While travelling in Japan, you might come across a Japanese friend who will invite you to their home. You might have to take your shoes off and a room with tatami or straw mat. Imagine, how embarrassing it would be if you had dirty feet or holes in your socks! Now, you might think that maybe you won't have to do such a thing when you visit Japan, however it's useful to know. Since Japan has a custom of taking-off shoes quite often, it's not surprising that Japanese love their socks. You can buy Japanese socks in various styles. In fact, there are even specialty stores that sells various kinds of socks!
Not sure what to buy as souvenirs for friends and family back home? Socks from Japan are a good budget-friendly and quality option. It's practical and useful too.
Since Japan has four seasons having good quality socks is important especially during winter to keep your toes warm.
So where can I buy socks? Did you ask that? Here are some options:
Tutu Anna is a shop that focuses solely on socks. Their designs are mostly catered towards women, but they have designs that are for men as well. They have branches EVERYWHERE and their selection is always wide and socks that fit all sizes.
Collection for men
Fret not, travelers! They offer tax-free services too. Time to haul! Fluffy socks and stock up for the approaching winter months.
There are more masculine patterns as well, like those plaid neutral toned socks on the top left. Of course, they carry a large number of plain socks in so many different hues.
Fluffy socks - Fuwa
These fluffy food and animal patterned socks are just the cutest. And look at those ears! Don’t you think these would be great for a sleepover or as gifts?
Themed Seasonal socks
Winter themed socks
Season-appropriate socks. Halloween just ended, so time to get ready for Christmas with these themed socks. These would be cute to wear during a Christmas party, or just all winter-round to keep the Christmas spirit alive in you.
There are even more varieties of socks, from ones with lace (to pair up with sandals) to fishnet stockings (okay, maybe they’re not exactly socks but you get my point) that the best way is to really check-out and shop for yourself!
Other than Tutu Anna, there are other stores that sell socks, here are some other sock styles you can find around Japan. But how did socks become so popular in Japan anyway?
In old times, Japanese people would wear traditional clothing like kimonos. Tabi are special socks worn with traditional Japanese clothing.
Modern day colourful tabi
Photo: Nozomi on FlickrThe tabi looks a little bit like a glove, with a split that separates the big toe from the other toes. This is so that it makes it easier to wear with wooden sandals, which they're traditionally worn with. In the olden days, these were closed with metal clasps. With the advent of modernization, Japanese people now wear modern clothes and reserve their traditional clothing mostly for special occasions, however they still continue the culture of wearing socks. Nowadays, modern tabis are more convenient to wear. Just like a regular sock!
Knee-high socks and stockings
Knee-high socks are popular with school girls during the cold winter months to keep them warm, but these are also worn as a fashion statement! The skirt and long socks combination is fashionable and warm at the same time. These, along with the basic crew socks and ankle socks, can be found anywhere in any department store in Japan
Photo: MD111 on FlickrHello Kitty, food items, anime characters and even animals, there are tons of socks with your favorite characters printed on them. These would make a great souvenir for friends because these are so fun to have. Where can you see these? Well personally I’ve never seen a character sock selection that is as big as Don Quixote’s. Thankfully, they have shops all across Japan as well, and not only that but they have 24 hour stores! I know where I’m going if I accidentally rip my socks at 2:30 am in the morning.