I can't claim to speak as an expert on Japan, but I thought that some might be interested in reading my thoughts on things Japan could improve. This is staggered with the publishing of my list of 8 unmistakable pleasures of Japan.
Okay, I'll admit this is more than a little bit of a pet peeve, but, Japan, what is up with your shoes? You are so often addicted to beauty, so regularly involved in craftsmanship, but in three months in Japan, I saw so many terrible shoes, and so few great dress shoes, I was truly bewildered. I saw, and counted, exactly four pairs of classic dress shoes in all my time in Japan, not counting the admittedly pleasant penny loafers which shod near every school girl, and some of the school boys.
I did, however, see more athletic shoes worn with suits than I had ever seen before in my life. Nor ever before have I seen so many bicycle-toed, glue-soled, scuffed, pleather examples of footwear. Truly, sad, and beneath them as a nation. An insult to human dignity.