Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

2010/02/27-03/07 Tokyo

I’ve been in Tokyo for over a week every year since 2007, so I know the city sights well.  This 2010 trip saw me serving as a tour guide for Roy (who came on the same plane as me from Toronto), as well the many of the other visiting researchers.  On the first night, Sunday, the group convened at the usual hotel near Tamachi station.  We randomly chose a pub, where we puzzled through a Japanese menu and ended up ordering a hotpot from a waiter who spoke no English.

di_20100228-063351-shibaura-pub-hotpot-rw-jmw-di-lm.jpg

Early Monday morning, we took the train over to the Tsukiji market.  Coming by a different route than before, we encountered a temple where businessmen were making offerings.

di_20100228-190008-tsukiji-temple-offerings.jpg

In mid-morning, some of the tuna were still in recognizable forms, with fishmongers rapidly creating portions with saws and knives.

di_20100228-191108-tsukijimarket-tuna-saw-by-fishmonger.jpg

On this visit, I discovered the reason that some tuna are called yellowfin.  These had a yellow fin smaller than a thumbnail.

di_20100228-193156-tsukijimarket-yelllowfin-tuna.jpg

From Tsukiji, we walked through the Ginza, and up towards Yurakucho.  We stopped by a pachinko parlour where the machines were as loud in the morning as they are in the evening.

di_20100228_203804_yurakucho_pachinko_parlour.jpg

Down the street, the BIC store is one of the larger electronics retailers in town.  The variety of cameras, mobile phones and electronics fills up multiple stories in the Yurakucho building.

di_20100228_204318_yurakucho_bic_phones.jpg

The main hall of the Tokyo International Forum was open, dwarfing the few people inside.

di_20100228_205225_tokyo_international_forum_main_hall.jpg

Roy was curious about the statue at the north end of the Forum, that I hadn’t noticed before.  It’s Ota Dokan, a monk, and architect of the Edo Castle in the 15th century.

di_20100228_205651_tokyo_international_forum_statue_rw.jpg

On the Ginza, we stopped by the Nissan showroom.  The model on display wasn’t for export.

di_20100228_222034_nissan_showroom.jpg

The sounds of music drew us in from the Ginza into the Yamaha showroom, where a keyboardist vigourously exercised a variety of computer patches.

di_20100228_223554_yamaha_showroom_keyboardist.jpg

A little further along, we stopped for lunch at an old favourite:  Hanamasa Steak, in Ginza 9.  Ordering food by putting coins into a vending machine, and then eating at the counter is a modern (if not economical) Japanese experience.

di_20100228_225156_hanamasa_steak_dining.jpg

The group agreed to next visit Asakusa.  Many families paused at the main gate for photographs.

di_20100301-000742-asakusa-gate-families.jpg

On the shopping street behind the gate, a few women in kimonos stood out from the rest of the visitors.

di_20100301-000949-asakusa-nakimisa-kimonos.jpg

Behind the street of commerce is the Sensoji Temple.  Inside, tourists mixed with visitors with more spirtual interests.

di_20100301-001642-asakusa-temple-sensoji-temple.jpg

Beyond the temples, it’s s short walk to the Nishisando Arcade.  We we unsure of its location until we found the gate.

di_20100301-004437-nishisando-arcade-gate.jpg

Inside the arcade is the Edo Shitamachi Museum of Traditional Crafts.

di_20100301-005752-edoshitmachi-traditionalcraftsmuseum-entry.jpg

Handmade crafts, such as these lanterns, aren’t in the everyday stores in Tokyo.

di_20100301-005902-edoshitmachi-traditionalcraftsmuseum-lanterns.jpg

Our group got smaller, as jet lag set in.  Roy and I were to only two to continue to Shinjuku, eventually having sushi dinner in a restaurant amongst the pubs.

di_20100301-032224-shinjuku-pub-street.jpg

The next day, Roy and I went over to the east side of Tokyo, crossing the Sumida River.

di_20100301-200108-sumida-river-boats.jpg

The Ryogoku neighbourhood is off the beaten path for western tourists, with two very large Japanese attractions.  We were early for both.

di_20100301-200751-ryogoku-steps.jpg

The mural outside of the Sumo Museum leaves little doubt of the sights for visitors.

di_20100301-203939-ryogoku-mural.jpg

For a building about historical times, the Edo-Tokyo Museum is certainly a modern edifice.

di_20100301-204349-edomuseum-steps.jpg

Inside the museum are some large installations, such as the Nakamura Theater, as we viewed from upstairs on the Nihonbashi Bridge.

di_20100301-205449-edomuseum-nakamuratheatre-from-nihonbashi-bridge.jpg

After lunch, we visited the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo.

