Entryway where shoes are left

It is fairly common knowledge outside of Japan that it is customary to take your shoes off before entering a Japanese home. I am beginning to learn though that there is a much deeper culture to shoes, slippers, and socks then I had ever imagined possible.

Hi sis 😉

Shoes:
There is no half-assing footwear! What ever statement you are trying to make, it must be done with purpose. It doesn’t really matter what the statement is, you can wear stilettos, army boots, or purple fur boots. Whatever it is, it might just be the key part of your outfit. Though tennis shoes are accepted here, the boring ones from back home wont cut it… If you are going to wear tennis shoes, they must either tie together your sports wear ensemble, or be a statement piece against what ever else you are wearing. Nike airwalks in purple would be just fine, but white stained tennis shoes will definitely set you apart.
This shoe culture has truly led to a shoe lovers paradise! Shoes are cool, cute, and stylish.

Slippers:
I was unaware before coming here how much slippers played a roll in the lives of Japanese people. It is so much more then just switching into slippers upon entering a home. Private and small businesses may have slippers at the entrance for you to change into. Slippers are for hygiene and comfort.

Feet:

Flats I bought with the toes pointing in

Although I don’t have much to say about feet here, I have noticed that a lot of girls here stand and walk pigeon toed.  It is a conscious thing that they seem to do to look cuter. Flats here are even sold with the toes pointed slightly in (whereas at home they are very symmetrical). It looks really goofy to me, and because it seems to me to be a thing mostly reserved for cutesy girls, I think I’ll forgo the practice.

Socks:
There sheer amount of socks I have seen since arriving in this country is astounding. Every mall has at least one store devoted entirely to socks. Dollar stores have a large portion of their stores devoted to socks. It is impossible to go anywhere in the city without seeing sock stores everywhere. There are socks that have straps and lace to change to mood of your shoes (to make them more cute, or possibly more edgy). There are socks here that look like shoes. Every kind of shoe imaginable is available here, for any possible purpose.
Tights are also huge here too, they are mostly available in black or skin colors, but the patterns and stylization available are boundless.

Unlike in America where foot statements are reserved for the young, old women here are often the ones with the most interesting shoes, socks, or tights. My favorite old-lady-foot-wear I saw today was a women in here 70’s who wore glitter black tights, with black pumps. Although it sounds ridiculous and like an old women off her rocker, it works here, because it is an accepted part of culture, (and she matched it so well with the rest of her outfit!)

I am still learning all the customs here when it comes to foot culture, but so far I am totally on board, (minus the pigeon toed part)!

A picture of the most amazing dumplings I have ever had in my life!

Today Ben and I had a few delicious meals.
Lunch:
Ben and I had lunch in a little restaurant in on of the malls we visited today. It was so much better then any mall food I’ve ever had.
There were two main meals at the restaurant with pictures of both, so we mostly just took a chance that it would be good.
The meal we had had five courses, salad, soup, rice, gyoza, and yogurt. This sounds rather extravagant, but the grand total of our bill was 1250 yen.
The salad was a fairly typical Japanese salad.
The soup was a ramen soup with ground pork, in a tomato chile broth. It was fantastic!

Cooks that made delicious food for our lunch!

The rice was a fried rice with pieces of crab meat.
The Gyoza was the most notable part of the meal in my opinion. There were two types, the first was a typical dumpling, but very flavorful, and unlike a lot of dumplings back home, the skin added to the total package, and was itself very flavorful. The second type was AMAZING! The wrapper was a dumpling wrapper infused with spinach flavor, the filling was shrimp, garlic, spinach, and green onion (at leaste that’s what I could distinguish). It was by far the best dumping I have ever had!

Conveyer belt sushi

For dinner ben and I had conveyer belt sushi. It was a really fun experience, and I would highly recommend trying it at some point. My favorite plate was the bonito fish, Ben’s favorite was the tuna.

Today Ben treated me like a princess!!!

I needed to pick up some things to subsidize my wardrobe, because I found out my clothes were a bit inappropriate. I was given the hint that in the more rural parts of Japan (where Ben and I will be working) the people are very conservative. Ben patiently shopped the entire day with me. We were in Shinjuku, which Ben chose as a treat for me because it is one of the fashion districts of Tokyo. The clothes really did look great, but there was very little that worked well on a budget. The malls were ridiculously busy, there was a line for every escalator, and every floor was jammed packed with people. I loved the experience, Ben was very patient.

Mall escalator
Packed floors

Streets of Shinjuku (it was raining today!)


 After shopping with me all day, Ben treated me to buying me a purse, he had given me an IOU back at valentines day for a cute purse. He thought I might enjoy having one from Japan. I LOVE IT!
I have never liked a purse so much. He is such as sweet heart <3!

After treating me to such a wonderful day I bought Ben a little baked treat.

This girl was drinking a giant thing of strawberry milk, I thought she was an interesting character. She also had more cell phone gadgets than anyone I’ve ever seen! (She was extremely pigeon toed)