Okinawa Tourism Information:BeachSandalsMadefromNaturalRubber(ProducedbyKaisou)areBornfromtheEnvironmentandReturntotheEnvironment

Beach Sandals Made from Natural Rubber (Produced by Kaisou) are Born from the Environment and Return to the Environment

post : 2019.03.23 06:00

“To feel the ocean in our daily lives.” That is the sentiment that Kaisou, a company founded in 1992 have always kept, and that passion has shaped their original products.

They produce miscellaneous accessories and apparel with motifs that symbolize the living things and culture of Okinawa to be handed down to the next generation, and they also have a lineup of various handmade items created by artists based in Okinawa. They deliver the essence of Okinawa to the fans across the nation and to visitors to Okinawa from overseas through their five long-established crafts and select shops located around the Kokusai Street area (the photo shown is their Heiwa Dori shop), and each with different themes, as wells as through their online shopping site.

Introduced a few years ago by Kaisou, is their Natural Rubber Beach Sandals (1,800 yen + tax), which has a strong following by people of all ages domestically and internationally. Just as the name suggests, the sandals are made with 100% natural, plant-derived materials. These sandals are created from the natural materials on our planet, and after their use, will biodegrade and return to the environment. They’re very proud of these sandals as their love for the environment brought it all together.

The natural material used is a type of rubber tree native to Brazil (scientific name: Hevea brasiliensis), that are grown organically on a farm in southern Thailand.

Photo: Courtesy of Kaiso

Photo: Courtesy of Kaiso

In a quiet manner, Ryohei Sadoyama, who is in charge of marketing tells me, “I went to the farm to observe the process. It takes about eight years for the tree to reach a growth that enables us to harvest the sap, and after that, the tree produces sap for about 15 years. The local farmers collect the sap every morning in the early hours all by hand. During that time, it continues to absorb carbon dioxide, and so pretty much through the whole process, from production to disposal, it doesn’t contribute to the increase in greenhouse gases. That is a big difference from sandals made with synthetic materials produced from petroleum.”

For example, in Okinawa, when we talk about beach sandals, we commonly think of the Shima Zori flip flops, but they too are made from petroleum based materials. If by accident you lose them in the water, they will never biodegrade and return to nature. That’s right. They become micro-plastic materials, a global problem that has recently been spotlighted…But if your sandals are 100% natural, you definitely don’t have to worry about that.

Photo: Courtesy of Kaiso

“After harvest, the rubber is transported to a plant in Bangkok. Here too, workers don’t rely on machines, but they create each one carefully by hand. This takes more time and money than the more common production process, but we want to be true to the quality of our items, and that’s our desire and commitment.”

Photo: Courtesy of Kaiso

Photo: Courtesy of Kaiso

The sandals are truly environmentally friendly, but Sadoyama-san adds, “The cushion of the soles are excellent and have the natural softness of rubber, and your feet don’t get tired even if you wear them for hours. The part between your toes, too, they’re made so they fit comfortably.” So the fit is also what makes these sandals great, too.

“Unlike those made with petroleum, these natural rubber sandals have a comfortable fit and they become more so as you wear them. We can say this is due to the natural material we use. Our staff wear these sandals all summer and they are durable to last a season, for sure. Personally, although there were some wear, I wore mine for two seasons without the straps breaking or anything. So for those people from other prefectures or climates (who only wear beach sandals in the summer), these sandals will last a few years, as long as you’re not putting them through hard use. They don’t require any special maintenance or anything, either. For example, if you wear them in the ocean, you can just rinse them with water afterwards. The price is also reasonable, so have many environmentally conscious customers and some who placed big orders to give to their guests as a “thank you” gift for coming to their wedding reception.”


The beach sandals produced by Kaisou are practical and made with their passions and philosophies. Sadoyama-san concludes, “They’re available at all the Kaisou branches and also online, but please drop by at one of the shops to try them on and really see and feel for yourself.”

The colors available are dark green and dark red, with six unisex sizes: 9 (23-23.5cm), 9.5 (24-24.5cm), 10 (25.-25.5cm), 10.5 (26-27cm), 11 (27.5cm), and 12 (28-29cm). They make great gifts, too.

The effects of global warming has hit alarming levels in the recent years…From here, all of us as individuals are without a doubt, required to be even more conscious of SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) in our lifestyles. This is why it’s important to choose good quality items such as these sandals and in the various things we use on a daily basis, and to live smarter. It’s also nice to feel that you’re doing something for the environment that you can be proud of, even if it seems like a small thing.


Kaisou (Heiwa Dori Shop)
Address: 3-2-56 Makishi, Naha City, Okinawa
Telephone: 098-862-9228
Hours: 9:00 to 21:00
Open Daily
Parking: N/A

Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Kiwamu Ogawa (Qey Word)