Enjoying the Japan Pavilion at Epcot: A World Showcase Favorite - PassPorter.com
Award-winning travel guidebooks
Home Florida - Walt Disney World Caribbean - Disney Cruise Line California - Disneyland Resort Anywhere and Everywhere! Travelers Store Message Boards PassPorter's Club Help!
  About Us  |  Customs Office   |   Register Your Book   |   Book Updates   |  Newsletter  |  Articles  |  Photos  |   Follow Us on
WDW Planning Articles

WDW Traveling Articles

WDW Lodging Articles

WDW Touring Articles
2011 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
A Journey Into The Past
Agent P's World Showcase Adventure
Around the World on a Segway
Beach Club
Becoming Disney Parents
Blizzard Beach Water Park
Boats at Walt Disney World
Boats at Walt Disney World - Part 2
Bringing Along Baby
Characters in Flight
Comparing Cars Land and New Fantasyland
Confessions of a Recovering Park Commando
Coping with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Disappointing Disney
Disney Admission Options for Military Families
Disney Alone Time
Disney's Single Rider Lines
Doing Disney Without Ever Riding a Ride!
Don't Let it Rain on Your Parade
Enjoying the Japan Pavilion at Epcot
Enjoying Walt Disney World Without Thrill Rides
Enjoying While Expecting
Epcot - Not Just for Grown Ups
Epcot's 30th Anniversary
Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot's Mission Possible
Epcot's World Showcase
Exploring Morocco in Florida
Extra Magic Hours - Yes or No?
Finding Your Favorite Characters
First Time Parents in the Magic Kingdom
Four Generations, Four Parks, One World
From Commando-Touring to Crawling
I Can Dig It: Dinoland, U.S.A.
Jedi Training Academy
Keeping Toddlers Entertained at Walt Disney World
Lessons Learned Part 1
Lights, Cameras, Education!
Lions and Tigers and Learning, Oh My!
Making the Most of Disney's Animal Kingdom
Mini-Golf at Walt Disney World
My Disney Mistakes - Part 1
My Disney Mistakes - Part 2
My Experience with Disney's Disability Access Card
Nature-Inspired Design Segway Tour
Navigating Naps While Touring the Parks
New Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom
Our Experience With My Disney Experience
Overlooked Attractions at Animal Kingdom
Overlooked Attractions at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Overlooked Attractions at Epcot
Overlooked Attractions at the Magic Kingdom
Planning a Girls-Only Vacation
Planning Your Disney Vacation with FASTPASS +
Pleasure Island Today
Rafiki's Planet Watch
Ride or Drive
Scooting Around the World
SeaWorld Orlando
Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom
Spending Easter at Walt Disney World
The End of the Toontown Era
The Epcot Explorer's Encyclopedia by R.A. Pedersen
The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow
The Parades of the Magic Kingdom
The Seas With Nemo And Friends
The Sum of All Thrills
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal
The World is Your Classroom
There's an App for That - Part 2
Tips For Traveling With Your Bestie
Tom Sawyer Island
Tomorrowland Terrace Dessert Party
Transportation at Walt Disney World (Part 1)
Transportation at Walt Disney World (Part 2)
Typhoon Lagoon
Undiscovered Future World
Using Technology to Plan Your Disney Trips
Walt Disney World for Dudes
Whatever the Weather
Where to Find the Best Views in Walt Disney World - Part 1
Where to Find the Best Views in Walt Disney World - Part 2
Why Epcot Is My Favorite Walt Disney World Theme Park
Wild Africa Trek at Disney's Animal Kingdom

