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Former coach now runs ugali-sukuma eatery in Japan

A Japanese man has put up an exclusively all Kenyan restaurant in downtown Okayama, a move that has rewarded him with booming business.

Mitsuru Inoue discovered his love for Kenya during a two year visit to the country in 2005.

He was based in Western Kenya at the time and was majorly involved in coaching and training the Malava High School volleyball team.

Upon his return to Japan, Mitsuru opened up the restaurant located along Shimonshi Park.

 Souvenirs at Mitsuru Inoue's restaurant in downtown Okayama, Japan.
Souvenirs at Mitsuru Inoue’s restaurant in downtown Okayama, Japan.

Here, customers longing to fill their tummies are served with sumptuous Kenyan meals such as ugali, sukuma wiki, rice, tea, among other delicacies.

“I love Kenya. I thought this is the best way to keep my love for Kenya alive. I also fell in love with the food which I still consume,” Mitsuru, who can communicate in fluent Kiswahili, told Nairobi News in Okayama.

The tens of Kenyans based in Okayama University are Mitsuru’s ardent customers. So are the locals who have come to like the restaurant.

“We come here for parties and get-togethers and talk about both our challenges and opportunities,” a Kenyan based in Okayama added.


So popular is this restaurant that the Kenyan embassy has written a commendation to appreciate Mitsuru’s efforts.

Other souvenirs like the Kenyan flag, lessos, Maasai shukas, kangas and Tusker beer are available at the joint.

So next time you find yourself in Okayama, find some time and visit Mitsuru’s cafe along Maruya street in downtown Okayama.