Follow Your Heart in Japan.
Gluten Free Japan Finds
No matter where you are at in the world, in daily life, on a playcation, vacation or traveling the world, always follow your heart, even in Japan.
I’m not the best writer, but I love to reflect. Sometimes what keeps me from writing down my reflections is missing out on a certain detail or saying something the wrong way or not being able to connect point A to point B or writing too much, or improper grammar (to name a few). While I am not the best writer or speaker, I am pretty good at following my heart and listening to my intuition. I recommend you do the same no matter where you are at in your life, at home, at work or on vacation.
Today I desired to get out of our Japanese apartment. I was sick yesterday and stayed in the apartment all day, except for a little walk last night to get some fresh air and get outside. If you know me personally, staying inside and laying around the house all day, especially while in another country with the world and new places to explore and experience, is NOT my thing. It took a lot to stay inside and rest. I felt pretty guilty about it, actually.
Well, I made up for that today. Today, I got up, still a little achey, worked a little, did yoga (only 30 minutes) showered, looked up the train station times and took the train that left at 12:54 to Kamakura, Japan. I didn’t have a plan, except that I knew I would get on the train and get off it at Kamakura and I didn’t have to exchange trains (which is the easiest way for me to go).
When I got off the train, I decided to look at a map in the train station and go the opposite way I went last weekend. I saw a big picture of the Giant Buddha, so decided to head that way. If you know me, I suck at following maps and was pretty sure I would get lost, as 99% of the time I DO get lost, but I took a picture of the map and went on my way.
Slowing down and enjoying the little things is important both in new places and in our daily routine. I started walking and opening my eyes and heart to enjoy the streets, the people, the little shops and restaurants. I saw a cute little fruit and veggie market on the corner and a cute farmer’s market type location (called Farm to YOU). The “Farm to You” place attracted my eye as I love that stuff AND there was English writing, (which is not normal for here) but it was closed.
While still walking, I noticed a cute little curry place with handwriting on the walls and a map. It was painted in a variety of colors and since I didn’t really have a paper map, just a picture, I took another picture of the map to have, as this one had simple pictures on it. (Naturalita friendly! I do way better with pictures!)
As I was taking a picture, a Japanese man peeked his head out to say “Good Afternoon”. I politely smiled and said “Good Afternoon” back to him. Internally, I was thinking, how nice of him to pop out to say hello. It was a curry restaurant, so I thought that there might be a possibility that it could be gluten free and at least he spoke English, so I thought I should at least ask. I didn’t. I kept walking toward the path of the Giant Buddha as I had a sandwich (made with gluten free Udi’s bread from the airplane ride here).
Something stopped me, I’m pretty sure it was intuition and listening to my heart. I went back, opened the door and poked my head in to say hello and ask him if he spoke English (more than just Good Afternoon). He did, so I showed him my Gluten Free Japanese card written in kanji. He looked at it and said he was familiar with celiac/gluten free. Oh my goodness, I thought I would cry…from happiness.
His cute little curry restaurant, Gokuraku Curry, only serves one meal a day, chicken curry. He looked at my sheet again and noted that everything that was in the dish (he is also the chef) would work for my dietary needs. I LOVE curry, so this was a win-win. The meal of the day (every day) was chicken curry, salad and a chai tea for 1,300 Yen.
It was the cutest little restaurant, as you can see in the pictures. I was the only one in there at the time we were talking, as it was long after the lunch hour. I found out he only makes 30 plates a day, so when he is out, he is out of food for the day. Smart planning.
When he brought me my food, it looked so good. I seriously wanted to cry. It has been hard finding food in Japan that is gluten free. Japan is known for their food and FAR more than just sushi. They have little local food shops everywhere and honestly, I LOVE trying local food, but I don’t like piercing stomach pains and getting sick. Soy sauce is added to almost everything, just like salt is in the United States, so it’s hard to find food without soy sauce in it. (Soy sauce contains wheat, which is gluten.)
This meal was AMAZING. I think it is the best curry I have EVER eaten. I was talking to him in English (his English is amazing) and he has had this place for two years and traveled to Nepal to get his spices. He is the chef and owner and how he greets people to get people to come inside (as he greeted me) is to pop his head out with a smile and say hello. Simple, yet powerful. His delightful energy drew me in!
While eating my delicious meal, I was reading a guide book on Kamkura. I seriously think I could spend days just touring this city and its cuteness versus going to the main Japanese tourist, yet cultural, spots.
There’s something about me that likes the little things and doing the off the beaten path stuff. There is honestly so much to do in Japan, that I hardly know where to start and wish I had more time here.
The last part of my lovely meal was homemade chai tea. He politely asked if I drink milk (which I don’t) but I didn’t want to miss out on this chai tea experience and didn’t want to disrespect the chef by asking to prepare it differently, so tried it as is. I knew if I got a stomach ache (lactose) that I had activated charcoal capsules with me. I tried it and it was divine. No stomach ache happened. I’m sure the amazing Nepali spices in it helped, too.
As we were talking, he found another gluten free place for me to try in the area and wrote down the name and address in English and Japanese as well as showed me where on the map it was located, since it was off the main road near the train tracks. How sweet was that? Very sweet, sweeter than his chai tea.
He also asked if I would write in his visitor book. You bet I did! I wrote a lot, actually. I love supporting other small business and warm hearted people – all over the world. I would hope that someone would do the same for me (as a small business owner and blogger, I always appreciate extra love and support).
While I set out on a random journey to explore today, I found exactly what I needed. If you trust your path to the Universe and are open to receiving, messages come from everywhere, even in the form of a precious smile, “Good Afternoon” and a warm loved filled meal.
If I would have trusted my mind, I would’ve kept going, but since I was all about trusting my heart, it led me to this precious find which definitely filled up my heart and topped it off with some lovely chai tea.
Naturalita Daily Life Tip: Trust the process. Relax and be open to receiving little subtle messages from a place of love. Listen to your heart, follow it.
This was only a small part of my “Naturalita Solita” Day in Kamakura.
I’ll be writing and sharing more about my mini adventures, if you would like a free copy of your Naturalita Guide to SHINE to start creating a healthy and balanced LOVE filled life with mini adventures to add into your life, you can download yours for free here or below. I also send out monthly SHINE + Adventure plans for you to check in with yourself and create more love and adventure in your health inspired life.