I don't know a lot about either the Japanese or Italian bespoke scenes personally. The only Japanese shoe maker I can think of is Fukuda, and I find his stuff a bit too Gaziano-esque for my tastes. Plus, stupid expensive.A bunch of really good Japanese and Italian makers are in the 3-4000 range. Some mid-level (or newer makers who are great but undiscovered) Japanese and Italian stuff can be had under 3k. Some great stuff in Latin America can be had under 3k. If you are looking for entry level stuff you can certainly find things under 1500 - particularly in Asia and Eastern Europe.
Eastern Europe is more doable for me to actually visit in the future to get shoes made, provided we don't launch the nukes anytime soon. Plus, I like the food more than SE Asian cuisine - not a big fan of coconut and peanut.