Upon entering the Japanese pavilion, many people stay to the right and visit the huge Mitsukoshi Department Store where you can find all kinds of merchandise that celebrates Japanese history and culture. Or they make their way to Teppan Edo to enjoy delicious Japanese food prepared with style. Or they head straight for the huge pagoda and enjoy the music and artistry of Matsuriza, traditional Taiko drummers.

But there is more to see in the Japan pavilion. There is a special garden – a place of peace in the otherwise loud and chaotic World Showcase.

Japanese Gardening History

The Japanese have been building tranquil gardens for hundreds of years. Originally influenced by the gardens of China but later developing a look and feel all their own, the gardens of Japan go back hundreds of years. The earliest mentions of Japanese gardens go back to about 700 AD, and references to Koi ponds go back as far as about 70 AD.

The gardens of Japan are often described as idealized, abstract, and stylized. They have been built both for their beauty and for their tranquility.

Visiting The Garden

You can experience the simple pleasure of a traditional Japanese garden in the Japan pavilion. As you face the pavilion with your back to Spaceship Earth, the gardens are on your left.

Here you will find many elements that are typical of Japanese gardens: waterfalls, bridges, rock gardens, koi ponds, and carefully maintained trees and shrubs.

The garden is a great place to take a break from the heat of the day or the crush of the crowds. Let’s take a look at this wonderful, but often overlooked, hidden treasure.

Japan Garden Photos

The gardens are peaceful and are rarely crowded - even on busy days.

The gardens are peaceful and are rarely crowded – even on busy days.

The trees and foliage separate the garden from the promenade.

The trees and foliage separate the garden from the promenade.

The plants provide shade from the sun.

The plants provide shade from the sun.

Japan Garden Video

The sounds of water and traditional Japanese music playing the background help to complete the full experience.  Take a look at this short video to get a sense of the peace in the garden.

[video_youtube video_url=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/QjFE4_66aZc” width=”480″ height=”360″]

Do you enjoy the peaceful gardens in the Japan pavilion?  Or just pass them by?