I’M GOING ON A business trip to Japan. I’ve never been and have no idea what to wear when I’m not dressed in business attire.
— Linda

Manolo says, sadly, the Manolo has never been to Japan, Mysterious Land of the East, where people eat the raw fish and dress like Hello Kitty Lolita Samurai Warriors. Or perhaps like the Sailor Moon Gothic Rockabilly Shoguns. The Manolo cannot say for sure.

The problem is that the most popular Japanophile Web sites and magazines prefer to highlight unusual youth subcultures at the expense of the more mundane. And thus even though we who have never visited Japan can easily distinguish between six types of Japanese Lolitas (Classic Lolita, Gothic Lolita, Princess Lolita, Punk Lolita, Sweet Lolita, and Grotesque Lolita), we cannot tell you what ordinary people are wearing on their days off.

Thus the Manolo’s primary rule for travel remains: When travelling abroad, one should not substantially change one’s usual mode of dress. Instead, you must do as the Victorian ladies and gentlemen did when making the Grand Tour, and maintain your own native costume even in the most unlikely of situations. Here is the Onitsuka Tiger by Asics ($67, Zappos.com). Who knows if the Japanese actually wear these? Who cares? They are super-kawaii!

Each week, Manolo the shoe blogger answers your pressing shoe questions. Ask the Manolo a question at manolo@shoeblogs.com. Visit the Manolo at shoeblogs.com.

Photo courtesy Zappos