I’ve always loved bamboo shoots aka takenoko. I never made Thai green curry without the water packed version that comes vacuum wrapped from the grocery store. Then one day one of our lovely neighbors here in Kisami dropped off a freshly picked shoot and ruined it all. Now that I know what bamboo shoot is supposed to taste like I have not purchased another supermarket version since. It’s fresh or it’s a long wait until spring rolls around again. At Takenoko-mura you can go on your own bamboo shoot hunting expedition. They’ll drive you out in the van and bring all necessary tools along. I’ve got to warn you though it’s no easy feat getting these massive shoots out of the earth, and once you do get it home there’s a lot of peeling and boiling involved. And to tell you the truth, the attached restaurant can do it better. They serve all things takenoko: takenoko sashimi, takenoko steak (pictured above), takenoko miso soup, takenoko tempura, grilled takenoko… and I recommend them all! Just make sure you get there in time because when spring ends so does takenoko season and the restaurant closes until the following year. They also serve venison and boar if you’d like something meatier. The restaurant is open daily in spring (usually from April 1st to May 5th) but they only serve their super fresh and yummy yomogi (mugwort) mochi on weekends.