Teaching English conversation in Kyoto has many advantages. I live in a beautiful city with easy access to nature. Earlier this year I stayed with my family at a traditional Japanese farmhouse in the countryside and while being there we could try bamboo shoots digging.
We set on our way to the forest in the early morning. Bamboo forests are beautiful and I would recommend anyone who comes to Kyoto to spend some time surrounded by bamboo.
Although the bamboo shoots are not really deep in the ground, they are quite difficult to get out in one piece. Various hard roots entangled in the ground are making them very difficult to reach. In addition the shoots are surprisingly fragile so I had to be really careful when getting them out of the ground. I have broken one into small pieces just by pulling it out with my hands. What a waste!
In less than two hours we got enough bamboo for our lunch and some more to take back home. For lunch we decided to bake them on fire and they were absolutely delicious. We cooked the rest with rice at home. It adds very interesting flavour to the whole pot of rice.
We had a good few days in the countryside and the next week I had interesting English conversations with my students about my and their experiences with bamboo digging and their personal favourite ways of cooking them.
I’m looking forward to going back next year.
Tom, SSE Katsura.