Stroll down the promenade in Epcot’s World Showcase until you find yourself at the Japan pavilion, a lovely area with unique gardens, a pretty koi pond, the fascinating taiko drum presentation, and the enormous Mitsukoshi department store. Once you’ve worked up an appetite from all the exploring and shopping, you’ll find four stellar restaurants, each a great choice for a delicious meal. The newcomer to this World Showcase country is Takumi-Tei, which opened to guests in July 2019. Meaning “House of the Artisan”, Takumi-Tei is an upscale pleasure for the senses. The restaurant is labeled as Signature Dining, and it will cost two Table Service credits on the Disney Dining Plan. Discounts are available if you have an Annual Pass, Tables in Wonderland, or a Disney Vacation Club membership. Check out my reasons why this restaurant is a not-to-miss Epcot dining adventure.
Walk into Takumi-Tei at the bottom of the main building in the Japan pavilion, and guests are quickly transported into a serene and relaxing place. The hustle and bustle of the parks seems far away as you walk past a lovely Zen garden into a calming entranceway. An intriguing display of globes lines the hallway, each representing a different element in the restaurant. I love how the globes function as a hint of the experience that awaits the restaurant’s guests. Your host takes the time to explain each of these to you and how they tie into the blending of Japanese art and nature.
2. Unique Theming
The anticipation builds as guests wait to see which dining room they will be seated in. The Water Room features a relaxing indoor waterfall. The Stone Room is centered around a Japanese Zen garden artwork, and the room is muted in colors of gray and sand. The Wood Room features wood carvings and artwork, while the Paper Room has a lighter color scheme of pinks, reds, and whites. Cherry blossom artwork is showcased here. Finally, guests seated in the Earth Room will note the brown and beige hues.
3. The Chef’s Table
Private parties can reserve the sophisticated Chef’s Table, found in the peaceful Water Room. There is a minimum requirement of six guests, with a maximum of eight. This experience can only be reserved via phone or by emailing Takumi-Tei directly.
4. Omakase Tasting Menu
For $180 per person, guests can order the Omakase tasting menu, which is basically means the chef decides what your meal will consist of. Seven courses will be presented to you, each giving you a taste of authentic Japanese cuisine and culture. A beverage pairing to complement this experience has a $75 price tag.
5. Famous Entrees
If you want to try the most popular a la carte dish this restaurant offers, order the Wagyu beef tenderloin. Other menu offerings include sea bass, duck, and wagyu strip steak. The presentation is as appealing as the food itself.
6. Appetizers and Desserts
The appetizers are equally as tempting as the main courses, and include a varied selection of sashimi, nigiri, crab, and tofu dishes. The dessert menu offers a tasty cheesecake and a Japanese water cake.
7. Tea Ceremony
Be sure to order the tea ceremony, an intimate process where Matcha green tea is whisked together at your table. If tea isn’t your thing, the menu features impressive cocktails too. Try the Sakurajima, which comes in a glass smoke box. Other choices include sake, Japanese plum wine, and the Raiju, a drink made with vodka, ginger beer, and lime.
8. Dress Code
A meal here is truly a dining experience, designed to be a leisurely meal lasting two to three hours. Having a dress code adds to the experience. Unlike most of the other restaurants in Epcot, guests are requested to adhere to a “business casual” dress code, and cutoffs, flip flops, offensive t-shirts, torn jeans, and swimsuits are not permitted. Sometimes it’s fun to dress up and really enjoy the upscale ambiance!