You can barely see the two numbers in the upper right corner, but they’re there, I promise (10 and 1 if you can’t see). And the thing on the left side is how you get your number flashing.
It’s a push button that makes a loud noise, alerting the waiter that your table needs some attention. The server doesn’t need to hover over your table, checking every few seconds if you need more water or if you wanted to order dessert; they just wait for the bell.
I worked as a server at American Cafe for a while, and honestly…I like this system a lot better. People can chat as much as they want and won’t be interrupted by someone trying to earn a good tip. And on the subject of tips…Japan doesn’t use them. 🙂 It’s considered an insult, as in ‘you suck at this job so you’re going to need the extra money.’