/ Monday, September 17th, 2007
  • The 83-foot tall blue-roofed Goju-no-to pagoda, the icon of the Japan pavilion, is inspired by the seventh century Horyuji Shrine at Nara . The levels of the five-tiered pagoda represent the five elements from which Buddhists believe all things in the universe are produced: earth, water, fire, wind and sky. Atop the pagoda is a bronze, nine-ringed spire, known as a "sorin," with gold wind chimes and a water flame.
  • The large red torii gate, located along the shores of the lagoon in front of the pavilion, symbolizes honor, and is modeled after the Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima Bay .
  • "Miyuki" is the name of the candy artist found in the Japan pavilion. She creates incredible (and FREE) candy treats by sculpting little edible animals out of rice dough with amazing speed and grace. Using nothing but her hands and a small pair of scissors, she creates detailed animals such as horses, rabbits, cats, monkeys, eagles, dragons, birds and flowers.
  • Miyuki is one of only 20 people in the world (and the only female anywhere) to perform this rare Japanese art, which originated in Asakusa, Tokyo . This form of candy artistry dates back over 250 years, from Japan ‘s Edo Era. Miyuki started out her apprentice training in 1989 with instruction by her grandfather, one of the most renowned candy artists in Japan . After her intensive training was complete, Miyuki traveled throughout Japan , and went on to Italy in 1994.
  • Named for the oldest department store in the world, the original Mitsukoshi store dates back three centuries. Located throughout Asia, these stores offer not only "all-in-one" shopping, but many include dining and hotel facilities. In Taiwan , for example, the Taichung Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Department Store is one of the largest retail facilities in Taiwan , and all of Asia . In this store, there are 14 floors above ground and six below, and 22 elevators, including high-speed models traveling up to 210 mph, and 56 escalators!
  • Epcot’s version is just a bit smaller, but you’ll still find a large variety of Japanese gifts and souvenirs such as kimonos, bonsai trees, dolls, cooking books and utensils, books, and more. There’s even a section including the popular "Hello Kitty" and "Anime" items.
  • The levels of the five-tiered pagoda represent the five elements from which Buddhists believe all things in the universe are produced: earth, water, fire, wind and sky.
  • The 83 ft pagoda is adapted from the seventh-century Horyuji Shrine at Nara.
  • The torii gate is found throughout Japan at the entry to ancient shrines. A great vermilion torii on the shores of World Showcase Lagoon, adapted from the Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima Bay, is the entry to Disney’s shrine to the architecture and heritage of Japan in World Showcase.
  • Most of the plants are stand-ins for the actial Japanese varieties, since few Japanese plants could survive the Florida climate.
  • Unlike many of the other World Showcase nations, about 90 percent of the plants used in the Japan pavilion are native to that country

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