WDW Dining Articles
'Lounge'-ing Around Walt Disney World
'Ohana at Disney's Polynesian Resort
1900 Park Fare Dinner -- The "Other" Cinderella Meal
A New Look at Disney's California Grill
Advanced Dining Reservations
Afternoon Tea at the Garden View Lounge
Be Our Guest in New Fantasyland
Beaches & Cream Soda Shop
Boma at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Budget Breakfast
California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort
Choosing Your Disney Dining Reservations
Cinderella's Royal Table Breakfast
Coral Reef
Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace
Dine with An Imagineer
Dining at Walt Disney World
Dining Review
Dining Review: Victoria & Albert's
Disney Character Dining Around the Globe
Disney Dining Plan
Disney Dining Plan
Disney Dining Plan
Disney Dining Plan
Epcot's Food & Wine Festival
Flying Fish Cafe
Free Disney Dining Plan Deal
Fulton's Crab House
Fulton's Crab House
Going Deluxe with Your Dining
Grown Up Night Out
Is the Deluxe Dining Plan a Good Value
Kona Cafe
La Hacienda de San Angel
Making the Most of Your Meal
Mama Melrose's at Disney Hollywood Studios
Mission: Burger
Monsieur Paul's Restaurant
New Adult Beverage Offerings at Animal Kingdom
New Disney Dining Plan Restaurants for 2012
Not A Chicken Nugget in Sight - Almost
Paradiso 37 - Taste of the Americas
Party For The Senses
Planet Hollywood
Pre-Historic Eats at T-Rex
Raglan Road at Downtown Disney
Rediscovering Nine Dragons
Safari Celebration Dinner
San Angel Inn
Signature Dining at Walt Disney World
Signature Disney Dining
T-Rex Restaurant in Downtown Disney
Tea at the Garden View Lounge at Disney
Teppan Edo
The ESPN Club at Disney's BoardWalk
The Garden Grill
The Hollywood Brown Derby
The Kosher Traveler At Walt Disney World
The Maya Grill at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort
The Plaza Restaurant
The Princess Storybook Breakfast at Akershus
The Turf Club at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort
Tokyo Dining
Trail's End at Disney's Fort Wilderness
Tusker House at Disney's Animal Kingdom
Tusker House Character Breakfast
Tutto Italia
Using Garden Grocer During Your Walt Disney World Vacation
Veggie Dining At Disney
Veggie Dining At Disney
Via Napoli
Victoria and Albert's
Wheat-Free Walt Disney World
Yachtsman Steakhouse From a Vegetarian's Point of View
Yak & Yeti
Yak & Yeti at Disney's Animal Kingdom

WDW Making Magic Articles

WDW General Travel Articles

View all PassPorter articles
Article Tools
Print Article
Download PDF

Enjoying the Japan Pavilion at Epcot: A World Showcase Favorite

Walt Disney World photo
by Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 2/24/2011

Cool Tip: Click here to get a FREE PDF version of this article, fully formatted to print and put into your PassPorter Deluxe Binder!

Filed in Articles > Walt Disney World > Touring  

For many people, the Magic Kingdom is the park they most look forward to seeing whenever they go to Walt Disney World, and that's perfectly understandable. After all, it's got the fairy tale castle as you walk in, along with huge doses of magic.

But despite all that, my heart lies with Epcot, and perhaps it's got something to do with the fact that I love my travels that take me around the world. Of all the countries represented in Epcot's World Showcase, Japan is by far my favorite for many reasons.

Firstly, the Japan pavilion home to some of the most unusual entertainers that the park has to offer. Even before you enter Epcot, if you're staying at the Yacht and Beach Club or BoardWalk, step outside on to your balcony and the chances are that you'll be able to hear one of those entertainers.

Matsuriza are a group of Japanese drummers that can be heard for literally miles around. As soon as they start to perform, they attract a huge crowd, enchanted by what they're seeing and hearing. You can only stand and marvel at the power that must be required to beat out rhythms with drums that huge.

But, for me, the real star attraction in Japan is someone who's a lot quieter, and perhaps that's how we managed to miss her for so many of our previous visits. We kept hearing that there was a candy artist that we should see in Japan and had even seen some of her creations that had been given to the children of friends of ours, but still we had never managed to catch Miyuki. With our last visit, that changed and it became a priority to make sure that we saw her in action.

Candy artist Miyuki at work, creating another beautiful candy animal in the Japan Pavilion at Epcot

Hailing from Tokyo, Miyuki is a unique entertainer in every sense of the word. She's the first and only woman to become a candy artist, a tradition that dates back over 250 years to the Edo era of Japanese history. The craft started as a way to entertain people at local festivals or on street corners and, when you see Miyuki in action, it's no surprise that the craft has survived this long. Candy artists use soft rice dough to make their creations, and their only tools are their skilled hands, a small pair of what appears to be delicate pliers, and a paintbrush, perhaps for adding on animal markings, depending on what will be created. That is entirely down to the crowd that gathers for each show - and those crowds tend to gather early, in the hope of being chosen by Miyuki to receive one of the candy animals.

Sharkey and Bones Meet Jennifer photo
Sharkey and Bones Meet Jennifer

Sharkey and Bones (also known as Captain Boog and Salty) from Jake and the Neverland Pirates pose for a photo with Jennifer Marx at Disney's Hollywood Studios during the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration - photo by Jennifer Marx

There's an amazing list of creations available -- almost every animal you can think of -- and that includes dragons, porcupines, unicorns, and tigers. Some you can picture before Miyuki starts work, but others, you have to wonder how on earth she's going to create them. And, like any good artist, they slowly start to take shape in front of your eyes, as the different elements are carefully shaped and pulled into position while Miyuki describes what she's doing (and makes it look so easy). It's easy to miss Miyuki, as our experience over the years shows. We'd been to Epcot at least seven times and hadn't caught any of her shows, but now we'll definitely be heading back there in the future.

