Taking off your shoes is not very common in the west.
At home I take of my shoes in the evening, but not during daytime.
But here in Kyoto it’s an ungoing activity.
– entering the house/temple -> take off my shoes,
– go in the garden -> put slippers on
– go back in the house/temple -> take slippers off
– have a look outside -> put my shoes on
– go back inside -> take off my shoes
– leaving -> put my shoes on
And this is only one visit!
For my fellow Japanese visitors it seems not at all a disturbance, so elegant they move out of their shoes and enter the house. I feel very clumsy in these circumstances.
One of my questions is about taking of your shoes and if it’s comfortable or not.
Most of the people I speak feel relaxed to take of their shoes, enjoy the feeling of the feet touching the tatami or wooden floor. So the quality of this sensation, which has also to do with weight and temperature, makes this habit obvious.