Last night, I watched The Ramen Girl, a weepy romantic comedy. It is about an American girl who goes to live in Tokyo and gets dumped by her boyfriend. She then decides to learn to cook ramen, Japanese noodle broth and takes on the tutelage of a bad-tempered Japanese cook. I don't normally go in for weepy rom-coms, but I like Japan and I like Japanese food, so I gave it a try. It was a very enjoyable film.
The American heroine makes the mistake at one point of setting foot in a Japanese home with her shoes on. Not so surprising given that her American boyfriend wears shoes in his apartment, as does another foreigner. However, I am a bit sceptical of this. I get the impression most foreigners living in Japan adopt the local custom of removing shoes. Not necessarily out of choice; if you rent an apartment in Japan, the landlord will require you to go shoeless and to make sure any visitors do the same.