Perhaps that's the beauty of the Japan pavilion. It's very easy to miss things and to get the best out of this Epcot country, you need to do some exploring. For example, most people will head to Mitsukoshi, a branch of a department store that dates from the 17th century, and will enjoy browsing their collections of kimonos, fans, and even Pokemon cards, but how many of those shoppers get to the back of the pavilion to visit the Bijutsu-kan Gallery? It's hidden away, towards the back end of Mitsukoshi, but it's well worth a visit to see the current exhibition of tin toys, as the variety that have been produce in Japan over the years is quite amazing.

Looking through the Japanese Torii gate towards Spaceship Earth

Another area that's worth spending some time is the hill garden. Too many people just look at it from the bottom of the hill, but if you walk through it, you'll find some lovely quiet areas, a fine exhibit of bonsai trees, and can admire how creating the perfect garden is a great passtime in Japan, with time devoted to the placing of every single item to ensure that it is as beautiful as it's possible to make it.

Don't forget to look upwards as well. You'll see the entrance to Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining on your right as you enter the pavilion and you can't fail to miss the Goju-no-to pagoda on the left, but sadly that's all many people see. At the back of the pavilion, you'll see representations of a beautiful Japanese castle. I'm almost ashamed to admit that the first time I noticed it was a couple of years ago and the only reason was that it was being rehabbed at the time and was surrounded by scaffolding.

Tip: Pearl Trading at Japan Pavilion
Did you know that at the pick-a-pearl counter in the Mitsukoshi store in Epcot's Japan pavilioin, you can trade your pearl for a different color or size? My mom was lucky enough to get an oyster with twin pearls, but they didn't match in size or color. The cast member there told her that she could trade one of the pearls so that the pearls would match more closely. I believe there was a small upcharge to trade up to a bigger pearl, but then she was able to get a matching set of pearls to use for earrings!

Save This Tip

Even though Japan may not have traditional attractions or rides, there's still plenty to enjoy here and it's well worth slowing down sometimes to ensure that you can take in all that this beautiful pavilion has to offer. It's inspired me to visit the real country for myself and I can't wait to see the beauty of Japan when we visit it next year. But that will be a tale for another time.

Spaceship Earth photo
Spaceship Earth

The Fountain of Nations in front of Spaceship Earth at Epcot - photo by Belle*

About the Author:
Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have made numerous visits to destinations across America and Europe. They recently completed their tour of every Disney theme park around the world, which culminated in their visit to Japan, including the Tokyo Disney Resort. Click here to view more of Cheryl's articles!

Related Links:
Japan Pavilion Photos in the PassPorter Photo Archive
The Parades of the Magic Kingdom - A Plethora of Processions last updated 01/22/2009
Epcot's World Showcase - Pavilions vs. The "Real" World last updated 01/29/2009
Recent Changes to Disneyland - Part 1 last updated 02/12/2009
The Seas With Nemo And Friends - In Love With The Living Seas last updated 4/23/2009

Reader Comments:

So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)

Updated 2/24/2011 - Article #4 

Read additional articles from PassPorter.com

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  



We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2014
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


RSS General PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - Touring the 'World': The Parks at Walt Disney World
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Swap the latest tips and information on touring the parks at Walt Disney World.

Frozen Castle Lighting with Fireworks by LizardCop -- Park Photo of the Day (...
by Jennifer Marx
21 Dec 2014 at 10:20am
Here's the latest photo of a Walt Disney World park from the PassPorter Photo Archive (http://www.passporter.com/photos): *Frozen Castle Lighting...
(click title above to view replies)

pop century & fireworks
by eeyoregirl
17 Dec 2014 at 9:43pm
hello writing this from my room at POP. just wanted to know why it sounded like the fireworks were being shot from the parking lot?
(click title above to view replies)

Main_Street3 by Belle* -- Park Photo of the Day (12-17-2014 02:27 PM)
by Jennifer Marx
17 Dec 2014 at 3:30pm
Here's the latest photo of a Walt Disney World park from the PassPorter Photo Archive (http://www.passporter.com/photos): *Main_Street3* Image:...
(click title above to view replies)

OFFER: "Lots to do in Line" book by Meredith Lyn Pierce
by SheLovesAriel
17 Dec 2014 at 2:50pm
I think this might be the place to post this.... We just returned from our WDW trip! I received the book "Lots to do in Line" Walt Disney World...
(click title above to view replies)

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train by mandyindiana -- Park Photo of the Day (12-08-2014 ...
by Jennifer Marx
8 Dec 2014 at 2:00pm
Here's the latest photo of a Walt Disney World park from the PassPorter Photo Archive (http://www.passporter.com/photos): *Seven Dwarfs Mine...
(click title above to view replies)

Total Visits: 9822

PassPorter ~ 1998-2014 ~ 16 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
News & Updates
Message Boards
Concierge Desk
Books & E-Books
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us
PassPorter.com Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.