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    How To Find Shoes That Fit You In Japan

    By thomas | February 18, 2008

    My shoe size in Japan is 30 cm. Not many people in Japan have feet that big, so stores tend to not stock my size. I could go to ten different stores and it is possible that not one of them would have a pair of size 30 shoes. Even if they did, the chances that they would have my size in a style I like is slim.

    Oh no! What do I do? Am I going to have to import shoes from abroad?

    It turns out that this problem isn’t so difficult to get around. Here are the steps you need to take to get shoes your size in Japan:

    1. Go to a big store, like Sports Authority. This trick won’t work with a hole-in-the-wall “Takeshi’s Shoes”.
    2. Find a style of shoe you like and do a quick search to see if they have your size.
    3. Find a clerk and point to the shoe you want and tell them what size you want it in.
    4. Wait for the clerk to search and come up empty handed.
    5. REQUEST THAT THEY ORDER YOUR SIZE FROM ANOTHER STORE.

    That’s really all it takes. They will ask you to fill out a little form with your name, shoe size and phone number. Then they will order your shoes for you from another store and call you back a few days later. I do this every time I need new shoes. I usually shop at Sports Authority since there is one near my house, but I also used this trick to get hiking shoes from Mont Bell. Any big retail store that has several locations in Japan should be able to hook you up.

    The Japanese word for ordering something from another store is toriyoseru (取り寄せる: とりよせる). So If you wanted to get size 30cm shoes, you’d bring your shoe to the clerk and say:

    30センチのくつを取り寄せてもらえますか。
    sanjuu senchi no kutsu o toriyosete moraemasu ka?

    trans: Can you order these shoes in a size 30 for me?

    That’s it! A few days later you will have your shoes!

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    Topics: Japan Hacks | 25 Comments »Trackback

    25 Responses to “How To Find Shoes That Fit You In Japan”

    1. www.japansoc.com Says:
      February 18th, 2008 at 1:04 pm

      Japanese Big Foot: How To Find Shoes That Fit You | nihonhacks.com…

      Those of us with big feet can’t always find our shoe size in Japanese shoe stores. Here is a trick you can use to get the style you want in the size you need….

    2. bloggingzoom.com Says:
      February 18th, 2008 at 1:12 pm

      Having Big Feet In Japan. How To Find Shoes? | nihonhacks.com…

      Having big feet in Japan can be a big problem if you need new shoes! My shoe size is 30cm and stores in Japan just don’t stock shoes that big. Oh no, I need new shoes, what do I do? This article shows you how to get the shoes you want, in the style…

    3. ジェイソン (Jason) Says:
      February 18th, 2008 at 1:42 pm

      Yep, I’ve had to do this twice in the last six months. Once for runners, and again last week for work shoes.

      Who woud have thought a 28 senshi would be so hard to find? :???:

    4. Koichi Says:
      February 18th, 2008 at 5:30 pm

      Great article!
      I spent a year in high school trying to figure out how to get shoes that fit. I just spent the year walking around with foot pain or asking people to send me larger shoes. I wish I knew this back then :(

    5. Steve Says:
      February 19th, 2008 at 12:02 am

      This really works? I wear a size 31 and I can only find 28.5. I’m going to have to give this a shot!

    6. Nick Ramsay Says:
      February 19th, 2008 at 1:01 am

      My feet are 28 and a half, so I can usually find a pair that fit… but just one pair, usually the least stylish in the shop. Maybe with this tip I can get some fashion sense! Stumbled!

    7. Joseph Says:
      February 19th, 2008 at 1:30 am

      Very nice tip!

      In Tokyo, there is are a few big and tall shoe shops as well, and for some reason basketball shoes are often stocked in larger sizes if you want to jump around town in high-tops.

    8. Peter Hanami Says:
      February 19th, 2008 at 2:49 am

      Yeah agree it is very difficult to get shoes that fit. In Tokyo try Payless shoes, at Lalaport Shopping Centre, Funabashi, Chiba. Across the road is the Ikea store, drop by for a coffee and danish after you get your new shoes.

      Peter

    9. Peter Hanami Says:
      February 19th, 2008 at 2:59 am

      Payless Shoe Source is an American chain that has larger sizes. I got two pairs of shoes when I was there. Catch the train to Funabashi station and then there is a free bus to Lalaport shopping centre, The link shoes the picture of the store in Funabashi

      http://www.f-works.com/fwp/fwpbn/05-08/pickup1.html

      Peter

    10. gabuchan Says:
      February 19th, 2008 at 5:16 am

      Good work. 取り寄せる - now i know.

    11. Chris B Says:
      February 19th, 2008 at 5:40 am

      aaaah!!
      I laughed so hard when I read this (no offense).

      Is there anyone out there that would take a “sorry we don’t have_____, and leave it at that? Company’s need sales and they will bend over backwards to keep your purchase with them. I don’t speak Japanese but the language of “the sale” always comes through loud and clear.

      By the way I checked the flying pig and you’d be better off “googling” costco21 and get a bigger selection while practicing your Japanese.

    12. Dave B Says:
      February 19th, 2008 at 11:44 am

      Speakin’ as a fellow gaijin with 30cm boats, this is pure gold. What I’ve always done is either gone to this one shoe shop in Ameyoko (by Ueno station in Tokyo) which has a very nice enormous-shoes section, or to the giant-shoes store by Gotanda station. Thanks to the Ameyoko store I have an absurd number of pairs of Chucks, and thanks to the Gotanda-station store I have an awesome pair of toasty-warm Italian boots (just the thing when I take my motorbike to work).

