If you are like me, you might not worry too much about the appearance of your socks on a daily basis. I know I can’t be the only one scrounging around for socks in my morning daze and ending up with a pair that doesn’t quite match perfectly (can I?). In my home country, this is not a huge problem because it is unlikely that anyone will see my socks over the course of a day.
Of course, Japan is a different story. Japanese people take off their shoes not only in their homes, but also in many restaurants and “izakayas” (kind of a cross between a bar and a restaurant). In these situations, I am impressed by the colorful variety of socks worn by both men and women. Generally speaking, there is not a raggedy, holey, or mismatching pair to be found here. My advice to those planning a trip to Japan: get your sock game up.
Let’s check out some of the varieties of socks:
Uniqlo Ankle Socks
Coming in a variety of colors and patterns, these are probably the most popular socks around.
I once forced a group of American friends to try these socks on, and they all agreed that they provide your toes with superior comfort and freedom. 5-toe socks come in colorful patterned varieties and in varieties with cute animated characters printed on them, but also in simple styles worn even by your average Japanese “salaryman” (at home, of course). Give them a shot before you judge them!
Designed to wear with Japanese “zori” sandals, split-toe socks are a truly Japanese style. They take a little bit of getting used to but are extremely comfortable once you make the adjustment. The split-toe concept even extends to waterproof boots I have seen worn on farms in rural Japan.
Plenty of stores here sell nothing but socks, the most famous being “kutsushitaya,” meaning “sock store.” Check out the variety:
I could write about socks all day, but I think it would be better if you just came here and checked out the sock scene for yourself. Until next time…