Takenoko (bamboo shoots) digging is an outdoor activity that can be enjoyed from Spring onwards. I had a shot at it at Yamamuro Farm, owned by Mr. Yamamuro Yoshio, self-proclaimed “Bamboo Professor”.
At 10 am, I reached the Yamamuro Lumbermill, another property owned by Mr. Yamamuro. I had to wait a while for the latecoming participants. When everyone had gathered, Mrs. Yamamuro took us to the bamboo forest a short walk away, where Mr. Yamamuro was already waiting.
He started by giving us a brief history on bamboo, their land of origins and how they ended up in Japan. The takenoko in his farm is known as the “moso bamboo”. He emphasised strongly that his bamboo shoots are less bitter and sweeter than other bamboo shoots due to his use of sweet leaf in the fertiliser.
Then we were ready to start. Everybody quickly found their bamboo shoots and started hacking at the soil with their hoes.
I found mine easily too.
Soon I put the camera in my bag and got down to serious digging business. For the next 80 minutes or so, I dug out more than 8 kg worth of bamboo shoots. At the end, Mrs. Yamamuro weighted the bamboo shoots, and Mr. Yamamuro gave me a big discount when I told him that I was a foreigner writing travel articles about Japan.
Here’s a photo of the friendly couple.
And these were my biggest digs.
Photos of the bamboo shoots before and after cleaning and peeling.
It was a very tiring but incredibly fun activity. For those who wishes to experience Japan more than just visiting tourist-packed locations, this would be a great idea. Be warned though, you will get muscleaches for the next few days!
|Location||425 Anabe, Odawara-shi, Kanagawa-ken 250-0053
*Take note that this is the location of Yamamuro Lumbermill, which is the gathering place for participants, not Yamamuro farm or the bamboo forest itself.
|Price||Entrance fee : 500 yen/person
Bamboo shoots price (please buy all the bamboo shoots dug out) :
Weekday : 700 yen/kg
Weekend/Public Holidays : 800 yen/kg
*Entrance fee includes hazard insurance. All prices inclusive of tax.
|Opening period and hours/th>||9 April 2016 ~ 8 May 2016
Closing dates : Every Friday. For the last week of April, opens on Friday and closed on Thursday instead.
Gathering time : 10 am
End time : 1 hour after starting
|Access||From Odawara station, take Daiyuzan line and alight at Anabe station. Walk 2 minutes to Yamamuro Lumbermill.|
*Please check for the latest information before visiting.
* This article was written by a trainee from overseas. Please note that there might be spelling and grammar mistakes.