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Boots, storing them at the door. 2010/2/12 06:24
So I know about the custom of taking off your shoes when entering homes, most ryokan and some restaurants.
But I'm a boots wearer and the ones I'm taking on my trip are precious and expensive (no I'm not considering taking other boots)

When taking boots off at the door, where can you store them? I've seen those cabinets with all those little squares to put shoes in. But I don't think boots can be stored in there in an upright position?

Is it also possible at ryokan to take off your shoes, carry them to you room and place them on a plastic bag or something like that?
I don't feel comfortable knowing my shoes are just standing there by the door all day and night.

Anyone have experience/tips?
Thanks alot!
by Mahamachi (guest)  

Boots 2010/2/12 11:41
You can leave your boots at the entrance or ask a staff member to put them somewhere safe for you.It's highly unlikely that someone will steal them.I don't think carrying them around in a restaurant would look very good.
after a while most people change from style to convenience.often people dress up in the daytime and dress down in the evening for a relaxed night at an Izakaiya.
by uknick rate this post as useful

boots 2010/2/12 12:08
Boots are incredibly popular with Japanese women, so almost every restaurant or ryokan will have a system to handle them. Restaurants with storage boxes often have taller boxes along the bottom row that can accommodate boots. And in my experience, the ones that don't have tall boxes may allow you to check you boots instead.

Most larger ryokan have you store your shoes inside your rooms entryway. As for ones where you leave your shoes at the entrance, better ryokan will store your shoes out of sight for the duration of your stay so theft shouldn't be a concern. But if you do end up staying at a place where you shoes are just left in the entryway, then I think it would be acceptable to place them in a plastic bag and carry them to your room.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

... 2010/2/12 12:16
For ryokan:

Nowadays many women do wear boots, so ryokan inns are likely to have storage space for them as well. You can leave them at the entrance. In any case, they don't leave them just standing there - they normally have other storage space.

If you *must* carry them into your room, come prepared with a large plastic shopping bag or something, and put the boots INTO it right at the entrance as you take them off and carry them with you, so that the staff would *see* what you intend to do. And once you reach your room, you can leave them inside your door, before you step into the "tatami" area.

For restaurants:

I'm thinking of a few that I go to where we have to take off our shoes, and they do have large storage cabinets for boots.
But again if you *must* carry them with you, be prepared with a large bag, so that you can place them INTO the bag (not ON it, once inside the dining area - you don't quite want to have shoes visible indoors) and take them with you.

If they are so expensive, please be careful about when to wear them, both in terms of how much walking you intend to do, on what kind of conditions (gravel, paved road, etc.), and weather.
by AK rate this post as useful

shoes 2010/2/12 18:09
Many people have found that they walk way more than they thought while in Japan (or Paris, London etc. ) and comfort become a premium. I remember too well the time my elegant shoes killed me after the first day in Japan..yet were OK at home where I only walked 1/2 block between car or bus to ..I had to buy comfy shoes first thing on day 2..

Not to mention that no one will give a second look at your boots, clothes, matter how expensive they are.
by Monkey see (guest) rate this post as useful

slightly different opinion 2010/2/14 00:35
I don't mean to discourage people, but I have a slightly different experience.

First of all, in most homes and ryokan, you don't put your shoes on the shelf by yourself. You just take them off and leave it there.

At homes, visitor's shoes will be exposed their until the visitor leaves. They will not go into the shelf.

At quality ryokan and restaurants, the staff will put them away for you until it's time to leave.

At public baths and gyms and at cheaper taverns, they often have shoe lockers and you put your shoes in there by yourself. At small public halls or schools, there will be shelves that doesn't lock and you will be putting your shoes there by yourself.

Now, frankly, I usually need to bend my boots in order to have them fit in those lockers or shelves. Otherwise, my boots end up being exposed somewhere.

Also at cheap accomodation, such as minshuku or pension or cheaper ryokan, the guests' shoes are usually exposed at the corner of the entrance.

I've been to a few places where they give you a plastic bag and tell you to put your shoes in that bag to take them with you.

So far, in my 40 odd years of living in Japan, I have never heard of anyone having his/her shoes or boots stolen or damaged while being placed at the entrance (except that young children often come home mistakenly wearing someone elses flip-flops from the swimming pool).

I agree with the other posters that you are free to request extra care for your boots and that you are free to ask if you can bring them to your room by placing them in a bag you brought. However, locals might feel uncomfortable if there is a pair of used boots lying next to your table while eating, or next to your pillow while sleeping.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

shoes 2010/2/14 19:23
I had forgotten that, while in Japan, I went to a home for the aged several times to visit someone I knew. Everytime I left my shoes in shelves on the main floor, put on slippers that the home provided, and went up to the 3rd floor for my visit. I didn't think for one second that something might happen to my shoes.
The only time I felt uneasy is when I went to a big temple and saw shoes lined up outside on the steps. I removed mine and was wondering what to do next when a wife and husband, both Japanese,showed up. They remove their shoes but carried them in their hands inside the when in Rome...
by Monkey see (guest) rate this post as useful

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