getting a pedicure in japan

I am headed back to Vegas for the Christmas holiday, and wanted to get my nails done before leaving. Since I am about 8 months pregnant my feet are starting to swell, but that won’t stop me from getting a pedicure!! Need to pamper myself while I can.–hahaha. So off to March Nail Salon in Shibuya (マーチ渋谷店).

Getting a pedicure in Japan can sometimes be very expensive. And many things are different from the pedicures I have received back home (USA). Here are somethings you want to make sure you understand before getting one, so you aren’t surprised or dissatisfied with the services you receive.

  1. If you are used to the western way with a big plush massage chair attached to a bath where you soak your feet in, then you might be shocked in Japan. There usually is a comfy chair but it will most likely not come with a massage function.
  2. The bath you soak your feet in….well, lets just say its a nice bucket of soapy water. The nailist will usually carry this bucket to you.
  3. Any type of nail care, i.e. cutting cuticles, scrubbing, removing dead skin or even a little leg massage is unheard of. However some salons will do it for an extra charge of course.
  4. Your nails will be completely dry as they are gel nails and not painted with a typical polish.  It’s safe to put on your shoes and socks right after. There is no need for sandals.
  5. Your gel pedicure will last about 1 month or longer. The gel applied will make your actual toe nail seem a little bit thicker, just like it does when you have gel nails on your hands.
  6. Japanese people like to grow their toenails, so if you don’t specify the length you want, they might keep your nails on the long side.
  7. Getting a pedicure in America concentrates mostly on care but in Japan the actual painting and nail art is most important.


Today I will get the regular course for both my hands and feet using my natural nails (自爪、jizume), one nail color (ワンカラ) and 2 nails with unlimited stone art (ストーン 2本付け放題) .Since it’s the holiday season, I wanted to do something in red, but i hadn’t decided which shade of red. For my toes, I wanted to do white. In the summer, white gel nails can change colors or look dirty if you go to the beach or if your nails are exposed to the sun.  So winter white is perfect!
photo 5

As for the design, I needed it to be simple as I will go out to dinners and see a lot of family and friends. I wanted the color and design to easily match my clothes too. 1. Looking at the shape of my nails, I thought of an Easter egg and decided to design my stone art similar to that. 2. For my toes, I wanted to do something similar to a rainbow, with less of an arch.
BTazqjGT8  rainbow

I have two nailists working on my hands and feet at the same time. (I’ll only post my pedicure shots). First they soak my feet in a bucket of water and dry them off with a towel.  1. They prep my toe nails by sanding, cutting, shaping and filing them. You can see that my feet are on top of a small wooden table with a paper towel under it. Not the most comfortable when you have pregnant swollen feet. 2. Then a clear gel coat is painted on each toe nail. This helps the color stay on.

photo 4-2 photo 4-3

1. Next the white gel color is applied to all my toes. They apply two coats. I love how vibrant the white looks. Now it’s time to decorate one toe on each foot. 2. I chose to put the design on my big toe, since it has the largest nail space. I wanted a something similar to a rainbow.
photo 5-1 photo 1-1

the same process was done to my nails except painted with different colors and using different stones for the design. Here is the finished product! My red nails! Can you see the resemblance of an Easter egg?
photo 1
And here are my toes! Sorry the pic is a little blurry and my toes look like sausages! hahahah.  The arch is slight but it does look similar to a rainbow, right?
photo 2

 I love getting a mani/pedi done. And the stone art is so cute. The only thing I worry about is my toe nails snagging my stockings with the stones. Which type of pedicure would you like, a Japanese one or a more western one?

ms fancy pants tokyo & my mani/pedi
photo 4

  • March Nails Shibuya (マーチ渋谷店)
  • 2-10-14 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku Tokyo
  • 7F Aoyama Alpha Bldg
  • Mon-Fri 10:00-21:00
  • Sat-Sun/Holiday 10:00-18:30
  • 03-6427-2833

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