HOW TO: Find kale in Japan

Finally! At long last, I've discovered how to find kale in Japan. It seems as though it should be simple, right? You can purchase boxes and packets of 青汁 (あおじる, aojiru, green vegetable drink, often in powdered form) everywhere - in supermarkets, drugstores, specialty shops. Searching for "ケール" (kale) on the internet results in page after page of results for aojiru. And sure, aojiru is great, in all its dry, powdered kale glory. (For those that don't know, aojiru is also sometimes comprised of barley grass and other green type vegetation). Aojiru is great to mix in smoothies, with milk or soy milk, or just with plain water. I'm a huge fan of aojiru, but I figured with the prevalence of this magically healthy drink, finding actual kale leaves would be no problem.

青汁, aojiru
Not so. To date, I have yet to see kale in any supermarket, farmer's market (in my area) or online. I've tried other ways of searching, but to no avail. Until yesterday, when I thought to try searching again, but this time for "kale leaves" specifically, and lo and behold, real results! For the record, I found these two phrases the best to use when searching for real kale leaves online:

ケールの生葉  or  ケール生葉 

生葉 is essentially fresh or raw leaves.

Though you can search online for various places to order kale from, here are a few I found (note that some may not be currently shipping kale due to the season):

Ryokuoukan Net Store (緑王館ネットストア) - They don't use pesticides.

Tohoku Bokujo (東北牧場) - They don't use pesticides. Says kale is only available in early summer and fall though.

Masuda Online Shop (マスダオンラインショープ)

Tokai Aojiru - They sell fresh kale leaves, powdered and frozen aojiru; they also don't use pesticides.

Gotta be honest, I can't wait to order some fresh kale and make me some kale chips!

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