Footwear in Japan ranges from traditional to modern types. Walking on the streets of Japan, you’ll notice most people are wearing western footwear when going to work, school or even just strolling around. But even with such modern these sights, you’ll probably encounter a few people wearing something different.
Even in this modern age, there are still some footwear types that have survived through the ages. Some are traditional from the early days of Japan and some are made to resemble those traditions. Many foreign visitors get fascinated with original Japanese goods and no doubt this also applies to footwear. Check out the 3 of the popular shoes that make great souvenirs for either yourself or your family/friends back home!
Geta is a traditional Japanese footwear that can normally be easily recognized by its two wooden elevated teeth installed at a 90-degree angle to support the wearers’ weight, however some of the modern Getas have solid wooden platform without teeth. A hanao or the thong is attached through three holes in the wood and if you look carefully, you’ll notice that both left and right Getas are the same so the wearer can use them interchangeably. Wearing a pair of Geta for first timers may be challenging as it requires balancing when walking.
Zori is another traditional Japanese footwear and is worn the same way as Geta. But the main difference between the two is that the Zori are not elevated and are traditionally made of straws. Nowadays, Zori are not only made of straws but other materials for different purposes as well. Along with Geta, these too are still being worn by the Japanese when wearing kimonos.
I think Uwabaki became popular among people outside of Japan because of Tokyo Drift. Uwabaki is a traditional-styled pair of indoor footwear worn in Japan commonly by young students. But these are not limited to schools only and can sometimes be used inside the house. Uwabakis are light and flexible and are not generally worn outdoors as indoor shoes need to be kept clean.
No doubt these shoes have an impact not only on the Japanese but on people from other countries as well! If you get a chance, try getting yourself a pair of Zori or Geta, especially if you plan on wearing a yukata or kimono!
4 Most Famous Traditional Types of Japanese Shoes