Spotted: Pokemon, Mario, and Thomas & Friends Treats in Epcot’s Japan Pavilion

Today, we are back with another fun and wacky trip through Mitsukoshi Department Store in the Japan Pavilion of Epcot’s World Showcase.

Mitsukoshi Department Store

Seriously, I haven’t been to the actual country of Japan. (Yet.) But if the department stores there are half as awesome as Mitsukoshi is, then I’m booking the next flight.

I mean, where else can you go to buy all things Hello Kitty; the coolest kimonos, chopsticks, and tea sets imaginable; plus monorail plates (I know. They’re bullet trains. Whatever.) — AND pearls?!?

And don’t even get me started on the Pocky and Sake! (See what I just did there?) Plus a myriad of other fun eats.

Well, we’re staying with the theme of animation on this trip, as we take another fun look at cool candy you can score in the Japan Pavilion.

Pokémon, Mario, and Thomas & Friends Food Finds

Let’s get the party started with everyone’s favorite little anime…dude — Pikachu from the world of Pokémon. Well, I mean, he’s in the front. But he has his buddies with him on this “Drink for Entertainment”.

Pokemon Drink

If you’d like to get some insight into what you’ll be ingesting, have a peek at the nutritional information and contents on the back. Although I don’t promise that either will be very illuminating.

Pokemon Drink Nutrition

The Pokémon Candy Packs give you several [Read more…]

Fun Find: Food Erasers in Epcot’s Japan Pavilion

There is always some other-things-dressed-up-as-food fun going on at Mitsukoshi Department Store!

This expansive retail space, which takes up much of the Japan Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase, is a great place for exploration. We love to pop into the store for fun souvenirs like this monorail plate (okay, it might be a bullet train, but we’re going to keep pretending).

Mitsukoshi Department Store

It’s a great place for snacks like Pocky as well. You can also browse other fun finds to satisfy cravings, like Japanese candy, or, you know, dried crabs.

And don’t forget to pick up a beverage — Ramune or sake, depending on your taste!

There is also an incredible array of “cute” in the store — and that carries straight through to the back part of the store where you’ll find all the food stuff. In addition to snacks, tea sets, and tableware, there’s some adorable food-shaped merch, like erasers.

Food Erasers!

Yep! We were exploring with Erin when we found these awesome souvenirs. The erasers were SO detailed, and many of them were packaged in themed sets. I’ve pretty much never had occasion to use an eraser in the past few years, but still… how can you just pass these by?

We found beverage cartons that look like little servings of milk and juice! (Is that corn juice on the left?)

Beverage Carton Erasers

The bakery items are [Read more…]

Review: Teppan Edo in Epcot’s Japan Pavilion

It’s time to go back to a restaurant we haven’t been to in AGES, my friends!!

Teppan Edo, in Epcot’s World Showcase, is often considered a guest favorite. The upscale Japanese show + cuisine is a must-do for many Disney fans.

So why hadn’t we been back in years? Well, due to the pretty consistent menu and often similar Hibachi grill dining experience, it simply made more sense for us to spend our time and money reviewing other restaurants for you. But seeing as how we hadn’t reviewed this place in for-ev-er, it was time to take a look and see if it still held up to the hype.

Hoping that it would still be a fun and delicious experience, we arrived at the check-in booth in front of Mitsukoshi Department Store.

Guest Check In for Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining

Soon, we were headed up the wide staircase for what we hoped would be another fantastic experience and meal.

Atmosphere

Teppan Edo is a teppanyaki-style restaurant. More commonly called a “Japanese steakhouse,” the experience combines cooking and service into one fun performance, I was looking forward to a hearty meal of traditional Japanese favorites.

Once you’re upstairs in the restaurant, you enter the waiting area that’s shared by Teppan Edo and its neighbor —  Tokyo Dining.

Teppan Edo Sign

After you receive  your pager (which you’ll get from the cast members at the top of the stairs once you’re inside the restaurant), it’s time to sit a spell until they’re ready for you in the restaurant.

The decor here is sleek and unfussy. It immediately puts me at ease; there’s just something so peaceful about the uncluttered space, and I love these lights! The indirect lighting behind the benches is warm without being too bright or glaring.

Here, you also catch a glimpse into the other Japanese table service restaurant, Tokyo Dining. For more about their options, check out our recent Tokyo Dining review.

Waiting Area for Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining

Your pager will go off eventually (it didn’t take long for ours), but because Teppan Edo seats guests at communal tables,  you’ll have to wait until all of the guests sharing your table (even if you don’t know them) have presented at the podium. More on the communal eating later!

The eating area at Teppan Edo is comprised of many small dining rooms, joined together by this long hallway. I can’t get enough of this austere set up! It’s so unlike any other restaurant that you visit here.

Hallway Leading to the Dining Rooms

A peek inside one of the rooms [Read more…]

Review: “Extreme” Japanese Candy in Epcot! (Or, How I Ruined the Hotel Pipes With Pop Rocks)

Just about every veteran Disney World visitor knows to block off at least 30 minutes to wander around the black hole of awesomeness that is Mitsukoshi Department Store in Epcot’s Japan pavilion, right?

Mitsukoshi - Exterior of Store

In addition to everything else under the sun — from plush toys to bamboo to coffee mugs — Mitsukoshi offers a plethora of Japanese packaged food items!

Back in December, our fearless guest author Galloping Gourmand (a.k.a. Eric) wrote up a rad review of some more unique Japanese eats found at the store. And we all love indulging in some Pocky now and again.

But the last time I was there (spending my allotted time wandering through kimonos and Hello Kitty paraphernalia), I picked up a couple of appealing-looking packets of “extreme” candy to sample for you! :-)

Japanese Pop Rocks

The first thing I couldn’t wait to try for this “extreme” candy session was a Japanese version of Pop Rocks!

I originally picked these up to give to Heather‘s kids, but decided that you guys would totally want to experience what would obviously be a truly incredible candy adventure. So I’m doing a review instead. ;-)

Japanese Pop Rocks

For those who haven’t seen Pop Rocks before, they’re basically tiny crystals of candy that have been exposed to carbon dioxide at high pressure and allowed to cool. As a result, when they come into contact with liquid, the carbon dioxide is released making the candy pop and sizzle.

Contrary to popular belief (why?!?), nobody has actually died by eating Pop Rocks and drinking carbonated beverages (I know you were wondering). ;-)

Back of Japanese Pop Rocks

On my excursion, I picked up the Grape version and the Cola version. At least that’s what I understood them to be by looking at the excited pictures on the packets!

The packets contained the pop rocks crystals as well as little pastel candies. The pastel candies weren’t “poppy,” so I’m guessing there were there for an added sweetness? Upon trying the Pop Rocks, there were just as I’d remembered them from my kid-hood: fun and explosive without too much flavor. ;-)

Close Up Look at Contents of Japanese Pop Rocks Packets

BUT, here’s a word to the wise…

If you do have a packet of Pop Rocks (Japanese or otherwise) that you’re reviewing for a food blog about 5 minutes before you have to be checked out of your hotel room and the housekeeper is knocking on your door telling you she has to get the room ready for the next occupant, do not…I repeat DO NOT [Read more…]