Today the second edition of the large shoe event Isetan Shoe Expo started at the event space in their department store in Shinjuku, Tokyo. For obvious reasons a less international event this year – still a big happening with lots of great stuff for shoe lovers.


As most likely know, Isetan and Isetan Men’s are one of the largest department store chains in the world, with their main stores in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Last year’s first Isetan Shoe Expo was a huge success, where I worked together with them on three parts. The premiere of the Shoe Shining Champions of Champions contest, where the three world champions and one Japanese champion, Swedish champion and Russian champion battled it out in a huge competition in front of a big crowd, and where Yuya Hasegawa was crowned the winner. A seminar with the top trio in the World Championships in Shoemaking, Daniel Wegan, Christophe Corthay and Eiji Murata. And an exhibition with their shoes plus the world champs patina winner. Apart from this a lot of things happened and were exhibited, read more in this article.

Shoes from various makers next to their lasts.

Shoes from various makers next to their lasts.

The colourful entrance to this year's venue.

The colourful entrance to this year’s venue.

Shoes from Rendo Asakusa.

Shoes from Rendo Asakusa.

Due to the coronavirus it was uncertain if this year’s event would happen, but since the situation have been relatively under control in Japan, eventually it was a go, though with measures taken for a safe event, which also means there’s no stage happenings in the same way since it gathers crowds and there’s no international participation this time. The theme of this year’s shoe expo is “seamless”. Gender, type of shoes, new or used, online and offline. Things like women’s shoes, vintage sneakers, digital measurement brands etc., which were not available last year, have joined the event.

Shoe shiners corner, where your shoes can be shined by some of the best shoe shiners in the world.

Shoe shiners corner, where your shoes can be shined by some of the best shoe shiners in the world. Pic from last year.

Beautiful display at this year's shoe expo.

Beautiful display at this year’s shoe expo.

Sneaker making.

Sneaker personalisation.

In addition, several new Japanese shoe brands are part. For example, Raymer, Oriental shoes, Rendo and so on. The shoe shine corner that about 400 people experienced last year is still there this year. It is a lovely place to visit with several new shoe shiners participating.
My personal favourite of the exhibitors this year is the vintage store Safari who have brought a large amount of really awesome vintage shoes. Really sad I can’t be there to be part of the event this year. Plan though is that me and Isetan Men’s will do a live tour of the event space on Instagram Live this weekend, Saturday 9AM CET (4PM JST), follow Shoegazing’s Instagram for more on this later this week. The Isetan Shoe expo continues until Monday August 31, much more info about the event can be found here.


One of the shelves with gorgeous vintage shoes at Safari’s exhibition space this year.

Precious stuff on display.

Precious stuff on display.

Artistically painted shoes.

Artistically painted shoes. Pictures: Isetan Men’s (top picture: Safari Koenji )