Is Time Money, Or Is It Food? - Summer 2012 in Japan! Blog at - 278346

Summer 2012 in Japan!

Is Time Money, or Is it Food? 
Jun. 28, 2012 5:18 am 
“We deeply regret to inform you that this train is currently running with three minutes’ delay.” This was an announcement on the train on my way to Hakodate City the other day. Living away from Japan for more than two years, I was shocked to see how highly Japanese people value time. 

   “Time is money” is a phrase people often use in their daily lives. This tendency is even more significant when it comes to food. Efficiency is emphasized in every aspect of our Japanese food culture. For example, it is rare to pay at the table in a restaurant; rather, people pay at the cashier at the entrance when they leave. For Japanese people, there is no point in wasting time just to wait for a check at the table. 

   You can see a very extreme case of this tendency in train stations. A unique, extremely time-efficient type of restaurant, called a “Tachigui” can be found in many train stations in Japan. Vending machines are also extremely developed in Japan, to the point that there are even vending machines for instant noodles or frozen rice balls. 

   You might think that efficiency is also valued in the Western culture: Major fast food chains, like McDonald’s, Subway, Dunkin’ Donuts, are all American fixtures. Although these American-style fast food chains are also very popular in Japan, especially among teenagers, there are many other fast food restaurants, which uniquely developed and became popular in Japan. Yoshinoya (吉野屋) is a famous example of a Japanese-style fast food restaurant that is also well known in the US (although they recently closed the one in Times Square). The fast-food culture does not seem to be a direct result of westernization; rather, unlike many other countries, Japan followed its own unique, very original way of developing fast-food culture, along with the westernization. 

   There are many other things that Japanese people uniquely developed as a product of seeking efficiency. It might be interesting to pay attention to fast food next time you travel in Japan. 

Digital Menu: You can just click the touchscreen to order.
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In this Udon restaurant, the entrance and the exit are separated for efficiency.
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It kind of looks like a mini-buffet in the Udon restaurant
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About Me
Hi! I'm Tukasuy from Hokkaido, Japan. I'm interested in the relationship in food politics, especially the relationship between food and economy, and its impact on politics. I'm working as an intern for Allrecipes this summer. I'll be working in Japan, and will explore original recipes and cultures.
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I like to cook everything. Especially....Italian! Japanese! oh and Indian food too! yum!
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My mom cooks Ramen (from soup) all the time, at least once a week. I will post some soon!
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I have once cooked all the dishes just by a Microwave for a month. You know how it's like to be a college student...
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I have gone through whole bunch of tragedies! Fortunately, no explosion at least...
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