Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

2007/07/26 Kobe, Chinatown

The heat and humidity in Nara was wearing us down by late afternoon. Since we had a 3-day Kansai Thru Pass, we decided to take advantage of the air conditioning in the rail cars to rest up on a long ride across the region: from Nara in the southeast to Kobe in the northwest. The trip took us almost two hours, so we recovered some energy by the time we reached Kobe. The train station is the middle of high-rise towers on a flat plain. The hills to the north have prestigious residential neighbourhoods.

20070726_Kobe_Flower_Road_view_north.jpg

The harbour is to the south, but we weren’t particularly interested in walking down to see the maritime museum.

20070726_Kobe_Flower_Road_view_south.jpg

Kobe is a modern city. As we crossed the street, a stylish pedicab reinforced that image.

20070726_Kobe_pedicab.jpg

In an alley between some buildings, we could see a tower erected as a memorial of the 1995 earthquake. In this area of the city, all of the properties were leveled, so there aren’t any old buildings anymore.

20070726_Kobe_alley_tower.jpg

We walked south and west, looking for Chinatown — one of the oldest in Japan. Before we figured out where it was, we found a torii — a Japanese symbol, not Chinese!

20070726_Kobe_shinto_torii.jpg

We encountered more covered shopping arcades on the way. Presumably the weather isn’t sufficiently cold in Japan to make fully enclosed shopping malls the norm.

20070726_Kobe_arcade.jpg

Outside of the Daimaru department store was one of those intersections where traffic from all directions stop, and the pedestrians can cross anywhere.

20070726_Kobe_Daimaru.jpg

Down the street we discovered the east gate in Chinatown.

20070726_Kobe_Chinatown_gate_east.jpg

Chinatowns in most cities look about the same. In Kobe, though, the street and buildings are modern, reconstructed after the earthquake.

20070726_Kobe_Chinatown_street_east.jpg

Chinatown wasn’t very busy, just before dusk. The stores were packing up to close, and it was too early for salarymen to go out for drinks. We could have picked up steamed buns or dumplings to go, but thought that a sit-down restaurant would serve a meal with more vegetables.

20070726_Kobe_Chinatown_pagoda_central.jpg

Looking at one of the signs, we picked what looked like a Cantonese restaurant. We pointed at a sample that we thought was beef with greens. It turned out to be liver with green onions. We could almost understand the conversations between waitress and the restaurant owner. Our guess: with the street named Nanjing Road, these Chinese may have been from southern China, but it’s as far north in southern China as you can be. The dishes looked Cantonese, but they tasted differently — in a style not necessarily explained by the mostly Japanese clientele.

20070726_Kobe_Chinatown_street_west.jpg

After dinner, Diana and I went over to the Daimaru to take a look at the basement supermarket. There was a store selling the local specialty: Kobe beef. Protecting it behind glass may indicate that its price could be higher than jewellery!

20070726_Kobe_beef_store.jpg

Since Diana was dissatisfied at the meal in Chinatown, we took advantage of the end-of-day discounts on ready-made food. The maki sushi didn’t last past that evening, but we kept the dumplings in the refrigerator in our hotel room to add some variety to the breakfast for the next few days.

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • RSS on Coevolving

    • Root Metaphors and World Hypotheses | ST-ON 2023-01-09
      Researching the philosophical foundations of systems theory to understand the meanings of “causal texture, contextualism, contextural” from the Tavistock legacy led to philosopher Stephen C. Pepper. The philosophical lineage and contributions of Pepper were the focus for the January online meeting of Systems Thinking Ontario.  A deep reading of Pepper’s work (over a month!) was […]
    • World Hypotheses, Contextualism, Systems Methods
      The first Systems Thinking Ontario session for 2023 is scheduled for January 9, on “Root Metaphors and World Hypotheses”.  This is philosophical content, for which a guided tour and discussion will be better than attempting a solo reading of the World Hypotheses wiki on the Open Learning Commons.  Upon announcing the session on social media, […]
    • Reifying Systems Thinking towards Changes | ST-ON 2022-10-17
      The October online meeting of Systems Thinking Ontario presented an opportunity for an update on progress made by the Systems Changes Learning Circle by 2022.  A slide deck had been prepared an in-person seminar at the Universitat de Barcelona Graduate Programmes in Business, organized by Ryan C. Armstrong, one week earlier.  Our regular monthly meeting, […]
    • Knowing Better via Systems Thinking | U. Barcelona 2022-10-10
      Just before starting a trip to Spain, I received an invitation from Ryan C. Armstrong at the Universitat de Barcelona Business School to give some lectures.  The students in the bachelor’s programme in international business had a short mention of systems thinking in the first lecture of the operationa management class.  With that brief entry, […]
    • Four system traps, in undesirable regimes
      While the adaptive cycle and panarchical connections reflect the possiblity of movement from one stable state to another, it’s possible to get “stuck” in a disfavoured trap.  Social ecological systems involve both natural systems and human systems. After widespread recognition of the 2002 Panarchy book, reflections in 2010 revealed further development of the theory and […]
    • Types of learning, with panarchical change as (i) incremental, (ii) lurching, and (iii) transformational
      In order to appreciate the influence of resilience science and panarchy on ongoing research into systems changes, revisiting foundational works sometimes resurfaces insights.  In the 2002 Panarchy book, Chapter 15 provides a summary of findings. In the course of the project hat led to this volume, we identified twelve conclusions (Table 15-1) in our search for […]
  • RSS on Media Queue

  • RSS on Ing Brief

  • 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