Japan was introduced to pickleball in 2014, and it truly seems like a perfect fit. Most play in Japan is indoors, because almost every gym is already lined for badminton courts. Badminton lines share the same court diameter, yet the kitchen line is 6 inches closer to the net. Who cares, game on!
My pickleball adventure to Japan was awesome! We spent time in the mountains as well as the cities, played pickleball with locals, ate amazing food and visited a variety of Japan’s cultural treasures. Did I mention the bullet train goes 170 mph! I joined Daniel Moore, (yes, the Daniel Moore that is one of the top Pro Players and has lived in Japan most of his life) on one of his tours to help teach and spread pickleball awareness, skills and of course FUN. On the tour we had a wonderful group of 16 active and fun loving friends from all over the US. During the course of the week, we trekked (pickleball included) over 60 miles on the tour (hello Nita’s Fitbit) – no sitting around for us!
My quick homework prior to arriving in Japan was a quick scan online and some travel videos. I learned that I needed to: be cautious about hugging people I just met (my casual southern California upbringing made that a challenge); avoid giving and receiving things with one hand; avoid blowing my nose in public; avoid eating on the go (I got busted twice); stay quiet on the train; refrain from leaving a tip; not serve myself a drink; and, use the slippers!