Do you take your shoes off when entering the house?

Actually, the custom of taking one’s shoes off before entering the house is rare in other countries and most are okay with having them on.

Many may have wondered why there is such difference in culture!

There are several reasons as to why the shoe culture of each countries differ from one another.

In this article, we would like to teach you the reasons why Japanese people take their shoes off and why other countries do not!

The Difference in Bed Time / Culture


The sleeping style of Japan and foreign countries are completely different.

Japan has had Tatami as their flooring for a very long time. It is normal for them to sit or sleep on the Tatami.

Due to this, they are not allowed to wear shoes inside then house because it will make the Tatami dirty and this is why they have the habit of taking it off in the entrance.

In contrast to Japan, other countries use bed and sofas so they rarely sit or lay on the floor. And so, they do not feel the need to take their shoes off.

The Difference in Weather


Japan has a climate of high temperature and many humidity.

When the weather is humid and you do not take your shoes off, it will cause the floor damage. And so, there is a need to take off your shoes.

Moreover, if they do not make a step in the entrance of the house, there is a higher chance that the floor itself will become humid. Most Japanese houses has a step in their house’s entrance and it’s a place to take your shoes off.

Depending on the region overseas, if the weather is cold, the floor will also become cold, so some people prefer the shoes on.

Different Manners


In Japan, shoes are considered as a very dirty item.

That is why when they enter their house, they make sure to take off their shoes as manner to keep the house clean.

In other countries, however, it is considered rude to show the back of your foot to people and so they keep their shoes on so as to avoid that.

Reaction Overseas

There were many foreigners who were surprised with this culture of Japan.

From now, we would like to list up the most common reactions!

  • It’s troublesome
  • It may cause trouble to others when you take time taking off your shoe
  • They Would Rather Sit in the Chair with Shoes on
  • Very Clean
  • Healthy

These were some of the reactions.

Among them, the reaction that many had was how troublesome it must be.

As expected, for foreigners that has had the habit of entering the house with their shoes on, taking it off must be a really troublesome thing to do!

Other Countries That Take Their Shoes Off?!

Other than Japan, there are some other countries that take their shoes off as well!

  • Korea
  • China
  • Southeast Asia (some countries)
  • The Middle East Region of Turkey
  • Alaska
  • Canada
  • Norway

As seen from above, there are unexpectedly many countries that take their shoes off!

Among them, there are some who do not take their shoes off, but cover them to keep their houses from being dirty!

Recently, to keep the house clean and scratch-free, many American homes are starting to have the habit of taking one’s shoes off.


There were several reasons as to why the shoe culture of Japan and other countries are different.

However, other than Japan, there are surprisingly many countries that have the same culture!

If this culture spread more around America, there is no doubt that more countries will follow this habit and maybe it will happen sooner than anyone could have expected!