di_20100301-233707-museumcontemporaryarttokyo-outdoor-sculpture.jpg

For an evening experience, Roy and I continued to the Naru Jazz Livehouse.  Gary eventually found us there, after resolving some confusion about which exit of the rail station was near the club.  Mabumi Yamaguchi was an experienced sax player, leading younger yet accomplished sidemen.

di_20100302-060055-naru-mabumiyamaguchi-sax.jpg

For a change of pace on the next day, Yoshi met us, and took us to the Japan Auto Federation head office, where there’s a automobile simulator that we each tried out.  It’s not the same as a real car!

di_20100302-194627-japanautofed-yh-drive.jpg

Under the elevated highway of the Inner Circular Route, the canal boats reminded us of water routes through the city.

di_20100302-205034-innercircularroute-canal-boats.jpg

On the way to lunch, we stopped by Shimizu Cycle, which stocks parts for gearhead enthusiasts.

di_20100302-210116-shimizucycle.jpg

In Mita, Yoshi guided us to his favourite Korean restaurant for lunch.  Toko had the daily specials on display, although we had already pre-ordered to improve speed.

di_20100302-212705-mita-toko-lunch-choices.jpg

These trips to Tokyo aren’t all sightseeing.  The researchers actually have meetings, where we spend days at the Ookayama campus, in an invited discussion.

di_20100303-201108-titech-ssme-invited.jpg

On campus, we walked by some students out juggling, presumably as a way to work off stress.

di_20100302-235543-titech-ookayama-student-jugglers.jpg

On this particular visit, the weather was exceptionally clear, so that a view of Mount Fuji was possible.

di_20100304-193157-titech-ookayama-mount-fuji-view.jpg

After two days of invited discussion, the public is invited to attend open lectures in the main building of the Ookayama campus of the Tokyo Institute of Technology.

di_20100304-224744-titech-ookayama-main-building.jpg

This year, the lecture room was filled to capacity.

di_20100305-204105-titech-symposium-audience.jpg

With the main formal activities completed, we had a night at Toko that included dinner …

di_20100306-053615-toko-dinner-first-bite.jpg

… and karaoke.

di_20100306-065554-toko-karaoke.jpg

Since international flights generally leave Narita Airport around 5 p.m., there’s a chance for some sightseeing in the morning and afternoon of the last day.  We hadn’t yet seen Harajuku.  Takeshita-dori was full of umbrellas on this grey day.

di_20100306-202334-takeshita-dori.jpg

Nearby, the Togo Shrine was closed to visitors, but we could see a wedding party through the gate.

di_20100306-203646-togoshrine-courtyard-wedding.jpg

Design Festa Gallery is a regualar “starving artists” stop for me.

di_20100306-205044-designfestagallery-west.jpg

In the west galleries, one wall is shared by multiple artists, each section marketed off with yellow tape.

di_20100306-205706-designfestagallery-west-drawings.jpg

The display of cards would be more portable as gifts.

di_20100306-211204-designfestagallery-west-cards.jpg

The east gallery is newer, and less populated.

di_20100306-212840-designfestagallery-east-space.jpg

Some artists were still setting up.  Power tools were in play.

di_20100306-214736-designfestagallery-east-setup-drill.jpg

Etsuko came to meet us in Harajuku.  She hadn’t tried the fast food takoyaki before, so we sampled a shared order.

di_20100306-220853-harajuku-takoyaki-counter.jpg

Eight days after we had arrived, we were back to Narita for the plane home.  There’s always a lot to see on our visits to Tokyo.

[See the album of 5 webphotos of Shibaura (with a slideshow option)]

[See the album of 27 webphotos of Tsukiji (with a slideshow option)]

[See the album of 24 webphotos Ginza Yurakucho (with a slideshow option)]

[See the album of 49 webphotos of Asakusa (with a slideshow option)]

[See the album of 5 webphotos of Shinjuku (with a slideshow option)]

[See the album of 43 webphotos Ryoguku EdoMuseum (with a slideshow option)]

[See the album of 15 webphotos of Contemporary Art Tokyo (with a slideshow option)]

[See the album of 4 webphotos of Naru (with a slideshow option)]

[See the album of 24 webphotos of JapanAutoFed MitaToko(with a slideshow option)]

[See the album of 28 webphotos of TitTech SSME invited (with a slideshow option)]

[See the album of 16 webphotos of Titech Ookayama (with a slideshow option)]

[See the album of 13 webphotos of the TiTech Symposium (with a slideshow option)]

[See the album of 10 webphotos of Toko karaoke (with a slideshow option)]

[See the album of 28 webphotos of Harajuku (with a slideshow option)]

