There are many reasons to go to Japan: eat top notch sushi, see the cherry blossom trees, visit the old city of Kyoto, drink refreshingly crisp Japanese lager etc. but there is none so great as the idea of visiting what seems to be their never-ending array of shoemakers. I feel like if I did a proper internet search of all of the bespoke shoemakers out there, I would probably come up with around 30-40. That’s a lot for one country. And then just think that they all have their own models, their own ‘touch’ on shoemaking and thus endless options of greatness in footwear. Hiro Yanagimachi is among one of those and definitely earns his keep among the more classic of them. While his shoes are relatively tame for many Japanese shoemakers, I really like the aesthetic to them, whereby he almost seems to mix heavy and sleek together. What I mean by that is that it would appear that the silhouette is very slim-lined, but his soles appear quite robust and sturdy. Not thick per se’ but definitely sturdy looking. Beautiful stuff, all of it, and I love the balmoral boot but there is no surprise there!