What is Benchwork Study?

We accept a foreigner student. We hope you can enjoy real oldstyle shoe (Hand sewn welted) making and craftsman ship.

Shoe making process is...

1. Take a measurement of feet
2. Make a pair of Last
3. Design
4. Pattern cutting
5. Clicking (Leather cutting)
6. Closing (Making uppers)
7. Bottom making
8. Take off the Last from the shoes

Other than last making (1 & 2 above), you can take online if you have tools. The last making can be taken at the school (one week). You can choose to take an online course or a short course at school.

If you have any other questions, please contact us using the contact form below.


Yukiko Okawa Bench Made CEO

  • 1992

    I first learnt how to the make shoes at Moge Workshop.

  • 1995

    I entered the shoe making technology course at Cordwainers College in London. I began to learn how to make hand sewn welted shoes from Paul Wilson who is a John Lobb bespoke shoe maker. I started work experience in John Lobb’s bootmakers at St. James’s street in London.

  • 1996

    I won the young designer of the year sponsored by the Shoe & Leather News.

  • 1997

    I graduated with an HND from the shoe making technology department of Cordwainers Colledge. I became the first Japanese shoe maker employed at John Lobbs. After I Joined the company I specialized in Clicking, pattern cutting and closing. I worked at John Lobbs for 8 years. While there I had the pleasure of making shoes for Queen Elizabeth.

  • 2004

    I left John Lobb’s and came back to Japan and opened “Benchwork Study” shoe making school.

  • 2005

    I started my own bespoke shoe brand “Bench Made” by Yukiko Basett Okawa in coraboration with MIYUKI HUNDRED CLUB in Ginza.

  • 2006

    I moved my “Bench Made” brand to Setagaya Tokyo.

Classroom Online class & Short concentration term class

Online classroom for foreigners

You can take remote classes from overseas in English

Participation qualifications are those who have experience in making shoes, those who have or can purchase shoe tools, and those who can secure space for making shoes. Please check the time as you will be attending regular classes in Tokyo.

What you can learn with online lessons

Please let us know what you would like to learn in the online course.

... Example
* Pattern cutting of classic design
* Pattern cutting and clothing for the style you want to create
* General bottoming
etc ...

・ Pattern cutting (The design you want to make)
・ Closing
・ Bottom making (You can choose from the following the bottom making methods)
― Square waist welted (Blind stitching welt / Seat welt)
― Beveled waist welted
―Storm welted
―Norwegian welted
―Storm Norwegian welted
―Pump sole (McKay)

Time Table

We have 7 classes, so please take one class a week (The following times are Tokyo times.)

Class F1_11:00–14:00
Class F2_15:00–18:00
Class F3_19:00–22:00

Class S1_10:00–13:00
Class S2_14:00–17:00

Class Sunday1_10:00–13:00
Class Sunday2_14:00–17:00


Admission fee: 50,000 yen

The tuition fee is 32,000 yen for 4 lessons. One lesson is 3 hours once a week. The tuition fee is prepaid and can be paid with PayPal.

We also have an online information session from 18:00 on Saturday or 13:15 on Sunday. If you wish, please send us the date you would like to participate. If you have any other questions let us know.


Short term shoemaking course for foreigners

1. Last making 1 week course

You can make your Last.

Days: 5 days Tuesday to Saturday
Fee: 100,000 yen
Material cost: 60,000 yen
Total: 160,000 yen

2. Design, Pattern cutting & Closing 1 week course

You can make the upper of shoes that designed by you.

Days: 5 days Tuesday to Saturday
Fee: 75,000 yen
Tools: 17.000 yen (Clicking Knife, Skiving Knife, etc)
Material cost: about 38,000 yen 〜 (It depends on the leather)
Total: 92,000 yen + Material cost

3. Hand Mackay Bottom making 1week course

You can learn how to make shoes using the Hand-Mackay method.
You can use the Last and upper of your size of feet.

Days: 6 days Tuesday to Saturday
Fee: 120,000 yen
Tools: 10,000 yen (Knife, awls...)
Material cost: 12,000 yen
Last: 50,000 yen
Upper: 20,000 yen
Total: 212,000 yen

4. Hand sewn welted Bottom making 5 weeks course

You can learn how to make shoes using the hand sewn welted method.

Days: 25 days Tuesday to Saturday
Fee: 400,000 yen
Tools: 21,000 yen 〜 (It depends on you need)
Material cost: 50,000 yen
Last: 50,000 yen
Total: 521,000 yen + Tools cost

*We will be prepared upper and last for you. (Simple derby style upper and last) If you can bring your upper and last, Let me know.

Time Table

All classes will be held during the following times.

Tue 11:00–17:00
Wed 11:00–17:00
Thu 11:00–17:00
Fri 11:00–18:00
Sat 10:00–17:00
Sun 10:00–17:00

We also have an online information session from 18:00 on Saturday or 13:15 on Sunday. If you wish, please send us the date you would like to participate. If you have any other questions let us know.


FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

  • When can I participate?

    You can participate at any time, but please let us know your desired start date and time at least one month in advance. We will get back to you with details.

  • What kind of shoe manufacturing method can I learn?

    We recommend the square welt method for beginners. Experienced people can also learn the beveled waist, the norwegian welt and the storm welt method. Please choose your desired bottom making method.

  • What kind of design can I learn in the design and pattern cutting class course?

    Beginners can learn the basics of Oxford and Derby. Those who can cut the basics can learn how to cut the pattern that any designed.

  • Please tell me how to pay the tuition fee.

    Please pay by PayPal. We will prepare after payment is confirmed, so please pay at least 3 weeks in advance. In addition, if the cancellation is due to the convenience of the participants after payment, no refund will be given.

  • Do you have any recommendations for accommodation?

    We do not recommend it, but our workshop is located 25 minutes from Shinjuku on the Odakyu Line. We think it would be convenient to find it in that area.


Bench Made
& Benchwork Study

Seijyo 6-5-25, Daiichi Sumino Bld. #408,
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 157-0066 Japan
TEL: 03-3484-6133
E-mail: bespokeshoes@benchmade.jp