Reply To: Artificial leg and Japanese shoe removal custom

  • Kelly

    October 27, 2017 at 12:21 am

    This also made me really sad & angry!

    All of the above suggestions are completely spot on. My family has just returned from 6 months of living and travel all around Japan. My son wears leg braces and has to wear shoes for stability–they are also a real pain to remove. For many places we were able to just explain that he needed to keep his shoes on–raising his pant leg to show the braces often helped.

    When we visited people’s houses we sometimes would bring an extra pair of shoes (and called them his “inside” shoes). At his school they understood, and he just wore a single pair of shoes everywhere. At some tourist locations (really old shrines/temples) they had a wheelchair he could borrow. At one cat cafe one worker let us in (with my very basic explanation) and then another worker came and wiped my son’s shoes off as he was holding a cat. At a bunny/otter cafe they were adamant about changing into their crocs–and the floors were really gross. The crocs fit over his braces and he was able to shuffle around. (I wouldn’t really recommend a bunny/otter cafe to anyone unless you are really into these creatures).

    Because my son is still small, there were some spaces where I or my husband would carry him. Usually we weren’t told to do this, but just wanted to avoid other people being uncomfortable. I imagine a shoe cover would be a fine compromise.

    Japan is an amazing place to visit–this sounds more like an issue with the tour operator than what you would experience with actual people.

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