Friday 9 December 2016

Boris Johnson wears priest shoes on visit to Tokyo's Meiji Jingu shrine

Published 14/10/2015 | 12:41

Boris Johnson tries on a pair of clog-style priest's shoes at the Meiji Jingu Shrine in the centre of Tokyo
Boris Johnson tries on a pair of clog-style priest's shoes at the Meiji Jingu Shrine in the centre of Tokyo
Boris Johnson and priest Hiroyasu Nukaga wearing the clog-style shoes at a shrine in Tokyo
Boris Johnson visits Japan. (AP)

Boris Johnson put his best foot forward during a visit to a Japanese shrine when he donned eye catching shoes usually reserved only for priests.

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London's mayor became the first person from outside the Meiji Jingu shrine on the outskirts of Tokyo to be allowed to wear the clog-style shoes after making clear he was taken with the distinctive footwear.

Chatting to Negi priest Hiroyasu Nukaga, who was dressed in ceremonial robes, after a cleansing ceremony in the shrine, Mr Johnson told him "I like your shoes" and was presented with a pair to try on.

But while the Shinto priests glide serenely around the shrine in the cumbersome footwear, Mr Johnson struggled at times to keep the shoes on.

Mr Nukaga said he had allowed Mr Johnson to wear the shoes as a sign of the closer ties between Tokyo and London announced earlier on Wednesday.

"He is the first person to be allowed to wear them. It is because of the close ties now between Tokyo and London."

The shoes are designed to force a slower pace of life and reinforce the Japanese saying of "walk don't run".

Press Association

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