When we think of Japan we may think of fashion but what we may not think of is the huge culture behind socks. And yes I do mean to say socks. For people in the west this may be confusing but bare with us on this one because we are going to take you through the culture of Japanese socks and their speciality stores with a guide to some of the very best ones. Strap yourselves in. And who knows, you may end up seeking out these stores for some foot comfort of your own afterwards.
We are starting off with an industry leader here with Tabio. Tabio, who this year is celebrating its fiftieth birthday, is the leading brand in Japanese socks. Not only are they the biggest in Japan but they are also figure head for socks all over the world having the ability to open stores in places like the United States of America, The United Kingdom and parts of mainland Europe not to mention their other stores around Asia. Their website also ships worldwide.
Their socks vary from country to country but you can often find lots of the same things as well and in Japan they have a few staples. For instance they are big sellers of the five toe sock. They also sell the sock that many people in the west will be familiar with if they like things such as anime, the knee high. Be rest assured, if you are looking for some new socks you will definitly find them at this brilliant place.
Name : Tabio
Official website : http://www.tabio.com/jp/brand/kutsushitaya.cgi
Next up we have Chiyoji and if it is a bargain you are looking for then look no further. There are many bargains at this place allowing you to buy multiple socks for a certain price that will probably be cheaper that most other places. At Chiyoji you will often find comfort is their main selling point as opposed to bold styling. It’s at this place that you will likely find socks that are not intended to be worn tight. By that I mean as a style they are crumpled down instead of pulled as far as they can up your legs. They specialise in different materials in different plain colours and not so much with the fancy designs. And don’t worry world wide shoppers, you can also get their socks on Amazon.
Next up we have the wonderful Ebisu Tabi. It is in this store that you are going to find one of the biggest trends in Japanese socks – the two toe sock. These split the toes into two sections much like a two part mitten would for your hands. These are very big in Japan and havent yet had the popularity world wide but they are said to be extremely comfortable to wear and are often made as winter socks and are a little bit thicker material wise than your simple everyday sock. Ebisu Tabi has a vast variety of colours and designs that you will be sure to find the ones you are after. The varients in materials will allow you to chose the right ones for your needs. If you need extra comfort you are catered for. If you need your socks to breath a little more then you are catered for and if you just want something that looks cool that you can wear a lot then you have a multitude of choices to pick from. Their biggest seller is a part of plain white two toe sock presented in its on box and is a little fancier than most other stores. This pair will set you back around three thousand five hundred Japanes Yen which translates to just short of thirty two United States dollars. So whilst it may not be the cheapest it certainly will be worth it.
Last but not least is Copo. Copo, in my opinion, is the coolest of them all. They shy away from more sensible everyday socks and go straight for fashionable and trendy socks of all varieties. You can get really high socks in a rainbow of bright colours. These also are one of the best at making cool designes such as the see through sock for the ladies. If you are a parent you are certainly going to want to check out this place as it has a very big range of childrens socks that go from infant babies up to young adolescents which vary from cool anime style designs to bright colours with cartoon figures on them. There is also a big seller in ladies tights/stockings that seem to always be popular with school teenagers and younger women, this is also very popular around the world due to Japans influence. Lots of people take part in cosplay and dress up as their favourite anime characters and need things like this to complete their look. This place isn’t the cheapest but it is by no means close to being the most expensive. This is a one stop shop kind of place for all your sock needs no matter who you are.
Japan has a lot of department stores. You could even say department stores or malls are bigger over in Japan than they are in the United States of America. It’s here, amongst the plethora of amazing stores, that you will often find some unique stores that are specifically dedicated to socks. You will often find there are lots of people flocking to these stands and stores just as much as the other clothing and fashion spots. Along with department stores you will find sock stalls in markets that have a wide variety of things as opposed to just a food market. You may even find a bargain or two.
In Japan they like to take care of their feet, think of Ashiyu foot baths and the fact shoes are taken off in place of socks (or slipper like footwear) in homes and some places of work, so it really is no surprise that they take these undergarments seriously. So there you have it, a little bit about the Japanese culture around socks, and four of the best places to buy them. Next time you visit Japan make sure you pick up some authentic Japanese socks. Even if you aren’t visiting Japan for a long while yet you could always search the internet for some, there are many many places to find them.
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