Irodoru

CONTRIBUTED BY LARISSA TRAQUAIR

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If you have ever taken 449 to get to Sachi’s Antique Store or Pizza In The Sky this building on your left will have caught your eye.  The treasures inside are equally as artsy and intriquing as the outer building.  The owner, Shiimada jiro, is an unassuming man who didn’t study art or fashion in school – his store and the items inside tell a different story.  He obviously has a great eye for all things unique!

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I would mostly describe this little shopping gem as a hand-made, to order, Geta shoe store and yet you will find more then shoes available for purchase.  The store offers a variety of clothes, umbrellas and small gift items such as phone straps.  The umbrellas are not cheap but they are not cheaply made either – these beautiful items start at $120.

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As for the shoes, from what I can tell, you can either choose a wooden “bottom” that is on the shelves or you can have your own shoes custom made to fit your feet.

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Once you choose a “bottom” then you have a variety of cotton straps to pick as you create your very own shoes.

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Custom shoes will obviously take a while to get so they must be ordered in advance.  We figured, to the best of our ability, that if you choose one of the pairs of shoes he has in the store and one or two straps then you can get a newly created, one-of-a-kind pair of Getas for under $100.  If you choose to have a custom shoe made or pick numerous straps the price will obviously go up.

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We even saw a pair of shoes that cost over $400.  Nothing like wearing art!  The above shoe was just one of a few pairs that were this high.  Most of the shoes we saw were very “wearable” shoes.  They had a variety of sizes in men, women’s and childrens shoes – variety in price and color is not lacking in this store.  Shimadasan said that the name of his store, Saian, meant “shop of many colors” and his inventory is true to the store name.

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Whether you pick a shoe off the shelf or order a custom pair, these shoes are fun and unique to our culture.  You won’t see a lot of people walking around Quantico, Camp Lejuene or 29 Palms wearing these traditional, wooden sandals.


Irodoru

Payment:  They accept Yen only.

Website: www.irodoru.com (All in Japanese)

Phone: 0980-54-0154  The owner spoke great English and was very helpful.

Hours:  10 a.m. – 7p.m.  From March until September they are open 7 days a week.  From October through February they are closed on Tuesdays.

Address: 277 Umusa, Nago-shi, Okinawa-ken 905-0006, Japan

GPS Coordinates: 26.595633, 127.95769700000005

Directions:  North (58 or use the Expressway till it ends and blends into the 58) to Nago. Take the 449 and you will pass the Captain Kangaroo Hamburger restaurant, not far after you turn onto 449.  Then slow to make a left into the small parking lot for Saian.  You can’t miss the building that looks like Fred Flinstone’s house.  I think there might be room for three cars in their parking lot.

7 COMMENTS

  1. I went here today with two friends and we were totally disappointed! When we walked in, the man behind the counter barely looked at us and never spoke to us, despite the fact that we spoke to him. After we browsed around for a short time, the man left. He didn’t come back and we decided it would be best to leave and take our business elsewhere. Perhaps he was having a bad day…

  2. I just got back from this store. I never saw this post but when I was speaking to the owner he said another foreigner was in here a while ago and was writing an internet article…so I figured Okinawahai! I bought a pair of sandals…Happy Birthday me. They are comfortable and I liked being able to pick out the shape and look of the wood. Mine came to 11,000 yen but they are well worth it.

    Also, he built his store. His wife did the paintings on the inside. Very creative couple. If you get a chance to go have him tell you about the different shapes or sandals. He said the square ones are an updated version of getas and the others are just sandals inspired by nature.

  3. Kim, believe it or not, these shoes are COMFORTABLE! I’m the foot model in the picture above, and I’m telling you I would have bought that pair on the spot if I’d had the money with me. Even though they are made of wood, they are not rigid or uncomfortable. They were comfy!

  4. OUTSTANDING!!! Finally there is a place that I can get cool Japanese shoes… I have been craving a pair of Geta but with size 10 feet my only option so far has been to buy men’s shoes… I may have to get two pair – one for more formal occasions and one every day pair to spice up those trips to the post office and the PX!!!

  5. Not sure if I would ever have a place to wear such amazing shoes, but I would love to put them on display in my home as art! Great post, thanks!

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