February 13th, 2011











The random shoes hanging outside the little building caught my eye. I was curious and decided to push the entrance door.

When I walked in, it was nothing like what I expected.

This is a shoe shop called “Pon-Pon”  (located in Nishiogikubo, Tokyo). They’re specialized in all handmade bespoke shoes.

It was a studio space more than a shop. The huge antique iron machine was in front of me and I noticed lots of boxes, name tags and a bunch of tools scattered around there.

They have work boots, hiking boots, dress shoes and all sorts, carefully handcrafted by the shoemakers using the old classic European technique. The design is unique and has a great balance of European and Japanese aesthetics.

I don’t know much about shoemaking, but I always find it fascinating.

Pon-Pon’s shoemaker, Katsuji Eguchi was kind enough to stop whatever he was doing at the desk, and he started telling me his stories about the shop, shoemaking, his family, etc.

It was almost a surreal experience for me in one afternoon. I didn’t expect to have such an interesting conversation with the shoemaker that I had never known before. I believe that every pair of shoes come with a story or maybe the customers bring their own and the stories would continue with the shoes and time from here again.

“Where did the name come from?”, I asked.

He said, “The shoemakers call their hammers Pon-Pon”.

I see! Pon-Pon is a word that describes the sound/action for pounding in Japanese.


Pon-Pon (ポンポン)

東京都杉並区西荻北 4−35−7

4-35-7 Nishiogi Kita, Suginami-ku, Tokyo

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One Response to “Pon-Pon”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Taro Motoda, Natsumi Akatsuka. Natsumi Akatsuka said: 西荻にある「ポンポン」という手作り靴専門店に行ってきました。(っていっても去年の11月の話だけど)ブログに写真アップです〜。 http://ht.ly/3VxPt [...]

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