Japanese Shoes-Etiquette

Japanese Shoes-Etiquette

Shoes-etiquette is extremely important in Japanese culture. Upon arriving at a person’s home, shoes must be removed. Most homes have shoe racks for guests close to the threshold. Whenever visiting a Japanese home, then, it is important to wear clean, presentable socks. And because going about the home barefoot in shunned in Japanese culture, a guest who arrives wearing sandals is expected to have brought along a pair of clean, presentable socks. Special house slippers (of various sizes) are available for guests. The provided slippers are to be worn with socks (of the guest). The provided slippers are not to be worn into the bathroom, however. A guest wishing to use the bathroom must remove the provided house slippers and don the special bathroom slippers (also offered in various sizes), which will be situated outside the bathroom door. After using the bathroom, the bathroom slippers are to be returned to the place from which they were obtained, and the provided house slippers are to be put back on. Except for in the bathroom, the provided house slippers are to be worn throughout the house. But when dining or the tea ceremony is to take place at a table set upon a tatami mat, the provided house slippers must be removed. Socks are the only footwear to be worn on tatami mats. (Shoes and slippers may cause damage to the delicate straw-made mats).

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