    13. Tori Says:
      February 19th, 2008 at 12:32 pm

      Great post.
      I never thought of using 取り寄せる to order items not in stock.

    14. Gearing up for Japan - Holding Pattern « A typical Life Says:
      February 19th, 2008 at 8:07 pm

      […] not so sure that I won’t be sorry later.  Some solace came in a post from Thomas on how to get shoes in Japan but I’m not so sure his tip will work for women’s shoes.  I’ll keep my […]

    15. thomas Says:
      February 20th, 2008 at 11:04 am

      @Jason: I’m surprised that 28 cm shoes are hard to find too!

      @Koichi: Thanks! I wish you knew this back then too, but I guess if it didn’t kill you, you are stronger for it!!

      @Steve: Yes, this works. And since Japan isn’t that big it usually only takes a couple of days for them to get the shoes in the store.

      @Nick Ramsay: I had the same problem. I’d find one pair of 30s and they’d be pink and moss green platform shoes or something. Before I learned about this trick, I used to just wear old shoes. And thank you very much for the stumble! I get most of my traffic from StumbleUpon, so I feel like every thumbs up I get is a brick of gold. :)

      @Joseph and Peter Hanami: Thanks for the info! It looks like you readers from Tokyo have got it easy! :) I need to check if there is a Payless around here.

      @Chris B: Before I tried it out, I didn’t even venture to try asking. I’d look to see if they had 30s, see that they didn’t and then leave for another store. As I started to become a little more adventuresome and confident with my Japanese, I started to ask more questions which led to this discovery. Btw, I did some price checks between theflyingpig.com and costcost21.com and theflyingpig is much cheaper, by as much as 10% on many items.

      @Dave B: I hope this tip will be useful for you! Living in Tokyo, you might have to wait even less for your shoes to come in.

      @Tori: 取り寄せる works great, although good old 注文する works just as well too.

    16. Charles Jannuzi Says:
      February 20th, 2008 at 12:32 pm

      Nissen catalogue and online stocks a lot of oversized items for men. But for the most part, the shoes max. out at 28 cm.

      At a sporting goods store, I was able to find Mizuno basketball shoes that ran up to 30.0 cm in size. I don’t wear that size, but the catalogue carried them. So it sometimes helps to ask to see the Mizuno and Asics catalogues if you have to shop at smaller stores.

      Also, try Rakuten online. It will network you with hundreds of stores all across Japan who can get what you need. You need Japanese skills and Japanese fonts to navigate the online mall.

    17. Turner Says:
      February 20th, 2008 at 3:08 pm

      Nicely done. No longer will I time my buying shoes with visits home.

    18. Mike Says:
      February 21st, 2008 at 5:46 am

      Man, my feet are the same size and every time I’ve gone to Japan I’ve always made sure to bring extra pairs of shoes since I knew it would be almost impossible finding something my size. Anyway great tip!

    19. Josh Says:
      February 21st, 2008 at 3:18 pm

      American stores like Timberland and The North Face carry big size shoes and clothing but you may have to pre-order them. You do not get charged if you try them on and they don’t fit right either.

      Also try Murasaki Sports – sometimes they have large sizes.

    20. john k Says:
      March 26th, 2008 at 10:29 am

      Doesn’t always work.
      I have tried this at the big dept stores such as Hanshin. They just say, sorry not in stock….so can you order some my size for me?…oh sorry, we can’t do that as this size is not stocked in japan…line.

      I did get one outlet to ship over my size and style tennis shoes direct from US no less!!

      So, I’ve had hit and miss results myself.

      Being a 28~29cm..depending on fit and maker.

    21. Gearing up for Japan - Holding Pattern Says:
      May 20th, 2008 at 1:30 am

      […] I’m not so sure that I won’t be sorry later. Some solace came in a post from Thomas on how to get shoes in Japan but I’m not so sure his tip will work for women’s shoes. I’ll keep my fingers […]

    22. Sosa Says:
      June 30th, 2009 at 6:28 am

      If you’re after sports shoes, from experience only Nike and Adidas are available in Japan.

      I’ve recently ordered from http://www.hippie-cocco.com – a web-shop based near Nagoya. Order online and pay takyubin cash on delivery. Great for sizes 30 – 32.

    23. Jeff Says:
      May 4th, 2010 at 1:09 pm

      I went to Lalaport in Chiba today and the information desk told me Payless Shoes is no longer there.

      Just a heads up.

    24. Jeff L. Says:
      December 16th, 2010 at 7:13 am

      I’m really screwed… size 34-35 here… I think I’m just going to have to eat the 4000 yen import duty.

    25. Geckomayhem Says:
      November 14th, 2011 at 1:24 pm

      Great tip! Too bad it is hard enough travelling to a shoe store to start with. I take size 29. There are so many people here in Japan that are taller than me. I find it really hard to see why shoe sizes often only go up to 28.0. Do Japanese people just have really tiny feet, or do all these tall teenagers order their shoes online?

      Even if there is a 29.0 in a style I like, chances are they are too narrow! So hard just to find regular shoes – especially when you live way out in the middle of nowhere. :/

      Definitely gonna try that trick next time I have the fortune of being close to a shoe store – if I can’t find what I’m looking for online, that is.

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