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Malkia strikers grappling with culture shock in Japan

The Kenyan women volleyball team currently in Japan for the FIVB World Cup is still coming to terms with the different cultural practices in the Asian country.

The team has set up base at the Hitachi Rivale academy located some two-hour drive from the capital Tokyo. They are holding double training sessions each day and have played a couple of build up matches.

But besides the scorching heat and a change of diet, the Malkia strikers have had to contend with some ‘peculiar’ cultural practices.

One such practice is walking around with more than one pair of shoes. You see, the norm here is that people remove shoes before entering houses or hostels.

A shoe rack at the door.
A shoe rack at the door.

Should you not have reserve shoes, a pair of sandals is provided at the door for visitors.

The shoes are neatly kept on a rack at the door. The visitor is expected to move around the house wearing the sandals  and will revert to their shoes when leaving.

Also available for members of the public are umbrellas. Tens of umbrella’s are available at almost each doorstep.


So, whenever one feels uncomfortable with the weather at any point during a journey, all you need to do is reach out to any nearest umbrella and use it for the remainder of the journey and then leave it at the nearest doorstep. And the cycle continues.