We headed back to Omotesando for a little unfinished business. Went down to the antique mall below the Hanae Mori building, which is kind of a trip. Stopped by the ridiculous Oriental Bazaar and the sublime Kiddyland, which wound up being a rather lengthy diversion. The plethora–nay, cornucopia–of diverse キッティちゃん products was endlessly entertaining. Dolls of Hello Kitty wearing an eggplant costume. Dolls of Helly Kitty wearing a cat costume. Think about that.
Stopped at 平禄 (which used to be 元禄–not sure why the name changed), a conveyor-belt sushi place. This turned out to be the only occasion we ate sushi on the whole trip, and a 回り寿司 place inevitably isn’t going to be the best, but it wasn’t bad, and it’s a fun experience. It’s also kind of amazing how quickly you can mow through a dozen or so plates of sushi when you can continuously grab them as they roll by.
Next, to the 太田記念年美術館. But before we could get there, we stopped at a miniscule shop around the corner from it. Gwen had been interested in picking up a new handbag that was cool, funky, and unobtainable in the USA, and here she found what she was looking for: a long, skinny purse made of lenticular plastic that blinks obverse and reverse sides of 平仮名 flashcards, all themed around 鉄腕アトム.
Then on to the museum, where they were having a special 北斎 exhibit. The Ota Museum is a sort of oasis of stereotypical Japanese-ness. You take your shoes off when you walk in; you crouch on tatami to view some of the artwork. The place is dimly lit, silent, refined, sedate; it has a rock garden indoors. The fact that it is tucked away in the midst of Japan’s poppiest pop-culture is part of the fun.