You know what they say about guys with big feet, don't you? They have a heck of a time finding shoes in Tokyo.
Those visiting Japan may have a list of things from their home countries that they want or need, but are unable to find. For the large-footed among us, shoes are often on the top of that list. While other things can be bought online, shoes really need to be tried on to know for sure whether they fit properly or not. So for all of us who have had to sheepishly ask the attendants of Japanese bowling alleys whether the rentals come any larger, there is an answer: "big-b shoes" in Tokyo.
big-b shoes is a men's shoe store near Gotanda Station that is the answer to many questions for those of us with larger-than-normal feet. The shop has a very wide variety of footwear available; shoppers can browse among dress shoes, work shoes, athletic shoes, sandals, slippers, and even cowboy boots. The lowest size in the store tends to be around 27 cm, and they have plenty of options for extra wide shoes as well. There are some extremely upscale footwear here, as well as many very reasonable shoes in the mid-price range. Bargain hunters may walk away discouraged, but beggars can't be choosers.
The downside to big-b shoes is that their collection of shoes in one size does not necessarily correspond to their collection of shoes in other sizes. While browsing the "30 cm" section, you may find the perfect shoe that happens to be just a bit too short. Well, you may be out of luck. They may only carry that single size of that particular style of shoe.
Also, those who are not familiar with the size of their feet in centimeters may want to do some quick research beforehand to find the translation from their home country's system to the Japanese one. There are some signs as guides in the stores, but these are not perfectly accurate.
big-b shoes is a one-minute walk from Gotanda Station (JR Yamanote Line, Toei Asakusa Line, and Tokyu Ikegami Line). From the West Exit of the JR station, turn right and cross the large intersection. Follow the road that runs next to the train line, and it will be on your left side, on the first floor. The used English bookstore Good Day Books can be found on the third floor of the same building.