I’m planning to write an article about my favorite stores in Walt Disney World – so I started thinking about them – where they’re located, what type of merchandise they carry, and why I love them. I’m still going to write that post, but in the middle of all that thinking….I couldn’t get my mind off the ONE most fantastic store in the World. It really deserves its very own place in the limelight – without being grouped in with other great, but, let’s face it, lesser…or maybe I should say, more mainstream or ordinary stores.
If you’ve visited Walt Disney World but passed up the opportunity to visit the Mitsukoshi Department Store in Epcot’s Japan Pavilion – I can understand how that could happen, but I need to…well…point out the error of your ways. The store isn’t out there, up front with attractive window displays designed to draw you in. The understated entrance gives no hint of the riches to be found inside – a treasure trove of unimaginable variety. Do NOT pass through the World Showcase without taking at least a few minutes to look around at this huge and fascinating collection of Japanese goods! I’ve been in Mitsukoshi many times, but every time feels like the first – and I always discover some new section I didn’t know existed.
Believe me, I’m not exaggerating or building this up for a good story. Unless you’ve had the chance to visit Japan (the actual country), I cannot believe you wouldn’t be impressed and, dare I say, enthralled by the enormous selection of unique merchandise within this building! All the things you would expect to find are there – and so much more!!! Traditional Japanese shoes and clothing? Yes. Incense, teas and teapots, chopsticks, swords, and fans? Check! Hello Kitty, Pokémon, Sanrio, Domo tees and collectibles – they’ll fix you up! Tabi socks, books and jewelry – it’s all there! But there’s also so much more!
The Pick a Pearl counter allows you to choose a live oyster from a tank for a Cast Member to open for you…and retrieve your pearl! You can have it made into a piece of jewelry right then and there or take it with you as is. Ever wanted a Bonsai Tree of your very own? The have a tiny forest from which to make your selection. Too hard to take it home? Buy a Bonsai seed kit instead! Curious about Japanese food, candy and soft drinks? Go wild in an entire room full of every imaginable snack, sweet, cracker – if you’re having a hankering for some shredded dry fish? Not to worry! They have that too (and it tastes better than you’d think)!
One of Joseph’s favorite things to do at Walt Disney World is to take his time at Mitsukoshi and pick out a variety of Japanese packaged foods to try. So much there is unlike anything we’ve ever had before! At this point, he’s been to the store enough to have some favorites he’ll buy each time we visit. Last week while we were there, he enlisted Megan’s assistance in picking out some new and different snacks (I even got to pick out something!). Some of the candy looked so strange but was surprisingly tasty! The descriptions on most packaging are completely in Japanese – so you’re pretty much guessing what you may be getting based on pictures and/or what the candy or snack looks like. The mystery of it is what makes choosing treats so much fun!
There is literally something for everyone at Mitsukoshi and if it’s souvenirs you’re after – you’re guaranteed to find special and unique treasures for everyone on your list!
Have you been to Mitsukoshi? What did you think?