Easily spotted by its impressive torii gate on the shoreline of the World Showcase lagoon, the Japan pavilion offers something for everyone as they wander around Epcot in Walt Disney World.
That torii gate is similar to the one found at the Itsukushima shrine in Hiroshima Bay. It is joined by an equally awe-inspiring pagoda that was modeled after one in the Horyuji Temple of Nara, Japan.
Japan was one of the original pavilions of World Showcase and had been in the planning stages since the 70’s. Many incarnations of the pavilion were pondered and even a few different rides or attractions were said to be considered to be a part of it.
Unfortunately, despite a building being constructed for one of them, no attraction was ever offered. Still, that does not mean there is not plenty to do in this pavilion.
Several times throughout the day, Japanese drum-playing groups can be heard frantically beating their tempos. This is in stark contrast to the serenity usually offered her, but still quite enjoyable.
Guests will find many symbols used by the Japanese to represent their traditions. For instance, the large rocks symbolize nature while the water symbolizes the sea and the evergreen trees remind them of eternal life.
Even with the difference in climates between Japan and Florida, Disney was able to utilize some plants that are native to the represented country. One example is the Sago tree, found near the Japanese Maple trees in the courtyard area. Guests may also find the monkey-puzzle trees interesting.
Interested in a bit more culture, the Bijutsu-Kan Gallery offers changing displays ranging from toys to traditional Japanese art. Then for shopping, consider the Mitsukoshi Merchandise store where souvenirs can be found typical of Japanese stores.
Finally, two dining options are offered here in the Mitsukoshi dining complex. First, Teppan Edo has authentic Japanese cuisine while Tokyo Dining offers sushi and tempura.
Thanks to surfpark who provided the video shown above!
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