Inside Takumi-Tei, Epcot’s ‘hidden’ sushi restaurant where dinner starts at $150 per person


It’s logical to think that experiences at theme parks like Disney World are all just simulated fun.

A ride makes you feel like you are flying. A piped-in scent makes it smell like you are in an orange grove. A replicated fairy-tale castle features actresses playing princesses. You get the idea.

That is why it may be shocking to learn that sometimes you’re actually getting a taste of the real deal, especially in areas like Epcot’s World Showcase. Many of the shops, restaurants and shows in that part of the park are run by people and companies from the countries that the pavilion represents.

Sure, it’s great to travel to Morocco, Italy or Japan and sample the local cuisine, but it’s often easier to get a small taste a little closer to home.

Enter: Takumi-Tei.

Nestled in Epcot’s Japan pavilion, this small, easy-to-miss restaurant transports you thousands of miles across the Pacific when you cross its wooden threshold. Any trace of a theme park is shut tight on the other side of the impressive door.


First opened in Epcot in 2019 but only in operation for a few months before the coronavirus pandemic caused its doors to shutter for more than two years, this Japanese establishment with less than 100 seats recently reopened. Despite reemerging with a new menu and a largely new staff, the intimate venue retains the same magic it had when it originally opened. In fact, you’ll be hard-pressed to believe you’re still in Florida when dining at this beloved restaurant.

Whether you’ve walked past it a dozen times without realizing it or you’ve been dying to know if it is worth the (high) price, here’s what it is like to spend close to three hours enjoying wagyu, sushi, tea and more at Takumi-Tei.

Related: The best restaurants at Disney World

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What is Takumi-Tei?

Takumi-Tei is a small restaurant that sits just to the right of the large Mitsukoshi department store in Epcot’s Japan pavilion. It is operated by the same Mitsukoshi group.

This eatery is not the kind of place you visit to grab a California roll and enjoy a hibachi show featuring a flaming onion. Takumi-Tei means the “house of the artisan” in Japanese. As such, you can expect an exceptional meal accompanied by top-notch service.


Each dining room has a theme inspired by a natural element: water, wood, earth, stone and paper. Before you enter one of the dining rooms, you’ll receive a brief introduction to the restaurant and its concept in an entry corridor where the design elements are described.


If you have a preference for which room you’d like to dine in, you can make that request upon arrival, though it isn’t guaranteed. For the most part, they’re similar enough and all share a unified, calming vibe.


Related: Why Epcot is now Disney World’s must-do park

The Takumi-Tei menu: 2 pricey options

When you decide to dine at Takumi-Tei, you’ll have a big decision to make: Should you choose the $150 or $250 menu?

Unfortunately, there are no budget-friendly a la carte options — a change from the restaurant’s pre-pandemic service — so come hungry, as you’ll need to pick from the two multicourse offerings. Both draw inspiration from Japan’s omakase dining concept and are designed to serve as culinary tours of the country.


You won’t find many details about the specifics of some of the courses because they vary based on what the chef deems the best choice for that day. However, there are two main differences between the menus: The $250 Kiku option includes meat and seafood and has seven courses, while the $150 Hasu option is a plant-based menu with six courses.


Highlights from the Kiku menu during our recent visit included:

  • Sashimi (specifically the toro with caviar).
  • Sushi, which for us was golden eye snapper with lime juice and sea salt, Shima-aji (a warm-water fish) and akami (lean tuna).
  • Wagyu with seasonal mushrooms.

Highlights from the plant-based Hasu menu were:

  • Vegetable sushi (specifically the shitake mushroom sushi with karashi su miso and the red pepper sushi with ginger sauce).
  • Tempura-fried vegetables with soba noodles.
  • Fried tofu with black rice, carrots and seasonal mushrooms.

Our favorite dessert was the chestnut creme brulee, which is only served on the Kiku menu and comes inside an adorable owl.

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What to expect beyond the food

Yes, the food at Takumi-Tei is amazing, and you should come hungry to savor every bite. But it’s the service, setting and atmosphere that work together to make this an unforgettable meal.

You’ll have a hard time believing you enjoyed this experience within the boundaries of a theme park. For example, staff members make the matcha tableside, and your server will happily make notes with details of your courses. Each plate is presented with a level of detail that makes it seem like a piece of art — not a plate of food — is being described.

From the conversation to the origami cranes, it’s clear that this is more than just a meal — it’s an immersive multihour experience. As a result, you’ll want to allot close to three hours for dinner here if you want to savor each course and not feel rushed.


Is dinner at Takumi-Tei really worth it?

I’d been to Takumi-Tei once before the 2020 closure and always hoped it would reopen so I could experience it again. Now that I’ve visited a second time, I feel confident saying it can hold its own when compared to other highly regarded sushi restaurants in major cities.

Yes, it’s inside Disney World, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t authentic. It’s a hidden gem that offers some of the best sushi and service I’ve had outside of Japan. Frankly, it’s even better than many of the meals I had while in Japan.

But remember, kids 7 and younger aren’t old enough to dine at Takumi-Tei, and this isn’t the type of meal you squeeze in between rides and shows. This restaurant is the star of the evening.


Know, though, that unlike Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridan Resort & Spa, Takumi-Tei requires paying park admission to visit, as it sits within Epcot. While that isn’t a big deal if you have an annual pass, visitors buying regular park tickets will want to time this one carefully. Consider going on a day when you can fit in all your must-do rides early and want to have a leisurely evening.

You may have to save for this one-of-a-kind Disney experience, but trust me: It’s more than worth the effort to feel transported to the other side of the world without leaving the U.S.

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