Santouka often has a line with 20 to 30 people in it at lunchtime. Miyabitei has big lines too. I've tried the udon place there and it's good but the broth is not as rich as Santouka's. Was it very crowded when you were there? also, do they have the video store? I found that very interesting to look at the video collection they had. I've also tried pastries at the pastry place---they were actually excellent.
We arrived at about 10:30am. Since the food court doesn't open until 11 we explored the grocery store to scope out what we might want to purchase. Also to take pictures, much to my daughter Katie's embarrassment!(she got used to it) It was not very crowded at that time. We were about third in line for our lunch but by the time we finished eating there were lines at all of the retaurants.
I noticed some people just bought one of the prepared meals in the grocery store to eat in the food court. I'm sure on the weekends it's even busier.
Once a year they invite some well renowned sushi chefs(Nobu being one of them as he lives nearby) to demonstrate breaking down and butchering a whole tuna. I would love to see that but I bet it's really packed and parking is at a minimum.
Several times I've bought sashimi in the market and then taken it out to enjoy at the tables. I've also done that with some of the bento boxes they have. So have you decided what you're doing with all the goodies you bought?
I'm going for an appointment close by and will stop at Mitsuwa tomorrow for lunch. What to get for lunch.............and what do I want for dinner? If they don't have something awesome, I will go to the Korean place I went to on Friday. They have almost as nice a seafood section and had nice monkfish tails for $2.99/lb. when I was there. I may go pick up a few of those to grill for dinner.
BTW, most of the time when they do special weekends they are packed. You really have to plan one of those as an all day event!
One thing I found raising my kids, was when I took them to places from the time they were young and had them try other foods, that they found out that it really made them comfortable with other cultures. When they shopped with me at Mitsuwa, Marukai, H-Mart Korean, a real Kosher Deli
or a taco burrito place where you had to order in Mexican, they tried much more to enjoy the tastes and also understand the people. When my daughter was 6 and we asked her where she wanted to go for her birthday dinner we expected the same place all the other kids did----Carl's Jr., McDonalds or Chuck E. Cheese. Imagine my shock when she said (in slightly butchered 6 year old pronounciation) "Dad can we go to Inagiki for my birthday for teppanyaki?
Your kids certainly will fit in when they get more in to schools where there are a lot of cultures. It's a good thing you are doing.