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Epcot World Showcase - Japan
The Japan Pavilion is a serene journey into the culture of this enchanting country. As you look at Japan with Showcase Lagoon behind you, the building on the right is a replica of the principle building of the Japanese Imperial Palace.
The Torii Gate looms behind you, silhouetting the Epcot globe across the Lagoon in the distance.
The Goju-no-to pagoda on the left recently underwent a detailed refurbishment plan and looks beautiful. Each level of the pagoda represents an element, sky, earth, water, fire and wind. Buddhists believe all things are created from these five elements.
The pond next to the pagoda is filled with colourful Koi fish and across the footbridge, towards the landscaped hillside gardens overlooking the Pavillion, is Yakitori House, a popular Japanese restaurant.
As you head into the Pavillion, you pass under Nijo, the wood and stone archway leading to the Shirasagigi Castle towards the rear of the Japanese Showcase. The impressive stone wall is curved and the castle is surrounded by a water filled moat. Two life-sized bronze Samurai Warrior statues stand guard at the entrance to protect the castle.
The sound of Matsurize booms around World Showcase as the highly skilled percussion drummers perform Taiko - a time honoured form of drumming. The thundering rhythms are made in perfect synchronisation on drums that range in height from 6 inches to 6 feet.
The word Taiko is Japanese for ' great drum' and it is said Taiko perfectly reflects the spirit of the Japanese people. The drums can literally be heard halfway around World Showcase.
Miyuki is a fascinating artist who creates exquisite candy animals from soft rice dough. She starts with a basic white base then colours, cuts, pinches and stretches ribbons of dough to form dragons, horses and birds. The art of these candy creations can be traced as far back as 250 years, to the EDO Era. Miyuki is the only female trained in the art at Epcot and she will happily create requests.
Teppan Edo is where the Teppan Chefs put on a show while they prepare traditional dishes on a griddle right in front of you. This style of dining isn' t just cooking, it' s pure entertainment as the highly skilled chefs flick, fling, chop and create your chosen dish.
Tokyo Dining is a full service restaurant in a modern setting offering sushi, sashimi, tempura as well as steak and chicken dishes.
The Yakitori House is a quiet and serene counter service restaurant overlooking the courtyard below and features traditional Japanese fare.
The Mitsukoshi Department Store is named after one of the oldest stores in the world, with the original dating as far back a three centuries. The store carries a huge amount of merchandise and is set inside a replica of the ceremonial halls of the Imperial Palace in Japan. Everything is on sale here, from traditional footwear to Hello Kitty merchandise. You' ll find dolls, handcrafts, kimonos, jewellery and clothes. You will also find a beautiful selection of pearls and you can even pick your very own and have it crafted onto a setting as you wait.
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