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Steel-Toed Construction Slippers

Okay, I was kidding about the steel toes, but not about the slippers. This is a construction site I passed today in Hiroo. Not taking off your shoes when you enter someone’s house here feels as weird as not taking off your clothes before you step in the shower, and that even goes for construction workers and delivery men.

Two floors of this building are being renovated, and while the lower floor is still at the concrete stage (shoes okay), the slippers that have washed up at the bottom of the stairs like jellyfish at the high tide line suggest the upper floor has progressed to a more finished state. All day long, workers who move between the floors will exchange their shoes for these green slippers when they go upstairs, and put their shoes back on when they come down.

Moving men have to do the same dance, but with furniture!

Read a novel set in Tokyo

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Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

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