Ever wonder what those huge doors lead to at the rear of the Japan pavilion in EPCOT? Initial plans were set to build a huge version of Mt. FUJI encompassing a roller coaster but there were two major stumbling blocks. The first was a lack of funding (Disney does nothing on the cheap), and the second was its major sponsor. Yup, you guessed it KODAK! Kodak would certainly have no part in building a monument bearing the name of it’s fiercest competitor. Another fascinating element of JAPAN (one of my personal favorite pavilions besides the UK, France, Italy, China, America, Mexico, Morocco, Canada, Germany, Norway etc.) is the giant Koi fish which instill a perfect vision of moving Japanese art. Whether its your first time or your next time, stop and see the Koi and say hi. They say hi back. Also be sure to listen carefully. Holding true to Disney’s intense attention to detail you may hear (warm weather permitting) a interesting tinkling and clacking sound. This is the sound of a Shishi Odoshi or water hammer usually found in the rice patties of Japan. So the next time you are headed to the Sushi restaurant at the top of the hill to get your Ichiban draft beer while waiting for Illuminations, stop at the small bridge on the way down and listen to the water hammer. If you try just a little (depending on how many Ichibans in you are ) you will feel like you are smack dab in the middle of a tranquil garden in Japan.
See ya real soon. Jerry