Today is Tanabata, the Star Festival in Japanese culture, and Tokyo Dining in the Japan pavilion at Epcot is celebrating with new drinks! Kanpai! That means cheers in Japanese. Tanabata celebrates the one day of the year that the king allowed two loves – Altair the Cowherd and Vega the Weaver – to be together. The rest of the year they are separated by the Milky Way.
Many festivals are taking place in Japan to celebrate Tanabata and so is the Japan pavilion at Epcot. Cast members in the pavilion are wearing traditional Kimonos, and in the afternoon guests are invited to write their wishes on slips of colorful paper and place them on a bamboo tree in the Mitsukoshi department store.
As part of the celebration, Tokyo Dining is serving up items from the new beverage menu to share with someone you love. Rachel Brent from Disney Parks Blog has shared the new collection of beverages at Tokyo Dining that focus on natural, fresh ingredients with a Japanese flair.
For the Shochu Squeeze: guests choose grapefruit, lemon or orange to hand-squeeze into a glass of clean, crisp shochu for the ultimate refreshment.
There are also several ways to sample sake. Choose from a new carafe or masu box—purposely overflowed to show generosity. Or, give the Junmai Sake Flight a try. The Junmai Sake flight is a sampling of three premium sake: Junmai, Junmai Ginjyo, and Junmai Daiginjyo.
Guests can also enjoy the Sake Mojito with sake, shochu, Japanese shiso herb and fresh mint, or go for something tropical like the Okinawa Beach with gold tequila, blue curaçao, pineapple juice, sour mix and calico. Green tea lovers will enjoy the Green Tea Martini with honey-infused matcha tea and vodka.