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Never has a place captured the essence of Japan as Epcot’s ® Japan Pavilion at Walt Disney World ®. In fact, this pavilion is one of guest’s favorite Epcot ® Pavilions and with plenty of Japanese gardens, structures, shops and authentic food it is no surprise why.

The Japan Pavilion opened on October 1, 1982 with Epcot ®. After several years of planning, the pavilion became home to classic Japanese architecture such as the Japanese Pagoda, which proudly stands front and center when you enter the area. Disney’s ® version is a five-story pagoda known as the goju-no-tu. As you take in this gorgeous structure make sure you listen for the drums from performances by the Matsuriza group.

The architecture doesn’t stop at the Pagoda either. Along the waterfront stands a Torii Gate, which symbolically welcomes anybody who approaches it. A second Torii gate is found further out in the water. The Japanese believe that the Torii gates bring purity to anyone passing through.

Aside from the architecture, the Japan Pavilion is filled with numerous gardens and pools as well as scenic winding paths. These gardens, pools and paths are especially gorgeous at night as lanterns provide peaceful light as you stroll along.

The Japan Pavilion is also home to some unique Japanese stores and restaurants including Mitsukoshi department store, which is filled with Japanese pop-culture related items including Manga and Anime as well as culturally significant items such as books on Japanese religion, culture and Zen.

There are currently two restaurants that offer Japanese cuisine including Teppan Edo, where chefs prepare stir-fried foods in front of guests and Tokyo Dining, a traditional sushi restaurant serving up sushi, tempura and other grilled items. If you’re looking for faster service for less there is Katsura Grill, a counter-service restaurant adjacent to the pagoda. For a sweet treat you have to try Kaki Gori. Similar to Italian or Hawaiian shaved ice, Kaki Gori is a fruit flavored shaved ice that is perfect on a hot day. You can indulge in Kaki Gori near the front of the pavilion.

As far as major attractions go, the Japan Pavilion has remained attraction free for its entire existence. You can however tour Japanese arts at Bijutsu-kan where you’ll currently experience the exhibit "Spirited Beasts: From Ancient Stories to Anime Stars." Agent P World Showcase will also take you through the Japan Pavilion.

To experience what has become one of Epcot’s ® most popular pavilions and it’s gorgeous architecture, serene pools and pathways, Japanese cuisine and arts look for discounted Walt Disney World ® tickets right here on Orlando Fun Tickets.