Shoes are often overlooked in many areas of the world. Some people only consider them as practical items that are used to protect feet from different terrain and nothing more, but in Japan, shoes are considered one of the finishing pieces to a fashionable outfit. They are stylish fashion items that help express a person’s mood, personality and style.
You can find a wide range of shoes all over Tokyo, with some being as cheap as ¥300 ($2.95 USD)! The main district to find cute/sexy/unique and ultra-cheap shoes is by far, Harajuku (more specifically, Takeshita Street).
Before you go totally crazy shopping for bags filled with shoes, you have to know your Japanese shoe size. In Japan, shoe sizes are based on your foot size in centimeters. One thing that would be a bummer for anyone wanting adorable footwear from Japan is if your foot size falls larger than 25cm. The largest common shoe size for women is 25cm, so if you want anything larger for your “foreigner feet”, you’ll have to find a specialty shop…. and that will easily make you break your bank on a couple of pairs of shoes (for example, two “specialty” shoes at size 26cm can total ¥30,000 or $300 USD!). This is especially depressing when you can see those ¥300 pairs staring right at you.
If you’re not a fan of expensive specialty shops and don’t mind searching for those bargain shoes, I suggest going on a shopping hunt. I’m a size 25.5cm – 26cm (literally half to one centimeter too big) and I’ve been able to find a few ¥500 pairs… but only after quite a long search.
Women’s Shoe Sizes
Men’s Shoe Sizes