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • RSS on Coevolving

    • Entropy: The Second Law of Thermodynamics | David L. Hawk | ST-ON 2021-03-14
      For espoused systems thinkers who are predisposed towards towards finding an equilibrium (or maybe one amongst multiple equilibria), a discussion about entropy can raise discomfort.  In the systems sciences, the second law of thermodynamics — as an entropic process — is often cited by the learned as a universal law applicable across physics, chemistry, biology […]
    • Systems Thinking through Changes: An action learning guide | Canadian Digital Service | 2022-03-04
      In the 4th year of an espoused 10-year journey, the Systems Changes Learning Circle reached a major milestone.  With Code for Canada, the team conducted its first educational workshop based on the contextural action learning approach currently under review for publication.  The client was the Canadian Digital Service . The presentation outlining the basic ideas and […]
    • Schizophrenia, Alcoholism, Double Binds: From Practice to System Theory | Gary S. Metcalf | ST-ON 2021-02-21
      Many might sequence systems thinking as (i) systems theory preceding (ii) systems practice.  This is not always the case.  There are situations where (i) systems practice has preceded (ii) systems theory, or the two advance in a tight learning loop.  Jack Ring once pointed out that applied science (engineering) precedes science, because human beings often […]
    • Living, Becoming, Process Philosophy: Systems Thinking in Time (ST-ON 2022-01-10)
      System thinking, coming from roots in mainstream Western philosophy, tends to orient towards (i) thinking in space,  before (ii) thinking in time.  Structure is an arrangement in space.  Process is an arrangement in time.  A critical systems perspective leads us to think about inclusion within boundaries.  Does this lead us to overlook boundaries in time? […]
    • Progress on Systems Changes Learning | CSRP Institute | 2022-11-07
      The Systems Changes Learning Circle, formed in January 1999, has since been meeting at least once every 3 weeks.  In many respects, the core group has exhibited great patience in our mutual learning towards an agenda of Rethinking Systems Thinking, from talks given in 2012, and published in 2013. In anticipation of a journal article […]
    • Ecological Economics and Systems Thinking | Katie Kish + David Mallery | (ST-ON 2021-10-18)
      In the 1980s, ecological economics seemed to be mostly economists extending their work towards environmental and resource concerns.  In the 2020s, ecological economics is seeing a new generation first schooled in other disciplines such as environmental studies or one of the social sciences, then coming into economics.  Programs that encourage the new perspective include the  […]
  • RSS on Media Queue

  • RSS on Ing Brief

    • Book review of ZHANG, Zailin (2008) “Traditional Chinese Philosophy as the Philosophy of the Body” | Robin R. Wang | 2009
      In this review of a philosophical work written in Chinese, a comparison is made between Chinese philosophy centering on the body, in comparison to Western philosopy centered on the mind. (I found a reference to this book, tracing back from Keekok Lee (2017) Chapter 9, footnote 8.
    • Approche systémique
      The translation from English "systems thinking" to French "la pensée systémique" misses meaning. "Approche systémique" has lineage to "Conférences Macy", "General System Theory (Bertalanffy)" and "Gregory Bateson"
    • The Arrogance of Humanism (1978/1981) David W. Ehrenfeld
      When one chooses a guiding philosophy of life  -- and the modern world has chosen humanism -- one becomes responsible for all the consequences that flow from that choice. (David W. Ehrenfeld, 1981)
    • The evolution of service systems to service ecosystems | Brozović and Tregua 2022
      “Rethinking Systems Thinking” (2013) is cited by #DaniloBrozović (U. Skövde), #MarcoTregua (U. Napoli Federico II): The level of complexity in current service ecosystems is rising, not least due to technology (Barile et al., 2020), with the effect of such increased complexity of service ecosystems being perceived as ‘simple’. On the other hand, some systems researchers […]
    • 1995 Francois Jullien, The Propensity of Things
      Jullien views propensity in Chinese philosophy, as a counterpart to causality in Western philosophy.  Some unpacking of his writing in digests may be helpful. Jullien, François. 1995. The Propensity of Things: Toward a History of Efficacy in China. Translated by Janet Lloyd. Zone Books. Introduction How can we conceive of the dynamic in terms of the static, in […]
    • Reformation and transformation (Ackoff 2003, 2010)
      In his system of system concepts, Russell Ackoff made the distinction between reformation and transformation in many of his lectures. Here are two written sources. From Redesigining Society (2003) … Systemic Transformation A system is transformed, as contrasted with reformed, when its structure or functions are changed fundamentally. Such changes are discontinuous and qualitative, quantum […]
  • Meta

  • Translate

  • Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
    Theme modified from DevDmBootstrap4 by Danny Machal