Take off your shoes when you enter a home
In Japan, there is a custom where you take off the shoes you’ve worn outside when you enter a home.
It is said that the custom originated due to the climate of Japan. The floors used to be built higher than the ground in order to keep good ventilation because it often rains and the humidity is high in Japan. Moreover, if you go inside a home with shoes soiled with rain and dust, the home’s interior will become dirty.
Therefore, in Japan, a lifestyle has emerged where you take off your shoes at the entrance and directly sit on floors, such as tatami mats, when in a home.
Bringing shoes together means bringing hearts together.
In addition, it is good etiquette to align your shoes and face the tip of the shoes toward the door after you take them off at the entrance. In Japan, from childhood you’re taught by your parents to align your own shoes. With the shoes aligned, it feels great because the entrance looks clean and it’s more convenient to put on your shoes when you leave. It is also said that aligning shoes makes a clear distinction between the outside and inside. Please give it a try when you are invited to your Japanese friend’s home.