The History and Traditions of the Mitsukoshi Corporation

Nearly 3½ centuries perfecting the customer experience

In 1673, Mitsukoshi established Echigo-ya, a traditional Japanese dress shop known as a gofuku store in Tokyo. This was the first retail location in the company’s long history. After more than two centuries in operation, Echigo-ya merged with the Mitsui Business Group in 1893, forming the Mitsui Gofuku store as a partnership.

Japan’s first westernized department store

In 1904, Mitsui Gofuku expanded its retail operations from a partnership to a publicly traded corporation, establishing the Mitsukoshi Gofuku Company, Ltd. The company publicly declared itself a “department store” under a modern corporate business structure and became the first westernized department store in the Japanese retail market.


Celebrating “Service with Sincerity”

By 1950, Mitsukoshi was approaching 300 years in continuous operation. To celebrate, the company commissioned the famous Japanese artist Gengen Sato to create a sculpture that symbolized the company’s motto, “Service with Sincerity,” for their flagship store in Tokyo. On April 14, 1960, after nine years of dedicated effort, “The Goddess of Sincerity” was unveiled in the store’s main lobby, where it continues to welcome guests to this day.

Mitsukoshi in the 21st Century

Throughout the company’s history, their success has been based on the uniquely Japanese tradition of omotenashi, defined as a complete dedication to perfecting the customer experience through courtesy and attentiveness. Today, Mitsukoshi is recognized as one of the world’s most exclusive retail brands. The company’s privileged position as a retail leader in Japan and throughout the world is based on its time-honored foundation of tradition that exists in complete harmony with the elegance and energy of our modern society.


Mitsukoshi at Epcot – Japan Pavilion

From the impressive décor, which features red ceilings with exposed wood beams, to the authentic items available for you to browse and purchase, the Mitsukoshi Department Store is a popular stop for visitors to Epcot. In addition to the unique apparel, such as kimonos, Japanese handbags and scarves, an entire area within the store is devoted to snacks and candies in flavors that will surprise and delight you. You’ll also find a Sake Bar at the Mitsukoshi store, where you can sample a variety of samples.

The Mitsukoshi Department Store is located on the ground floor of the Japanese Pavilion, which is reminiscent of an Imperial ceremonial hall. It extends the length of the pavilion, leading guests to the Bijutsu-kan Gallery, where you’ll find an exhibit of displays that focus on Japan’s renowned culture of “cute.”




Normal hours of operation 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM