April 26, 2006

You may never have seen anything like this before. I hadn't before I came to Japan. These are bamboo shoots or baby bamboo. This is the season for them and I've seen them in every grocery store I've been in recently. I never take my camera with me when I shop because I have to carry my groceries home. (I walk everywhere.)

I've been advised to ask permission to take pictures in a store. Yesterday I saw these bamboo shoots at an outdoor market. I had my camera with me so I asked if the shopkeeper minded. I drew a small crowd. Everyone watched and snickered as I took these pictures. Fortunately, it turned out to be a paying crowd. Some of them bought vegetables from the shopkeeper.

These bamboo shoots were huge. I didn't have a tape measure with me (imagine the laughs that would get). I estimate the biggest one to be around 46 cm in diameter and 28 cm in length. Maybe you can figure that out in inches.

We eat bamboo shoots, but I usually buy them already cut up. Pieces are sold in a bag of liquid to keep them fresh. I took the picture of this small bamboo grove in town last year. I just wanted to show what it looks like when baby bamboo grows up.

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