The Amazing Miniature Shoe Repair Shops of Korea

Mini Cobbler Shop in Korea

Certain things just don’t get old in Korea.  When I first arrived in Korea in August of 2011, I remember walking around the streets of Jeon-Ju during orientation noticing the ultra compact delivery trucks.  I would look inside and be amazed at how tight the spaces were.  I mean, I literally wouldn’t be able to fit inside these “trucks”.

Once I arrived in my home city, Busan, there was another amazing miniature phenomenon that caught my attention.  Mini cobbler shops.  Or shoe repair shops.  I live near one of the main shopping districts in Busan (Nampo-Dong) and on the sidewalks are these awesome and tiny little cobbler shops.  Tiny almost like a child’s playhouse.  Even to this day I am intrigued when I look inside some of these shops at the mini worlds within.  I can’t believe the cobbler is able to run a full business of fixing shoes and bags in such a small space.

If you’re familiar with New York City newsstands, you’ve likely come across a few that are just plain small.  The attendant somehow squeaks into that small space behind the window and stays there all day.  Well, cut that space in half and you’ll have some of these cobbler shops here in Korea.

It’s definitely an Alice in Wonderland thing with these shops.  I never get tired of seeing them.  Because I think they’re so cool, I thought, “hey, maybe others will too!”  So, I hope you do.  Here is a video I did taking a peak at and inside of some of the smallest footwear fix-it shops you’ll ever see.


  1. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Those shops are definitely compact, lol, they're intriguing though.
    Is it true that one doesn't pay U.S. or Korean taxes for the first two years of employment as an EPIK teacher providing one shows proof of residency?

  2. That's correct. With EPIK, US citizens are tax exempt for the first 2 years. Yeah!

  3. Avatar Anonymous says:


  4. They are small, but what I like even more is the organization. Every thing the cobbler needs is close to hand…Well, everything but size 12 insoles. When I am doing a variety of tasks at my desk at work, I keep wishing I had the things I needed the way the cobbler does.

  5. Yes definitely no size 12 I've found. I'm a 13 and there are no choices for me here. It's like a streamlines miniature world in these little shops. Amazing and interesting.

Share Your Thoughts


Loading Facebook Comments ...