Rino’s Strange American Experience: What’s up with shoes here?


Taken by Tomoko Hachimura

Shoes at the entrance of Rinos home in Japan.

Rino Hachimura, Staff Reporter

I’m Rino Hachimura and I’m from Japan. I have noticed a lot of cultural differences between America and Japan. I have been here for about month and there are many differences that I still find daily. So, this will be what my series is about.

  1. Shoes

In Japan, we have to take off our shoes when entering a house. It’s a custom, as far as I know it’s been like this ever since Japan came about. If we take our shoes off before coming into the house we won’t bring in any dirt from our shoes, that’s the thinking behind taking off our shoes when entering houses. We sometimes put on slippers in order to keep warm in winter.

But in America we don’t have to do that. This is one of the big differences I have noticed.  We can keep our shoes on during the rainy season. I thought most American people come into the house and keep their shoes on even when the weather is bad. They would have to clean up so often due to the mud and other things on their shoes. But my family in the U.S usually takes their shoes and change shoes in the house when the weather is rainy or snowy. This is a really interesting culture difference. I like the American style better because it’s not bother.

Also, this custom isn’t only followed when entering a house, but also at school and some restaurants. Most of the schools in Japan have a rule that people have to take off their shoes when entering a school to prevent bringing any dirt in. But my high school is an international high school and we don’t have to take off shoes even our shoes are dirty.

I think the school rule that allows students to keep their shoes on will spread to other schools and be adopted everywhere in Japan.