Our tour of Japan concludes with a look inside the Mitsukoshi Department Store, which is probably Epcot’s most popular shopping destination outside of MouseGear in Future World. Just in case you’re trying to keep your bearings, we’ll begin our walk around the store through the entrance with the arrow pointing to it on the lower right corner of the picture. If you’re looking for the Kawaii exhibit based on “Japan’s cute culture” then you’ll head straight through the Pavilion and take a left just before entering the store. I have a post with pictures of just about everything in that exhibit here. Straight back is also the portion of Mitsukoshi with the sake bar, which I recommend as part of the overarching Japan Pavilion update. Above Mitsukoshi is where you’ll find Teppan Edo, which I recently reviewed in detail in this post. Tokyo Dining, which we’ll take a look at separately, is also up there.
Mitsukoshi is huge and stocks something like 50,000 individual products that are constantly selling out and then changed to something else. You could spend most of the day here and probably still miss half the stuff as one of the thousands of colorful products catch your eye and pull you away from another display. The 125+ pictures in this post were taken over the course of 45 minutes on two different days.
Mitsukoshi comes from a storied past, part of which is explained in some artwork near the front of the store.
Sato spent just under ten years creating this statue made from 500+ year old cypress. Here is a much better picture of what it looks like.
In 1991, a New York Times article announcing Mitsukoshi’s plans to open a store in the Ritz Tower mentioned that the company “also has a small shop selling Japanese arts and crafts at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.” And here we are inside that small shop 27 years later.
In 2008, Mitsukoshi merged with Isetan and became part of Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd.
The first section of the store is largely stocked with merchandise from popular Japanese properties.
That means Pokemon, of course.
Familiarity with the source material isn’t necessary.
Just about everything is impossibly precious, while other items are based on anime:
Studio Ghibli is particularly popular.
Several of the items in this area are a little on the strange side, largely focusing on a variety of massage instruments. You never know when you’ll be in the market for a BABYISH face mask, which advertises “baby-like skin in your 20s” via a picture of a baby on the package on the top shelf. Now in my 30s, I wear one each night hoping to have the skin of a 12- or 13-year old, which I’m sure isn’t creepy at all.
This part of the store is also where you’ll find the updated “Pick-A-Pearl,” which I cover in the general Japan update, including a look at the settings available for purchase.
Interestingly, these Ama pearl divers became synonymous with pearl diving when Kokichi Mikimoto began using them to dive for his cultivated pearls.
He also created the “traditional white attire” of the pearl divers. You may be familiar with Disney’s 1958 release of “Ama Girls, “which won an Academy Award the next year for “Documentary Short Subject.”
And Mikimoto pearls are available for sale at Mitukoshi.
But you’ll want to bring your checkbook as this necklace is $8,950. Not $89.50. Earrings start around $350.
Rhythm clocks for around $500.
In the next room, you’ll find some household items, clothes, accessories, and toys:
I’m sure you’ll feel right at home in Kyoto with that samurai sword-themed umbrella.
Kimonos remain “very in” and you’ll find a large room full of them.
Along with accessories.
They look comfy – I may need to switch up my uniform as people are constantly asking me about the day’s catch. But I wear my fisherman’s shirts because I’m outside fishing for bloggable content rather than “literally” casting my rod out to try to catch some mahi that Disney is going to turn around and try to sell at Coral Reef for $34.95. I’m smarter than that.
Solar-powered toys are popular along with some dolls and action figures:
My solar-powered owl sits proudly on my windowsill, though the sun hasn’t been out much lately to power the poor guy. I’m shining a flashlight on him right now just so he can enjoy lunch.
While you might not be allowed to bring a glass jar of strawberry jam into the Park, swords are available for purchase.
The orange sword is $230, while the one in the red housing is $130. It might be the other way around, particularly considering the number of people that informed me I was unable to read the price tag of the vase in the China merchandise update.
An opportunity to complete your outfit.
I’ll stick to the smaller, less sharp options.
Perhaps more suited for bonsai tree.
While this one is $35.
That seems downright reasonable considering a Groot Chia Pet will set you back $19.
Just before arriving at the expansive grocery section, there’s some plates, chopsticks, and such:
The back of the store, where you’ll find a great assortment of authentic Japanese food, is typically the most popular section:
It’s actually a pretty good way to stock the resort room with some snacks. If Disney is going to charge $4 for a small bag of Doritos, you might as well try something a little more interesting for the same money. Some of the items, including a lot of the candy, are a little bit of a gamble as you can never really be sure what anything is going to taste like, but it’s certainly fun to try. I’d also give a bottle of Ramune a try.
I very rarely buy anything other than fake followers on social media sites, but I have one of these sake barrels in my kitchen, full of Canadian Club.
Sake, plum wine, and more for sale:
It’s a good opportunity to bring a bottle back to the room to enjoy. Pricing is a little rougher than the wine that you’ll probably find in your resort store, but the options are more diverse.
I also took a picture of these wind chimes.
99.9% of the merchandise that you’ll find in Japan is located inside Mitsukoshi, but there’s a couple of carts in the middle of the Pavilion that stock some of the more popular items.
I don’t need to tell you that you probably want to budget some time to do some shopping in Japan. Even if you don’t bring home samurai sword chopsticks or a sake drum, it’s a lot of fun to see everything that’s available. And you can pick up a couple of packaged snacks for not a whole lot of money.
We’ll move on to Morocco.