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Why is it Bad Manners to Enter a Ryotei Barefoot for a Geisha Banquet?


Why is it Bad Manners to Enter a Ryotei Barefoot for a Geisha Banquet?

Why is it Bad Manners to Step on the Tatami Mat Barefoot at a Geisha Banquet?


There are two main reasons: (1) to avoid dirtying the tatami mats and (2) to prevent foot odor from lingering on the tatami mats.


Historically, tatami mats were exclusively used for sitting and sleeping by the nobility, making barefoot entry strictly prohibited. However, the current reasons for avoiding bare feet on tatami are concerns about dirt and odor. Please avoid bad manners like going barefoot during a Geisha banquet.


Why is it Bad Manners to Enter a Ryotei Barefoot for a Geisha Banquet?

Tatami Is Not Just a Floor


In Japan, people often sleep directly on futons placed on tatami mats, eat at low tables set on tatami, and place tea bowls directly on the mats during tea ceremonies. Essentially, tatami serves as both a table and a bed, so maintaining its cleanliness is essential. Dust and sweat from bare feet that have walked outside in sandals pose the greatest threat to tatami mats.


Therefore, it is considered good manners to wear socks when dining at a ryotei. If you arrive barefoot, it is recommended to bring socks with you. When visiting in kimono or yukata, wearing tabi (traditional Japanese socks) is standard practice.


In tea ceremonies, where cleanliness and purity are paramount, many people change into clean socks or tabi upon entering. Conversely, in ryokan (traditional Japanese inns), after bathing and washing your feet, it is acceptable to relax barefoot.


Enjoy Ozashiki Asobi by Learning the Etiquette of a Geisha Banquet


In any case, wearing socks is a matter of etiquette when participating in "Ozashiki Asobi (geisha games)" at a ryotei. Remember this important custom. Understand the etiquette of a Geisha banquet at a Ryotei and enjoy ozashiki asobi!



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The Kagurazaka area is conveniently located within 30 minutes from any major station in Tokyo. This is because Kagurazaka is situated in the heart of Tokyo, at the center of the Yamanote Line. Please come and visit this convenient and charming Kagurazaka.




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