Tips

What does it mean to take your shoes off in Japan?

What does it mean to take your shoes off in Japan?

A. Japanese have developed the custom of eating meals sitting on tatami mats, not on chairs. They also roll out the futon on which they sleep on the tatami floor. Therefore, they take their shoes off when entering the house to avoid getting the floor dirty.

Is it rude to not take your shoes off in Japan?

The Japanese take off their shoes for cleanliness. Traditionally, the Japanese ate meals sitting on tatami mats instead of chairs, and they rolled out the futon to sleep on tatami floors. As they are very close to the floor, it’s not ok to bring the shoes into the house which would result in a dirty floor.

Do you have to take your shoes off in Japanese restaurants?

You must almost always “take off shoes indoors”. If there is a level difference between the entrance and the room, that means you should take off your shoes. Another way to know is whether or not there are slippers prepared. You should line up your shoes at the edge of the lower side of the floor.

Where can I take my shoes off in Japan?

genkan
Most Japanese people will take off their shoes in their houses. So a Japanese home will very often have a designated place to leave shoes right after entering a home, even if there is not much space. This small space right after the entrance is called a ‘genkan’.

Where do you take off your shoes in Japan?

The most common places in Japan where you’ll need to take off your shoes are: A person’s house: usually there’s a level difference at the entrance. This is where you’ll take off your shoes, and we’ll see later the right way to do it. Traditional restaurants: those with low tables. And there’s also a level difference at the entrance.

Why do people in Japan not wear shoes?

Tatami is the traditional Japanese flooring that you will find in most houses, or probably all the Japanese houses. This kind of floor is not easy to clean so, in rooms with tatami floor you don’t use shoes, but you don’t use any kind of slippers either.

Do you have to wear slippers in Japan?

Just as I stated above in the explanation of Japanese shoe culture, Tatami and shoes (slippers too) don’t go well together. Sometimes you will find restaurants and old-fashioned shops that have a tatami area. Every step you make on a tatami mat with shoes or slippers damages the fine bamboo.

When do you take your shoes off in Sweden?

In Sweden it’s also common sense to take your shoes off when you get home (or to someone else’s home). And I can’t see any reason why not to. You don’t take your shoes off at work though, or in school (unless it’s kindergarten or the very first years in school).