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

  • RSS on Media Queue

  • RSS on Ing Brief

    • Goal, objective, ideal, pursuits (Ackoff & Emery, 1972)
      While Ackoff’s definitions of goals, objectives and ideals have been republished (and rewritten) multiple times, the 1972 definitions were derived from his original dissertation work.  Accordingly, in addition to the human-readable definitions, some mathematical notation is introduced. — begin paste — OUTCOMES 2.30. End (an immediate intended outcome) of a subject A in a particular […]
    • Pure Inquiring Systems: Antiteleology | The Design of Inquiring Systems | C. West Churchman | 1971
      The fifth way of knowing, as described by West Churchman, is a Singerian inquiring system. (This fifth way of knowing is more colloquially called Unbounded Systems Thinking in Mitroff and Linstone (1993)). The book On Purposeful Systems (Ackoff and Emery, 1972) was derived by Ackoff’s dissertation that was controversially coauthored with West Churchman. Purpose can […]
    • Process-Function Ecology, Wicked Problems, Ecological Evolution | Vasishth | Spanda J | 2015
      Understanding Process-Function Ecology by Ashwani Vasishth leads to luminaries in the systems sciences, including C. West Churchman, Eugene P. Odum and Timothy F.H. Allen.
    • The Innovation Delusion | Lee Vinsel, Andrew L. Russell | 2020
      As an irony, the 2020 book, The Innovation Delusion by #LeeVinsel @STS_News + #AndrewLRussell @RussellProf shouldn’t be seen as an innovation, but an encouragement to join @The_Maintainers where an ongoing thought network can continue. The subtitle “How Our Obsession with the New has Disrupted the Work That Matters Most” recognizes actual innovation, as distinct from […]
    • Republishing on Facebook as “good for the world” or “bad for the world” (NY Times, 2020/11/24)
      An online social network reproduces content partially based on algorithms, and partially based on the judgements made by human beings. Either may be viewed as positive or negative. > The trade-offs came into focus this month [November 2020], when Facebook engineers and data scientists posted the results of a series of experiments called “P(Bad for […]
    • 1969, 1981 Emery, System Thinking: Selected Readings
      Social Systems Science graduate students in 1970s-1980s with #RussellAckoff, #EricTrist + #HasanOzbehkhan at U. Pennsylvania Wharton School were assigned the Penguin paperback #SystemsThinking reader edited by #FredEEmery, with updated editions evolving contents.
  • 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