Nuno-zori sandal store Meri opens in Kagoshima, also holding workshops

PUBLISHED Apr 10, 2023

Nuno-zori sandals at Meri

Three months have passed since Meri, a Japanese-style cloth sandal store (Phone: 090-6222-0320), opened in Minamikorimotocho, Kagoshima City.

Junko Hidaka, a cloth sandal (nuno-zori in Japanese) artist, opened the store on January 11 this year. Inspired by a pair of nuno-zori she received from a friend in Tohoku eight years ago, she went to Aomori from Tokyo, where she lived at the time, to learn how to make them. Later, during her time in Tokyo, she opened an online store. In 2018, after returning to Kagoshima, she started offering classes and has been teaching how to make nuno-zori at her home and cultural workshops. In January this year, she set up a display and sales space for nuno-zori in the corner of her studio in response to requests from people who wanted to purchase them.

The display space is lined with handmade nuno-zori sandals made of colorful fabrics and straps. The fabric used for the nuno-zori is 100% cotton plain cloth, which Hidaka sources from the textile district in Nippori, Tokyo. “They are soft and comfortable to wear,” says Hidaka. Prices are 4,000 yen for women, 4,500 yen for men, and 2,200 yen for half-soled “Ashinaka.”

Hidaka also offers made-to-order items, and when an order is placed, she consults with the customer on the foot size, fabric color, and other details. All production is done by Hidaka. “Nuno-zori can be put in a laundry net and washed in a washing machine. They last for a long time, and some people have been using them for five years,” she explains.

About four to five students participate in each class, and about 20 people learn to make nuno-zori per month. Students can complete a pair of nuno-zori in about four hours. The tuition is 4,000 yen, including materials for one pair. Days and times are negotiable.

Hidaka added: “I have a lineup of brightly colored nuno-zori. I hope people will venture into colors they normally don’t wear.” On April 23, Hidaka plans to open a booth at the Mammoth Flea Market to be held at Waterfront Park.

Opening hours: Noon – 6:00 p.m. Advance notice is requested when visiting the store.

  • Example of nuno-zori sandals from Meri

  • Classes at Meri

  • Making nuno-zori sandals