Then we watched a little tv while Brendan showered:
After consulting & planning with friends here, the plan was to visit the Museum of Modern Art in Ueno (part of Tokyo) this afternoon. Tomorrow will be devoted to visiting & saying farewells. The art museum has a special exhibit of Mediterranean artifacts & artworks dating from 2000 years ago to the 1800's right now, all borrowed from the Louvre (translated into Japanese as "Roo-broo") in Paris.
It was Saturday in Ueno Park & it was mobbed! There are loads of museums & a zoo here, so it wasn't surprising.
The modern art museum had some cool modern sculpture outside as well:
The exhibit was really nice. It took 3 floors of space & walked you through history. The only weirdness for us was that, except for the big intros of each section, none of the exhibits were labeled in English. Just Japanese & French. I was able to piece things together, using my college French as an assist, but it was trickier that anticipated. We enjoyed it, though.
Sadly, the rest of the trip to Ueno was not as much fun. We had planned to have lunch there in one of the museum cafe's, but none of them (anywhere!) had anything resembling vegetarian food :( We bought some Mitsuya Ciders for the train to hold us over, then had to ride 20 minuted back to Shinjuku, then brave the Saturday crowds at Takashimaya to find lunch food. It was past 2:00 by the time we got back to the hotel & could eat.
Leaving Brendan to recover, Charlie & I braved the crowds once again to do some last-minute omiyage shopping. The escalators at Takashimaya were so crowded that folks were lining-up to get on them! But we were pleased with our shopping trip, & the day was much cooler than it's been in Tokyo the whole trip, so it was pleasant to be outside, too.
I had done some research & we thought it would be fun to walk a few blocks to the Isetan department store for dinner. There was what appeared to be a veggie-based restaurant there called Hatake (which is the word for a vegetable field).
The other thing we had forgotten, was that this was not only Saturday evening, but the evening before a big election in Japan! The sidewalks were crowded, but also there were politicians in their vans circling the area in increasing numbers. There were also folks in kimono out on the streets of Shinjuku:
We surfed the tv for more Miyazaki content, but nothing to be found, so we headed to bed.
Tomorrow, visiting friends!!