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:
- Go to a big store, like Sports Authority. This trick won’t work with a hole-in-the-wall “Takeshi’s Shoes”.
- Find a style of shoe you like and do a quick search to see if they have your size.
- Find a clerk and point to the shoe you want and tell them what size you want it in.
- Wait for the clerk to search and come up empty handed.
- 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:
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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