Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

2007/07/28 Beef bowl shop, Tsukiji

Mid-afternoon, Diana and I checked into the Courtyard Tokyo Ginza on frequent stay hotel points for the week.1 We were hungry, having foregone taking sandwiches onto the train, in favour of a better meal in Tokyo. Since the hotel is near Tsukiji, we headed that direction even though we expected most stores would be closed. We found our first of many gyudon (beef bowl) shops.

20070728_Tsujiki_beefbowl_shop.jpg

The signs and sample dishes outside were encouraging. If we ran into problems ordering from a server, we could pull him or her outside and point. With dishes in the range of $5 to $8 per serving, the price was right.

20070728_Tsujiki_beefbowl_demo.jpg

Stepping inside the restaurant, we were immediately intimidated by having to pay a vending machine. We later discovered that at some stores, the buttons have pictures of the dish to be ordered. This machine only had Japanese characters, so our best guess would be by price.

20070728_Tsujiki_beefbowl_vending.jpg

The cook saw our frustration, and went outside with us. Noting our order, he showed us the button on the machine to push, and we paid with Yen bills. The machine spit out a ticket, which we could show the cook. Within a few minutes, he brought the food to the front window.

20070728_Tsujiki_beefbowl_server.jpg

We sat at the counter looking out the side window. The gyodon looked great, and was a satisfying snack. Fresh warm rice, with thinly sliced beef in a slightly sweet sauce. The store was mostly empty, but a few girls stopped by for orders slightly larger than ours.

20070728_Tsujiki_beefbowl_serving.jpg

Thinking about this experience, we discussed the minimization of labour in this Japanese fast food operation. There’s a joke in Hong Kong that it takes two people to run a restaurant: one to cook the food, and the other outside, pulling in customers. In Tokyo, it seems that they’ve got the operation down to a single person, at least in off-hours!

Walking back towards the hotel, we took the escalator up to cross Showa-dori. The elevated crossings are an engineered solution to traffic in one of the older parts of an old city.

20070728_Tsujiki_Showa-dori_overpass_escalator_northeast.jpg

The hotel is one block west of Showa-dori. It’s not the most picturesque neighbourhood, but the Higashi-Ginza subway stop is a few blocks up.

20070728_Showa-dori_view_north.jpg

With a plan for more than a week together in Tokyo, Diana and I were able to slow down our pace of touring to a more humane level. There’s an irony that in the slower city of Kyoto, we had planned a faster pace, and now in one of the fastest cities in the world, we could be more leisurely.


1The hotel recently been reclassified, which makes it a better-than-average Courtyard hotel (instead of a worse-than-average Renaissance hotel).

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • RSS on Coevolving

    • Pattern language, form language, general systems theory, R-theory
      With the distinction made between pattern language and form language, a broader vision of the "life" sought by Christopher Alexander has led me through General Systems Theory into R-theory.
    • How do Systems Changes become natural practice?
      The fourth of four lectures for the Systemic Design course at OCADU SFI focused on (a) situated practice + history-making (reframing disclosing new worlds), and on (b) commitments and the language-action perspective (applying conversations for action).
    • Whom, when + where do Systems Changes situate?
      The third of four lectures for the Systemic Design course at OCADU covered value(s), the science of service systems, and the socio-technical systems perspective.
    • Why (Intervene in) Systems Changes?
      A lecture on ecological systems for the OCADU SFI master's program opened up opportunities to discuss wei and wuwei, and get beyond an anthropocentric perspective the Canadian beaver in its habitat.
    • Are Systems Changes Different from System + Change?
      The second session of the Systemic Design course in the OCADU SFI master's program was an opportunity to share the current state of knowledge on Systems Change, in light of recent interest in Systems Change and Theory of Change.
    • Ecology and Economy: Systems Changes Ahead?
      A workshop with David L. Hawk at the CANSEE meeting in May 2019 led to an invitation to publish an article, "Ecology and Economy: Systems Changes Ahead?" in WEI Magazine.
  • RSS on Media Queue

  • RSS on Ing Brief

    • Wholism, reductionism (Francois, 2004)
      Proponents of #SystemsThinking often espouse holism to counter over-emphasis on reductionism. Reading some definitions from an encyclopedia positions one in the context of the other (François 2004).
    • It matters (word use)
      Saying “it doesn’t matter” or “it matters” is a common expression in everyday English. For scholarly work, I want to “keep using that word“, while ensuring it means what I want it to mean. The Oxford English Dictionary (third edition, March 2001) has three entries for “matter”. The first two entries for a noun. The […]
    • Systemic Change, Systematic Change, Systems Change (Reynolds, 2011)
      It's been challenging to find sources that specifically define two-word phrases -- i.e. "systemic change", "systematic change", "systems change" -- as opposed to loosely inferring reductively from one-word definitions in recombination. MartinReynolds @OpenUniversity clarifies uses of the phrases, with a critical eye into motives for choosing a specific label, as well as associated risks and […]
    • Environmental c.f. ecological (Francois, 2004; Allen, Giampietro Little 2003)
      The term "environmental" can be mixed up with "ecological", when the meanings are different. We can look at the encyclopedia definitions (François 2004), and then compare the two in terms of applied science (i.e. engineering with (#TimothyFHAllen @MarioGiampietro and #AmandaMLittle, 2003).
    • Christopher Alexander’s A Pattern Language: Analysing, Mapping and Classifying the Critical Response | Dawes and Ostwald | 2017
      While many outside of the field of architecture like the #ChristopherAlexander #PatternLanguage approach, it's not so well accepted by his peers. A summary of criticisms by #MichaelJDawes and #MichaelJOstwald @UNSWBuiltEnv is helpful in appreciating when the use of pattern language might be appropriate or not appropriate.
    • Field (system definitions, 2004, plus social)
      Systems thinking should include not only thinking about the system, but also its environment. Using the term "field" as the system of interest plus its influences leaves a lot of the world uncovered. From the multiple definitions in the International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics , there is variety of ways of understanding "field".
  • Meta

  • Translate

  • 
  • moments. daviding.com

    Random selections from the past year
  • 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