To make the most of the good weather that we’re enjoying this Spring, my family and I decided to tip toe amongst the Tulips that are in blossom at the moment at Expo Park (万博公園, banpaku koen). As we were walking around the Western side of the park, we decided to take a few photos outside the chikurin (竹林, bamboo forest). It was then that for the first time, I noticed a couple of Takenoko (たけのこ, baby bamboo shoots) sneaking up through the floor of the forest. Sure, I’ve seen fully grown bamboo trees many times and I’ve even enjoyed some noodles washed down the inner side of a bamboo trunk (流しそうめん, nagashisomen) before, but for some reason, I guess I’d never been walked by a bamboo forest in the Spring before. Being a big fan of bamboo shoots on the dinner table, I joked to my wife that we should sneak into the chikurin and take a few home.