppanyaki-style restaurant, meaning that the food is cooked right in front of you at the table. The decor and theming is intended to reflect the “vivaciousness” of the Edo Period.
- Katsura Grill: Counter service eatery with sushi, udon, and teriyaki dishes. Has both indoor and outdoor seating. Travel Advisor Tip: The front terrace here is a great spot from which to watch the nightly fireworks presentation.
- Kabuki Cafe: kiosk serving syrupy shaved iced, frozen beer, sake, and limited sushi.
- Garden House: Sake and other Japanese favorite drinks
- Takumi Tei – a signature dining experience
Attractions and Entertainment in Japan
- Bijutsu-kan Gallery — This gallery has continuously changing exhibits reflecting the Japanese culture. The current exhibit of Japanese kawaii — also known as Japan’s “cute” culture. Kawaii is rooted in Japan’s Shinto past and is a means of self-expression from all walks of life. A replica of a modern Tokyo apartment is part of the exhibit.
- Matsuriza are traditional Taiko drummers and a Japanese Storytellers located at the base of the pagoda.
- Kidcot Fun Stops – The Kidcot Fun Stops are located throughout World Showcase and offer kids the opportunity to create their own artwork and learn about different cultures. This Kidcot location is near Mexico Folk Art Gallery and features crafts inspired by traditional Mexican folk art in Mexico.
- DuckTales World Showcase Adventure – Woo-oo! Explore the countries of World Showcase with an interactive scavenger hunt game with Scrooge McDuck. You’ll use the Play Disney Parks mobile app to find clues and trigger real-world special effects in the pavilions throughout the land. You might solve a mystery — or re-write history!
Disney Character Meet and Greet
There are no character meet and greet in the Japan Pavilion.
Japan Pavilion Tips
- Visiting during the holidays? Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays features storytellers in each country. In Japan, the Daruma Seller (a humble Daruma doll vendor) makes appearances throughout the afternoon.
Visiting during Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival? – There is an incredible display of winning plants from the Florida Bonsai Society.