A Surprise in Every Shell – Pick A Pearl in Epcot’s Japan Pavilion

I’ve always loved surprises. Back in the 80’s when I collected stickers, I can’t tell you how many “goodie bags” my mom bought me in the local sticker shop just because not knowing what was in there made it that much more exciting and enticing for me. I can’t say I’ve changed much since then – I still love mysteries where you get a prize in the end. So of course I love special things like the Pick a Pearl station in Japan’s Mitsukoshi store in Epcot. I still have the first pearl I got at a similar set-up in Silver Springs with my sister. I finally decided my kids should get to experience the fun so a little while back they got to pick their own pearls and see what awaited them inside.

Here’s how it works:

pick a pearl

First, you go to the register and pay for the pearls you want to pick.

pick a pearl

Then, wait your turn if it's busy like this. They do a really nice little ceremony highlighting some Japanese etiquette too.

pick a pearl

You get to pick your oyster from either tank.

pick a pearl

Next, she carefully cuts open the oyster...

pick a pearl

Ta da! A beautiful little pearl was inside!

pick a pearl

Next, she cleans any debris off the pearl in a bowl of salt.

pick a pearl

Choose carefully - when we were there, two sets of people in a row got TWIN pearls in their oyster!

Once your pearl is born, it gets measured and put into a little baggie with its size on it. You can then take it home, or purchase a jewelry setting there at the stand. They will set your pearl for you and you can pick it up before you go. Our pearls were 7 1/4 and 7 3/4; a little above average, but there were some people getting even bigger ones there. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you try your luck with this particular surprise!

Have you picked a pearl? What was your experience?





About Suzannah Mitchell

Boston girl living and blogging in Walt Disney World's backyard. Mom of 3, coffee addict, oh and Princess of course!